Friday, February 28, 2014

Tomb Raider #1

   I should admit that I thought the original Tomb Raider video game was a lame idea - at least until I actually played it.

   The idea of a video game with a voluptuous, sexy lead character just seemed... well, pandering to the base impulses of male gamers.

   My friend Bruce bought the game and invited me to give it a try, and, despite my doubts, I must admit, I was almost immediately hooked.

   That's because, as crude as the graphics were by today's standards, it was a terrific combination of action, adventure, mystery and puzzle-solving, all tied together with an actual story and featuring a feisty, strong-willed and intelligent character, Lara Croft.

   After a lot of games starring the character (some great, some not so), last year the video games stole a page from the comics companies and rebooted the character as a young woman, just starting down the path of adventure.

   I wasn't sure it would work, but I played the game and enjoyed it a lot (though I wouldn't recommend it for young gamers - it's violent and brutal). Apparently writer Gail Simone had the same experience, because after hesitating at first, she decided to take on the assignment.

   That almost works against this series, because I'm not sure the story would stand alone if you aren't familiar with the game. It serves as a sequel to that adventure, as the surviving members of the expedition to a deadly island find that mystic forces may still be having an effect on their lives.

   The art by Nicholas Daniel Selma never quite lives up to that outstanding cover by Dan Dos Santos (or to the visuals in the game), but that's more a tribute to the graphics by the latter than a slam on the efforts by the former.

   So this series is off to a start that fans of the game may enjoy, though it's taking its time setting up the story. Non-fans might find it a bit more of a challenge to catch on, but it's a promising beginning to the new adventures of young Lara.

Grade: B+


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