Tomb Raider #1
By Gail Simone and Nicolás Daniel Selma
OK, I admit it. I’m a fanboy, both for comics and video games. I’m also obsessed with the new Tomb Raider game. So much so, that I even bought the game twice just to get the next-gen experience of The Definitive Edition. That being said, I was thrilled to have a Tomb Raider ongoing and even happier to have Gail Simone writing it.
The story starts out with Lara having nightmares, primarily about the events of the game and the many friends who died on that island. It’s not clear whether these vivid dreams are being caused by something or simply just a symptom of PTSD. After an odd discussion with best friend Sam about their nightly brain habits, she receives a phone call from Jonah (another friend and survivor of the game) that brings her to the USA. After she arrives, things quickly get weird as another mystery starts to unfold.
The new Tomb Raider game has been praised for having a strong female lead that is not skanked-out for the heck of it. That’s why Gail Simone is so perfect to write this book – she’s been making a name for herself by writing those sorts of ladies. She seems to have nailed the personality of Lara right off the bat.
Other characters are going to need some work, though, because not only did so few survive, but the remaining ones weren’t really interesting to begin with. While the new game has a ton going for it, unfortunately, it lacks an interesting supporting cast. Here, those characters are written well, but further fleshing out may be needed to get anybody to care about them as they only seem to be there for Lara to stress over.
The book gets a little choppy towards the end. It’s obvious that Gail Simone was going for a cryptic vibe, but it just comes off as nonsensical and irritating. Thankfully, things start to make sense once you power through it. It’s still an odd choice of storytelling, though. Other than that, it’s a fast read, but a good one.
Nicolás Daniel Selma is on art duties and manages to draw a respectable Lara. There’s a sweet action sequence at the beginning, but this doesn’t seem to be Selma’s strong suit. Movements and the general flow of this action make reading the issue feel awkward. Selma can handle the down time well, even though it’s a little flat and dull. Overall, the art is serviceable; it’s just not anything that’s going to blow you away.
The Tomb Raider reboot is a great game and now it’s a comic series with some potential. While the first issue isn’t perfect, Gail Simone presents us with the same Lara we love from the game, with the possibility of some interesting character polishing. For anybody who’s a fan of the game, this just might be the comic for you.