There is a surefire way to get fans excited about the relaunch of a female character - GET GAIL SIMONE. So, after her recent successful reclamation project in reviving Red Sonja over at Dynamite, Dark Horse tapped her for another once popular female action star, this time to work her magic on Lara Croft.
There’s a reason publishers tap Simone to write for them. She writes very strong female characters, witty and snappy dialogue, and some real fun action. She can also move into the weird and make you love those characters just the same (see her Secret Six run). She builds strong family units and relationships with her characters. So of course, she is perfect for our once incredibly popular Tomb Raider.
Because what does the audience know about Lara Croft? She’s an archeologist in the vein of Indiana Jones, more adventurer and grave robber than simple trinket finder. She handles herself very well in tight situations, and is more than willing to start or finish a fight, both with a pickaxe or her trusty side pistols. And there is often strange mysticism going on. Well, happily all of these elements are present. In fact, the only recent change to Lara is that they have made her a bit more realistic in her appearance, which is a good thing, the poor girl was going to have serious back problems in a few years. All of these elements Simone handles in spades.
The book assumes that most people understand the basics of Tomb Raider. There is no real back story given here on Lara and some of the people she encounters. We catch her after one of her missions has gone wrong, and back home people are dead or just wish they were. Some of them even appear that they are going to get their wish. So, of course, it is up to Lara Croft so save the day, and as many of her friends as she possibly can. She’d prefer no more nightmares.
The artwork in this book by Nicolás Daniel Selma and Juan Gedeon is simple, clean, and effective. There is no intricate linework, no extensive detailing; no longer does every page with Lara need to be a Jim Lee pinup. Again, this is the best case for this book. There is never any confusion within the panel or in panel transitions as the book moves along at an excellent pace. The color palette by Michael Atiyeh is bright and gives the book the proper adventurous feel.
Lara Croft and Tomb Raider fans will be very happy with this book. Likewise, Gail Simone fans will be very happy with this book. A great reintroduction to a well beloved character, one hopes Simone will stay with this book for quite some time.
Tomb Raider #1 is available now from Dark Horse Comics.
(Sam Moyerman is a professional demon hunter. He writes reviews on the hunt while camped out within the protective womb of hollowed monster husk.)
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