After reintroducing the survivors of the Endurance and showing how they’ve fared after their ordeal in the first issue, Tomb Raider #2 gets the story moving properly. This issue sets up the main plot and delivers just enough mystery and intrigue to keep readers in suspense.
Note: Spoilers are below so beware.
Last issue ended with a freak flood happening in the Arizona desert. Lara has to muster up courage and save her friend Jonah from drowning. This introductory scene was very reminiscent of the video game since Lara risks her life for another… even if she’s scared witless while doing so. Even after escaping the flood, the two aren’t safe and we see Lara take another person’s life. Despite having taken out so many Solarii back on Yamatai she is still uncomfortable with killing.
Lara and her companions may have left Yamatai but that doesn’t mean they’re safe from its evil. We learn that the four survivors each have a golden artifact that they’ve brought back with them. These things are cursed and are endangering the ones who possess them. The dam in Arizona most likely burst because Jonah has a piece… just like Lara does.
Apparently Lara has (somehow) forgotten that she was the one who told her friends to keep the golden avatars and that she herself has one. Lara thinks that perhaps her ordeal on the island caused her mind to erase this. However, it is most likely due to the artifact itself seeing as how Jonah has completely forgotten about almost drowning in the flood.
The artifacts aren’t the only things that the remaining Endurance crew have to face from Yamatai though. This issue introduces us to a group of Solarii. Whether they are from Yamatai itself or just serving the Sun Queen Himiko is uncertain. Since Himiko’s curse is lifted and people can come and go from Yamatai, these men could certainly be Solarii from the island but this isn’t made 100% clear. What we do know is that this group wants the four artifacts returned to them. They threaten Lara and Reyes right in the middle of a restaurant and now have Reye’s daughter as a hostage.
The (apparent) leader of this Solarii group gives his daughter a dirty gown which transforms her into a powerful creature. We see her in this form at the very end of the issue where she kills a professor friend of Lara’s for a small statue that resembles her. This statue was brought back from the island but it also has a companion statue that is currently being toured around Europe.
The writing from Gail Simone is just as strong here as it was in the previous issue. Like I said in my review of issue #1, I can hear the voices of the video game characters when I read this. I also like how this issue answers questions raised by the previous one but also establishes some new questions as well. The fact that this story is very true to being a comic book while retaining the essence of the video game is a testament to Simone’s prowess as a writer.
While Nicolas Daniel Selma’s art is still generally good, I feel that it wasn’t as strong here as it was in the last issue. There was more action this time around, however, the problem I had with the characters coming off as too stiff became even worse. The flow of the story was good and it was easy to understand what was happening but the drawings themselves just didn’t have the fluidity that I would have liked. Michael Atiyeh’s colors are still too “bright” given the tone of the story but I’ve gotten used to them by now.
Now that the main threat has been established, the story has truly started. For the immediate future, I’m looking forward to seeing how Lara and Reyes will get out of their predicament with the Solarii in the restaurant. As for what happens after that, I want the story to delve more into the artifacts and what exactly their power is. I’m also looking forward to Lara facing off against that female creature seen at the end of the issue.
The biggest complaint I have is that I have to wait a month between issues. I already liked the series before but now I’m fully invested.