The past continues to impact the present in Lara’s life.
Story: Gail Simone & Rhianna Pratchett
Art: Nicolas Daniel Selma & Juan Gedeon
What They Say:
Lara Croft attempts to honor the past but is dragged into a dangerous new journey. A creepy amusement park and a mysterious woman with a personal connection to the terrifying events of Yamatai Island throw Lara’s world into peril once again!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Getting past the Yamatai arc has been an important thing for me when it comes to Tomb Raider. I had enjoyed what we got, but continually felt like I was just a few steps behind on everything since I wasn’t familiar with the supporting cast or the new mythology and background being built around Lara. With this arc, Gail Simone is joined by Rhianna Pratchett on the writing side, which works well since she was involved in the game, had written some other Tomb Raider material before and a touched on a couple of other titles. There’s a nice sense of continuity to things in that sense in that it feels like it’s being kept all in the family. For me, the chance to get in on a new arc at the start here that’s not quite so connected to the game is what I wanted and I definitely got it, though I still feel like I’m a step or two behind.
After the events of Yamatai, it’s good to see Lara going for a little down time by returning to Snowdonia in Wales with Reyes to pay tribute to her uncle Roth. As we see omfr the flashback, her uncle is an important part of her childhood from ten years earlier when they had visited there and we got a sense of how he was an ideal traveling companion for her that helped to expand her world. In the present, the climb is simple and small, though Reyes doesn’t care for it much either way, and they end up with little real trouble. At least until they reach the destination and Lara is intent on planting some daffodils for Roth’s sake only to have the decaying remains of Alex emerge from the ground and ramble off a number of threats and generally creepy comments. Lara’s the only one that sees him though, again not saying much for her mental state in general, and it nearly ends up killing her because of how she panics over it. All quite natural, all quite weird.
While that sets the tone in the first half, the tone in the second half is dark in its own way and just as weird as well. Shifting to Reykjavik, Iceland, we get a tough guy with a hook for a hand going into a restaurant bar where he knows this particular woman spends some of her time and is asking about her. That doesn’t get him far, but he loses a lot of ground when another man, dressed much snappier, makes some odd comments and basically makes it clear that he needs to stop talking, which is easy to do when you’re stabbed a few times. That has our new arrival now asking the same questions of the bartender himself, which just means there’s a few people looking for this woman and Lara’s going to get involved somehow. And they’re dangerous. Anyone surprised?
The opening issue does deal with a bit of material between Lara and Sam as Lara’s intent on going and finding Alex’s sister to get things cleared up with her, but you know that’s going to tie into the other piece. And that it’s not going to be easy to deal with either as it looks like Kaz may be in Ukraine somewhere, which means a whole other level of danger depending on how much the real world will intrude in the series. We do get some small time given to how Sam feels about being left out of things again, and you can easily understand why Lara keeps her away, but at the same time you get to the point where you wonder how Sam can keep hanging around her without it turning into a Stockholm Syndrome kind of thing since she’s either being abandoned or getting caught up in the trouble.
The new arc tosses a lot of balls in the air and it’s not intent on catching any of them yet. What it’s doing is setting a few things into motion and you can definitely enjoy the pieces while wondering at the whole. I like the Reyes and Lara time for what it offers between the two after the events of Yamatai, but Lara frustrates me later in what she does in dealing with Sam after what she had been put through. The Iceland piece is a bit of a mystery, but you know our dapper man will find his way into Lara’s life soon enough and that right now it’s just a bit of stage setting. The Ukraine aspect has its intrigue and provides for the real action of the moment, doing so well, but it moves so quickly from location to location across the issue that I’m feeling a little bit like I’m caught in a whirlwind without a clue of where I’m going to set down. It certainly offers a lot of promise though.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: August 27th, 2014