Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Review - Tomb Raider: Inferno #1 (@DarkHorseComics)


"Our days of peace are over."

Exploring tombs is something that's more of a hobby than a profession. For Lara Croft in Tomb Raider: Inferno #1 from Dark Horse Comics, that profession comes with plenty of occupational hazards. The issue is written by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, illustrated by Phillip Sevy, colored by Michael Atiyeh and lettered by Michael Heisler.

Trinity is on high alert--they know Lara Croft is coming and now, under the shrewd command of a new officer, they're ready for any surprises, but Lara is steadfast in her quest to uncover their secrets. Though typically equally prepared, this time Lara may just find herself one step behind.

There's been a recent trend with Lara Croft where the goal is pretty much have life beat her within an inch before she perseveres--something that Lanzing and Kelly embrace in the issue. In fact, it seems as if the events of the issue are explicitly presented by the writing duo to put Lara in a predicament where she has to fight for survival. Lanzing and Kelly do a good job of introducing the reader to said events, primarily through Lara recording her exploits for posterity. Lara's personality is very fierce and Lanzing and Kelly capture that ferocity through her relentlessness. The end of the issue feels a little rote in its presentation, but Lanzing and Kelly use the ending well for setting up the duration of the series.

Sevy's linework is an interesting mix of vast, polar landscapes and characters making their way through it. That being said, Sevy's renderings of the characters feels a little too stylized and detracts from the intensity of the issue's events somewhat. Sevy also empties the gutters throughout the issue, drawing more emphasis to what's illustrated within them and accenting certain action sequences. There are a couple of panels where Sevy focuses on the mouths of the characters in an attempt to focus on emotion, but those panels end up feeling a little strange. Atiyeh's colors are bright and do a great job of contrasting the characters against the stark, white snowscapes.

Tomb Raider: Inferno #1 serves as both an introduction and continuation of the trials and tribulations of Lara Croft. She finds herself in a predicament that's very familiar in her life, but it's expected that she'll have the fortitude to come out on top. The writing duo sort of crash through Lara's modern-day origins for new readers before diving into the action, making the issue a good jumping on point for new readers unfamiliar with her fiery personality. Sevy's pencils are pretty solid throughout the issue. Tomb Raider: Inferno #1 is worth a read for fans of the series or those looking to learn what all the fuss is about Lara Croft.

Tomb Raider: Inferno #1 is available now.

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