Lara Croft has come a long, long way. From pixels on a computer screen to being portrayed magnificently by Angelia Jolie on the silver screen, Croft is a gaming icon as much as Mario or Master Chief are.
Croft’s original comic book adventures were originally published by Top Cow. The Tomb Raider franchise is now under the Dark Horse umbrella with the latest series – Survivor’s Crusade – debuting this month with a new creative team. Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly are on writing duties while Ashley A. Woods is handling the artwork. Lanzing and Kelly are known for Joyride and Hacktivist. Woods’ previous work includes Ladycastle and Niobe.
Survivor’s Crusade follows the plotline of the rebooted Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider games with Croft trying to unravel the mystery surrounding her father’s death. Her investigation takes her to Italy where she locates the evil Trinity, an ancient militant organization who is up to no good once again.
Determined to reshape the world in their image using what they think are magical artifacts, Trinity has unearthed and ransacked a secret cathedral dedicated to Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travelers. Croft takes on the Trinity operatives for possession of the Cross of Stars, a silver-plated crucifix. Just to prove she is a badass she even picks a bullet out of a wound in her shoulder when all is said and done.
Survivor’s Crusade #1 is told via cell phone messages sent back and forth between Croft and her fellow adventurer Jonah Maiava. That back and forth in itself is quite a clever storytelling device. The overall plot though is not all that fresh or inventive. Croft investigates an ancient shrine, she trades bullets and blows with Trinity, fans have been there and done that before in the films and games.
Just as the overall story is, Ashley A. Woods’ artwork is slightly underwhelming as well. Sometimes there is so much rich detail such as when Croft first enters the shrine of Saint Christopher. Sometimes things look so rudimentary, especially when it comes to the expressions on the character’s faces or the lack of detail in some of the action scenes themselves.
Survivor’s Crusade is a perfect jumping off point for any new fan. It is a decent first issue, however, the entire creative team is going to have to up their game, incorporate more mystery and intrigue, if they are going to rope readers in for the rest of Croft’s latest adventure.
- THE GOOD
- Lara Croft kicks ass.
- Straight-forward introduction for new readers.
- Lots of action.
- The cell phone message plot device is quite creative.
- THE BAD
- Recycled plot.
- Inconsistent art.
A decent first issue but the creative team has something to prove moving forward.