This week Lara Croft returns to comics, and The Wake resurfaces to terrorize the seas!
Tomb Raider #1 (Dark Horse Comics)
Lara Croft returns to comics in Dark Horse Comics in Tomb Raider #1. Written by Batgirl scribe Gail Simone and drawn by Nicolas Daniel Selma, the new series follows Lara after the events of last year’s Tomb Raider video game reboot. Now, full disclosure here, I have yet to play the game. I own it and it’s sitting on my shelf, but I just haven’t had time to dive into it just yet. However, that didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the issue. In fact, not knowing about the island where Lara Croft was born added to the mystery of the book, and makes me want to fire up my Xbox 360 and give the game a spin.
The issue opens with Lara waking up from yet another nightmare about her time on the island. She’s been having trouble sleeping lately, and her roommate has begun sleepwalking because of her experiences on the island. Before she can investigate the reasons behind her roommate’s behavior (and the mysterious marks on her arm), Lara gets a call from Jonah, another survivor of the wreck. He begs Lara to see him in America, and when she arrives at his small trailer in the desert, Lara finds a man who is a ghost of who he once was. However, before she can find out any information from Jonah, Lara gets caught in a flash flood and Jonah is killed.
Gail Simone does a great job of making Tomb Raider accessible to those who played the game and those of us who haven’t. She gives us just enough exposition to tell us what we need to know, and doesn’t waste time recapping what happened in the game. Simone has said in the past that she’s a huge Lara Croft fan, and you can tell by reading this issue how much she loves the character. Simone’s voice and characterization of Lara is fantastic, and proves why she’s one of the best comic book writers working today. You can put her on any book and it’ll be great.
The art by Nicolas Daniel Selma is not what I was anticipating when I opened up this book, but I think it works really well. His clean line work fits very well with Simone’s story and the Tomb Raider image. While some of the action pages are a little stiff, Selma’s art handles expressions beautifully, and really sells home the emotional moments of the book.
Tomb Raider is yet another awesome video game comic from Dark Horse Comics. For those of you wary that you’ll have to beat the game in order to fully appreciate this issue, don’t worry, it reads just as well, and adds a nice mystery to plot of the book. With Tomb Raider #1, Gail Simone has another solid title to add to her body of work, has given fans of Ms. Croft something to cheer about.
The Wake #6 (of 10) (Vertigo)
After a bit of a break, The Wake is back, and oh man did I miss it. Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy’s The Wake #6 is a completely different book from where it left off last issue, and it’s starting to answer all of the questions that we had from the first issue, like “what was up with that girl and the dolphin in the future”?
Well, that girl’s name is Leeward, and her dolphin’s name is Dash. And the future they live in? That’s the future 200 years from now, where the mer man creatures that escaped last issue have taken over the planet and flooded huge chunks of Earth. Pretty awesome, right?
Leeward makes her living hunting the creatures and selling their heads on the black market. She spends her nights in an abandoned plane that’s stuck up in a tree listening to radio transmissions from the deep. After trading for a radio transmitter device called an “ear”, the government learns of Leeward’s new toy and tries to take it from her. While fighting off her attackers, a transmission finally comes through from a familiar name, claiming to have a plan that can save the world.
Very few creators can pull of such a massive narrative change and have it work so well. Luckily, Scott Snyder is one of these creators. Everything about The Wake #6 works exceptionally well, and all of that is because of Snyder. The world we’re thrust into feels extremely lived in, and Snyder catches us up to speed on what’s happened in the hundreds of years that have occurred since issue 5 without subjecting us to an info dump. Of course, this wouldn’t be an issue of The Wake if he also didn’t leave us desperately begging for more by issue’s end, which he does here as well.
Sean Murphy ‘s art, as always, is phenomenal. Previous issues of The Wake were awesome, but they can’t hold a candle to this one, as Murphy truly goes wild with the future Earth. Flooded cities, hang gliders, crazy sea creatures, he does it all in this issue, and it’s incredible. The panels that give us the back-story on how the Mer creatures took over are spectacular, and many pages, including the reveal or Leeward’s hideout, are jaw dropping.
I didn’t think I could love The Wake anymore than I already did. Then I read this issue, and feel in love with it all over again. Surprisingly, you could jump onto this issue without reading the previous five. There’s a nice recap on the first page to catch you up to speed (or refresh your memory) and you’ll hopefully be intrigued enough to go back and read the previous issues. If you weren’t already reading The Wake, I highly recommend you run, don’t walk, to your nearest comic book seller and pick this up, along with the special issue reprinting the first five issues. You’ll be glad you did.