By Sam King
Tomb Raider: Inferno is a new four issue miniseries from Dark Horse. It pits Laura against a group called Trinity, which was most recently introduced in the 2013 video game, as well as the newest film. It is touted as a great entry for old and new fans, but so far not a lot is going on.
Although I’ve not had the opportunity to play the new games, I have been a Tomb Raider fan for a while. I played the original game for PlayStation (the first version of the console) and later bought another for the PS2. Lara has always been a role model of sorts for me, largely due to her kick ass abilities and intellect. While the story seems interesting enough, the first issue fails to deliver the same kind of grandiose feeling where Lara is concerned.
Some versions of Lara have made her experienced and mid-adventure, while others have begun at the beginning when she is not nearly as skilled as her older self, naturally. This comic shows her after her father has died. She has been tracking Trinity, the secret organization that goes after artifacts, particularly those involving power. What she doesn’t seem to fully realize is that the whole encounter she is about to have is a setup. Lara is being hunted, which isn’t entirely new, but this is the first time I have seen a group really succeeding to get Lara into a very vulnerable position. The part that bothers me is how quickly she trusted a guy who was tied up and ignored his presence while digging around for information. I don’t know how long she has been at this game, but my first instinct is not to trust anyone I haven’t personally vetted somehow, especially since she knows the dangers associated with Trinity. This isn’t the strongest issue, but it does a good job of getting the necessary exposition where Trinity and a bit of Lara’s background are concerned. The most interesting thing about this issue is the perspective of the person setting Lara up. I left this issue feeling like the hunter was more interesting than Lara and more methodical than Lara, making them more engaging as a character.
The art is different from the previous series that have been done. I am not a huge fan of some of the facial shadows in some panels, but overall the issue looks good. It isn’t exemplary, but it is nice. The icy details and environment is well done and I like some of the variation in color for the situations that arise. I hope that shift continues to happen in this series, to break up some of the blue and white tones. The cover doesn’t really match the interior art and to me it doesn’t feel or look entirely like Lara as we know her, but I like the colors and the feeling that a lot is happening in it while we don’t actually see much.
The story is okay and the art is fine. There is nothing spectacular here, but the issue isn’t awful. I really just feel like it is okay at this point. I’ll read the rest of the series, but it definitely wouldn’t be at the top of my pull list. For Tomb Raider, I wanted something with a little more depth and a little less predictability overall. Just because the character and her style of adventures are set, doesn’t mean you can’t play with it just a little more. Maybe Lara is supposed to learn a lesson about situational awareness in this series, because here something is definitely off for me character wise. I’m no Tomb Raider super fan or expert, but so far she isn’t hitting the marks that made her so worthy of being looked up to as far as handling dangerous situations is going. She isn’t perfect by any means and I don’t expect her to be, but this encounter reeked of something not quite right. This definitely isn’t the strongest opening to a new series, but we will see where it goes.
Tomb Raider: Inferno #1
Dark Horse Comics