Tomb Raider #4 Review

GameStop, Inc.

Lara Croft and the gang are going back to the Island of Yamatai and I couldn’t be happier because one of my initial gripes over the Tomb Raidercomic book series was the boring settings and plain backgrounds; Yamatai, in the 2013 game, was a lush environment beautifully rendered. It has caverns, cliffs, plains, and jungle which would look great in a comic book.

Well, too bad the cliffhanger of Tomb Raider #3 didn’t actually mean we were going to spend the next issue entirely on Yamatai; as a matter of fact we barely glimpse the infamous island, and it’s only at the very end of the issue. What we get are more boring backgrounds unbefitting of a title known for it’s extravagant locations and exotic locales. Simply put, we’re now in issue #4 of a book called Tomb Raider and we haven’t seen Lara raid any tombs. She’s encountered no traps, and no exciting set pieces. Is it still worth reading? Absolutely. Gail Simone is a fantastic writer and her dialogue makes for a fun comic, but I’m getting a little impatient; this book needs to bring some action fast.

The issue starts up with Lara preparing for her trip to Yamatai. She figures out a mystery that’s been hanging around the story since issue #2, and she does it in an extremely boring fashion. I expected more out of this plot device but there was hardly any investigation or stakes raised; everything just kind of conveniently solves itself. We have a useless dream or hallucination when really we could have just skipped ahead to Yamatai. This issue just felt like complete filler, and if it was removed it’d have very little impact on the overall arc.

Lara finds herself in a familiar predicament for those who played the game, only this time we’re not seeing a scared and innocent girl go through a traumatic experience, we see a warrior who’s been through hell and back stare back into the darkness without flinching. This is an exciting story element to bring up; Lara’s not on Yamatai to survive, she’s there on a mission and she came well-prepared. I’m looking forward to the next issue, but seriously, the action needs to be turned up several notches for me to feel this series is worth keeping up with.

Script: Gail Simone
Pencils: Nicolás Daniel Selma
Inks: Juan Gedeon
Colors: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Editor: Dave Marshall

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