Monday, September 14, 2015

Review - Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen #1 (@DarkHorseComics)


"Tough girl you've got here."

At this point, Lara Croft needs no introduction. She's an adventurer of the highest pedigree with a penchant for finding artifacts no one else can seem to find. It's not a normal day for her if she's not jetsetting across the globe and Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen #1 from Dark Horse Comics is no exception on any of the above fronts. The issue is written by Corinna Bechko, illustrated by Randy Green, inked by Andy Owens, colored by Michael Atiyeh and lettered by Michael Heisler.

It’s up to Lara to stop a group of cultists from causing worldwide cataclysmic devastation and ancient ivory artifacts hold the key to both salvation and destruction! It’s a race against time in Lara’s new quest, filled with incredible action, dual pistols and high-spirited adventure.

It's immediately clear to readers and fans of Lara Croft that Bechko isn't straying too far from a familiar formula in Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen #1. Lara is given an introduction befitting of her reputation, as she's traversing a dangerous cliff in search of something, but then Bechko quickly places her in a much more serene setting. It's the latter setting that sets the table for the remainder of the series and Bechko does a good job of featuring a lot of globetrotting in the first issue. The dialogue is pretty effective at reminding the reader that Lara is in a much more confident place now in her treasure-hunting ways. The Tomb Raider game released a few years ago essentially rebooted the character and Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen #1 fits pretty nicely within that new universe.

The illustrations in Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen #1 are sound, as Green clearly has a good grasp on what makes Lara Croft's look and style. He doesn't oversexualize her (any more than wearing shortish shorts and a tank top does on its own) and it's relatively believable she can move from a dangerous adventure to a university office without really changing. The Tomb Raider series in general has always bordered on mysticism in its universe and the supposed "villain" of the series bears some supernatural trademarks without coming across as completely fantastical. Owens' inks are solid and effectively outline the characters well, while Atiyeh relies on colors that wash the book in greens and blues.

Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen #1 is a very solid and safe foray into the world of Lara Croft. It doesn't take long for everyone's favorite adventuring heroine to get herself into a spot of bother and she's clearly on a mission to track down an artifact with mystical powers. Bechko's script seems to take an approach that throws danger at Lara, calms things down and then ramps up the action by the end, ensuring that the series has plenty of ups and downs overall. Green renders Lara's universe in a way that's familiar to anyone who has even a passing knowledge of who Lara Croft is. Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen #1 continues to develop the universe created by the Tomb Raider reboot and does so in a way that doesn't stray too far from the familiar.

Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen #1 is in stores October 7.

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