Story: Mariko Tamaki
Art: Phillip Sevy
Colors: Michael Atiyeh
Thanks to the success of its recent video games, Tomb Raider has been brought back into the pop culture zeitgeist. Stepping into this review I was confident that I was in store for a gritty, real-world based, action adventure, one that would have Lara travelling from one corner of the globe to the other; in a race against time and against a new villain. I thought I would get an experience that reflected the elements of the new games that had brought Tomb Raider back to the forefront of fan interest. What I got was three pages of action (it was in a cave, which is just as good as a tomb right?) and then we cut to the most action packed setting I could have ever hoped for… An Archaeology convention.
That’s right! The exciting non-stop thrills of sitting in a crowd listening to a speaker drone on about the amazing discoveries in the world of Paleoethno-botany. (Are you asleep yet?) I was bored as Lara, as she sits through two pages of this crap, but don’t worry! Things pick back up as Lara ventures away from the lectures and panels to go practice her hand to hand combat with her friend Joslin; who has introduced Ms. Croft to her latest sparring partner Dana. The thing about Dana is she is a lot like Marvel’s Matt Murdock, in that way that she is a blind, kick ass martial artist, who teaches Lara to use her sense of hearing in a fight. This is a lesson that takes SEVEN PAGES! A fourth of this issue is devoted to Lara using her ears. It’s enough to make you wish for the convention scene again.
The remainder of the issue is devoted to Lara tracking down and interviewing one of the professors from the convention about a discovery of magic mushrooms he made during his adventures in China. (No, not that kind of magic mushroom) The story ends with Lara and this professor being confronted by what looked like a group of thugs with a bad skin condition. They want Lara to take them to the mushrooms. Yes, you read that right, and yes, it’s just as terrible as you think.
With the stories of the new video games fresh in the reader’s mind, it seemed a no brainer to stick with what works. How or why this creative team went so far off the beaten path is beyond
me. You had a winning formula right in front of you! How did this happen? I’m glad to see that Tomb Raider is back in comics, but if this is what Dark Horse is offering fans then I wish Lara
had just stayed in her tomb.