‘Tomb Raider’ (2014) #5

Tomb Raider (2014) #5 cover
Tomb Raider (2014) #5 cover
Tomb Raider (2014) #5 cover
Tomb Raider (2014) #5 cover
  • Written by Gail Simone
  • Pencils by Nicolás Daniel Selma
  • Inks by Juan Gedeon
  • Colours by Michael Atiyeh
  • Cover by Brian Horton

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BEWARE OF SPOILERS!

I’ve been a fan of ‘Tomb Raider’ pretty much from the beginning of the games at first playing through them on the PC before moving to the Xbox 360 for the more recent titles and have just recently pre-ordered the next game for the Xbox One. But there’s one area of the franchise that I’ve never really picked up on until recently… the comics.

I’ve always known that there were comics in existence which chronicled some of the action from the games but also telling original stories based around them but until this 2014 series I’ve never felt inclined to pick them up. Lara Croft has always been a pretty awesome character but my assumption was that the character was treated as more of a pin-up than a hero.

It was a no-brainer that this series wouldn’t fall in to that trap firstly because the previous game worked so hard to step away from that kind of portrayal but secondly and most importantly it’s written by Gail Simone… come on people Gail Simone!

I have to say I’m only really familiar with her work on ‘Batgirl’ but when she takes the character in to the kind of territory that she has in the last couple of years there’s no doubt that this woman knows how to write not only a strong female character but also to populate the world around with her strong characters both female and male.

A turn-off for me with most female fronted comics is their ability to get lost in female empowerment. It might bring a subset of the female audience to comics but I think most modern readers can see past the feminism to the brilliant writing that goes on underneath.

So this series of ‘Tomb Raider’ is set between the 2013 reboot and the as-yet-unreleased followup ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’ acting as almost a continuation of the first games storyline whilst setting up a narrative follow through which will lead directly in to the next game.

Simone has done a brilliant job of fleshing out the characters who survived the first game whilst flashing back to memories that Lara has of those who have past, the world of Tomb Raider around Lara has often been neglected over the years due to her popularity so it’s really good to see some effort being made to create some recurring characters in her life.

There are a few original characters here as well, fleshing out the Solarii and bringing them off the island of Yamatai… that is until Lara returns there which is where we find her in this issue.

Five issues in to the series we’ve gone from some strange apocalyptic floods in the desert to an attack in an Irish pub and now we’ve ended up back on the island of Yamatai to finish off what we started back in the game.

The script calls for little by way of description with 98% of the text in each issue being dialogue spoken by the characters. This isn’t a comic which relies heavily on information panels to set the scene.

That being said the artwork can be a little simple at times. Ordinarily this wouldn’t bother me but I think the stark contracts to the visual heavy look of the games has been a little jarring, still at five issues in I know what to expect from the series.

The minimalist nature of the artwork shouldn’t be underestimated as it looks like no other series that I am currently reading which does set it apart from some of the generic comic fare out there in the world.

Pulling the various elements of this comic together you get a really great product which has been consistent each month and despite appearing a little sparse at times speaks volumes about it’s characters, artists and writers ability to make a story jump off the page.

If you are waiting patiently like I am for the next game in the series then this comic is certainly a good way to dull the pain of waiting.

4 stars.

4 stars

About Neil Vagg 1445 Articles
Neil is the GYCO Editorial Chief. He has a BA in Film & Tv and an MA in Scriptwriting; he currently works 9-5 as an office manager and 5-9 as a reviewer/web designer. He has been subscribing to comics for around nine years but has been reading them as long as he can remember. Favourite comics: Batman; Nightwing, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and All New X-Men Favourite films: Batman (any apart from & Robin); Star Trek Generations, Underworld, Beetlejuice Favourite TV shows: Fringe; Buffy, Arrow, TBBT, Being Human UK and Star Trek TNG