With the incredibly popular new Tomb Raider games getting great reviews and huge sales, Dark Horse is rebooting their series to feature new, young, and bad-ass Lara Croft — but does that make it any good?
Tomb Raider (Dark Horse Comics)
You’d think she’d wear sleeves when she’s spelunking?
With the reboot of Tomb Raider by Square Enix back in March of ’13, the shorts wearing, boob toting, double gun shooting adventurer we knew as Lara Croft was dramatically changed. Transformed into a newbie archeologist on her first real expedition, she was presented as a vulnerable and very human creature who evolves into a total bad-ass by the end of the game.
This was a great move by Square. The old and mystical baggage associated with the old PS1 and 2 games was gone and a great game, with a relatable heroine, was born.
This new series by Dark Horse presents us with that badass relatable heroine, sometime after the events of that 2013 game. We see her making the rounds of the archeology world, uncomfortable in her high heels and dress (with some lingering shots on her changing that were a bit…meh for me), before she moves on to some very 80’s movie montage fight training.
This chick is pretty much a blind, female, and nose-ringed Johnny Lawrence.
Is It Good?
Okay, let me expand on that a smidge. The decision to make Lara someone that gets hurt, feels despair and reacts like a real human in a shitty situation is what made the new games so engaging. Dark Horse keeps that humanity front and center, and makes this about a woman trying to figure out what the hell is going on, instead of an overly buxom super-hero dealing with adversity.
Plot wise, the strange and mystical world that Lara is always discovering in some backwater spot in the world is still here front and center as well, and the mystery starts to sneak in at the edges before the final page reveals. Tomb Raider #1 is overall a fun read and an interesting look at this new version of a classic character.
I think the blind fighting bit is a bit Chekhov’s gun, as I can only imagine that Lara relying on what she can hear will be central to her ability to finish this mystery.
I’m curious to see where this goes from here, and to see if they keep the tone from the games solid throughout.
Tomb Raider #1 is on sale February 17th. Order in advance from Amazon by clicking the link.