Review – Tomb Raider Volume 1: Season of the Witch TP (Dark Horse/Turnaround)

22866Publisher: Dark Horse Comics/Turnaround Publisher Services
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Juan Gedeon
Release Date: 27th November 2014 (UK)

A few months ago I wrote a review for Tomb Raider #18 a spin off comic of the newly rebooted Tomb Raider video game. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the book and was intrigued to read this series from the beginning. As luck would have it, Dark Horse have released Tomb Raider Volume 1 cataloguing the first 6 issues of the ongoing series.

After surviving the lost island of Yamatai, Lara has had nightmares of the island almost every night. She sees the faces of the three who gave their lives to save her yet blames herself for their deaths. But Lara is not the only one whose mind is playing tricks on them as the rest of the Endurance crew have been keeping a secret from Lara, and a strange curse which has been haunting them since Yamatai.

I’m pleased to see the direction these books are taking in developing Lara’s character. Rather than it just being an ‘Indiana Jones Action Fest’, there’s a lot of psychological and mental damage put on this character and it’s refreshing to take a step back and analyse her mental state. The video games touched on this idea briefly but, of course, being a video game, more focus was put on the aforementioned IJAF.

Lara was once just a frightened archaeologist trapped on an island and had to adapt to survive but those survival instincts don’t just get washed away with the tides. Trying to return to her normal academic and archaeological lifestyle, her friends bring a piece of Yamatai back with her and with those two worlds now colliding she is slowly losing her mind.

While this is dealing with a very heavy subject matter, the story never takes itself too seriously and is shown to be very lighthearted and humorous at times. The art compliments that style with bright and colourful settings and not dark and brooding like in the games. It’s a good contrast to which balances out the book overall.

I’ve been a fan of Tomb Raider almost all my life, it was one of the first games I played growing up and Lara has always been my favourite female characters. This book gave me a new perspective of her character and really opened my eyes to the damage she causes herself trying to help others. I highly recommend any Tomb Raider fan to pick up this series too really delve deep into her psyche and understand just what all this tomb raiding can do to one person.

Rating: 4/5

[Click thumbnail for full size image]

You can purchase Tomb Raider vol. 1 from Turnaround Publisher Services (who generously provided the review copy of this title) via their official website.

DWavThe writer of this review was: Dean Walsh
You follow Dean on Facebook

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