Group Review: Tomb Raider #2

Each of the participating writers/reviewers of Comic Bastards will give the issue a score of: Buy, Borrow or Pass along with a short reason for the score. Here’s a blurb about the issue from Dark Horse Comics before we begin: Lara Croft and her friends are experiencing horrific visions in the aftermath of their ordeal in the lost kingdom of Yamatai. But those visions herald a darker fate than they could have imagined!

Adam: BUY

Well, I can’t say I saw much of anything in this issue coming.  The first issue really set the tone for the series, and this second installment really kicked up the mystery, intrigue, and stakes up to 11.  As I mentioned in our last group review, the book does a great job of highlighting things that happened in last year’s game but if you haven’t played it, you won’t be lost.  In fact, you’ll probably learn about the first game throughout the series and who knows, maybe the comic will make you want to pick up the game.

I really don’t even want to talk about anything that happened in this issue because everything that happens is really important and worth checking out.  I guess I can say that everything definitely isn’t as it seems, and maybe some of the stuff that we think Lara is hallucinating is actually real.  I’m curious to see how that plays out and I guess it’ll be up to us what (and who) we can trust.  The art is also really good in this issue, although Lara’s face does look different on a few occasions.  But for the most part it was great and the one flashback panel where Lara is standing on a mountain looking over the sea, I felt like I was in the beginning of the game all over again.  If you’re a fan of action-adventure with a little bit of mystery and supernatural happenings, you should definitely be following this book.

Dustin: BUY…ish

I almost gave this issue a “borrow”; it’s not a bad issue, but boy did it slip to average quickly. The beginning of the issue is interesting enough. Our sexual predator makes another appearance and it’s just… pointless. The mystery that’s continued from the island is okay… until it tied too heavily into that storyline. That and the “I don’t remember doing or saying that” angle was dumb. It really was. Lara’s an archeologist first, explorer/adventurer/murderer second; which means that I don’t buy her telling everyone to take priceless artifacts to keep/sell, any more than I buy them actually agreeing to and not selling them instantly. It’s a strange issue and while I mostly liked it, there are some glaring problems that have arose and may grow in mass with the next issue. I would have liked to see flashes of the last story effect this story instead of being a direct extension of it.

Tomb Raider #2 Cover

James: BUY

I was a little skeptical upon initially reviewing this comic because I am not a huge video game to comic book kind of guy. I can't remember the last time that I played the game. The movies were ok, I guess. But I knew little about the whole brand or the continuum. My son has a pretty sweet Lara Craft action figure in his room that is pretty intense though.

Anyway, what made me decide to give it a shot was that Gail Simone was tied to it. I have really been enjoying her Red Sonja run so I figured that she couldn't go too terribly wrong with the story. That, and I had recently group reviewed Greg Pak's Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, another video game to comic, and I actually liked it. So I gave Tomb Raider #1 a read, and I really liked it. Now we are at #2. My thoughts????

I'm still liking it. Everything picks back up from the end of #1 and we see Ms. Lara in action mode, trying to save her friend Jonah from a rogue wave in the desert and dealing with a sadistic park ranger type too. It's well paced and reiterates Lara's commitment that no one from the surviving party of The Endurance Expedition will die.

From there locales change quickly and go to Ireland and Northern Ireland respectively. All I can say is that we are dealing with some stolen artifacts, some ancient curses of vengeance, and even a little amnesia regarding the events of The Endurance. It all spells for some interesting intrigue that has me ready for more.

Simone has continued to impress me as of late and she is contributing some winning writing in this one as well. I also really like what Nicolas Daniel Selma is doing too. He is drawing Lara in a much more vulnerable light than in other depictions of her. We are seeing a lady who is affected by the disaster of The Endurance and it shows through Selma's art.

After these two issues they have me hooked. Here's to hoping that I can be reeled in. I might even just change my opinion on the whole video game to comic thing if this keeps up.

Score: BUY

Writer: Gail Simone Artist: Nicolás Daniel Selma Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 3/26/14