The first issue of Gail Simone’s Tomb Raider had an interesting ending. A rocky desert in the United States suddenly flooded, and not too long after Lara Croft’s fellow survivor madly rambled on about an artifact he found in the island from the Tomb Raider 2013 reboot. That’s where this issue picks up.
Lara spends the first few pages trying to rescue Jonah from his sunken trailer, only for the water to rush into a nearby canyon shortly after, and then she’s held at gunpoint by her creepy tour guide. It’s just like the video game – she just can’t catch a break. The rest of the comic acts as story development, not unlike the first act of an Indiana Jones movie where a mysterious artifact is described, but the true power isn’t quite revealed. We see also another of the survivors and a nice reunion between her and Lara, and the villains are revealed.
As with the first issue, the writing is very good. Lara’s internal narrations do a great job at exploring her survivor guilt and her determination to make sure nobody else from the Endurance dies. The mystery behind the artifacts they found is intriguing, and the villains seeking them already feel like a serious threat.
The art is also good. Each returning character looks very much like their in-game design. As Lara’s swimming underwater, there’s a trail of moving water, bubbles coming from her nose, and there’s even a couple panels where she’s clearly struggling to hold her breath. The library has tons of books in the background, both in the main area and in one worker’s office. The only problem is that in one of the villain focused pages, there’s a girl whose shirt spontaneously disappears (we only see her backside). There was no motion to show her undressing, and while she was dressing to look like one of the artifacts, why is she undressing in front of four men in business suits (one being her father)? It just feels off. That’s the only thing that holds the art back from being great.
There’s actually a stronger connection to the reboot video game than I realized when I reviewed the first issue. The artifacts this story centers on were all found on the island from the game, and the villains are also tied to those from the game. Even so, this comic does a good job at explaining everything you need to know while also building its own story.
This series is shaping up to be really good. It’s not nearly as dark as the game was, at least not yet, and they’re not trapped on an island, but it otherwise has a similar feel. It should be easy for non-gamers to understand, and it feels like a classic adventure movie with “archeology”. If you enjoyed the reboot, this is an easy recommendation to help you wait for the sequel. If you’re looking for a good adventure comic, check this out.