The transition from other mediums into comics can be a bumpy and perhaps no character typifies this better than Lara Croft. Though not much of a video game player at any point in my life, for the short period that I was involved with video games I did play the first couple of Tomb Raider games from beginning to end. There was a certain appeal to the character which never really translated well to other mediums. Despite Angelina Jolie’s star power, she could not make much of the character on the big screen, and in comics the character has often struggled to find an identity. Probably a big part of this is the application of the character over specific time frames. Most people can cover an entire 3-5 issue story arc in under an hour, but in video games a single story arc takes days to complete. The rich and complex scenarios which occur in comics are difficult to reproduce because the reader expects the same out of the character which is often difficult to duplicate, especially as there is a limited amount of material upon which to draw.
In the case of Lara Croft, while she is supposed to be an accomplished and unrivaled archaeologist, this often does not come through as she is instead portrayed as a soldier of fortune, using her military training and survival skills for a different purpose. This is the case in Tomb Raider #9 as the character has been thrown into the radioactive hot zone that is Chernobyl and is forced to face off against what is essentially another mercenary. The story in itself is not inherently flawed though it is somewhat unspectacular in its concept, but Lara Croft does not really come out of the story, rather the character could be any of a number of similar characters. Even imagining her speaking in a British accent has no effect as the dialogue is fairly straightforward and usually uninspired. This is even all the more frustrating as Lara is being written by comic veteran Gail Simone as well as Rhianna Pratchett, scriptwriter for the games, as one would expect the two of them to get the character on track.
Fans of the character will therefore likely be disappointed with this particular story arc, even if there is nothing really wrong with it either. At the heart of the character is one very deeply versed in an Indiana Jones model, and it is generally wise to let the characters continue the same dynamic which made them popular in the first place. The series remains similar to how most of the comic portrayals of Lara Croft have been, equally both adequate and off-the-mark.
Story: Rhianna Pratchett and Gail Simone Art: Derlis Santacruz
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Pass
Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review
Father’s Day tells the story of a man on the run and a lost long lost daughter that is trying to find him. While the story opens with a bang and finishes with one, there is little going on in the middle. For those familiar with comics as a medium, they are likely to see parallels here with a more famous entry, A History of Violence. A History of Violence (later made into a movie) tells a similar story of a man on the hideout from a violent past, who is once again thrown back into his old life by events outside of his control.
Father’s Day is similar in a lot of ways to this story, at least on the surface and the unique aspects of the story, at least from the first issue seem mostly superficial. Instead of a blue collar father with a loving family, this is a man on the run whose daughter discovers him, and it is the daughter where any originality in this story might come. Unfortunately for the story the daughter comes off as mostly two dimensional and although she is portrayed as edgy, it doesn’t really come through for the character either. The resulting tension between father and daughter is therefore more of an afterthought to the two of them being chased by random mob hitmen. As with the case of other series, it is therefore likely the same with this one that while it offers this story over four issues, it might have been better to go for more and to build up the characters first as opposed to this story we were immediately demanded to care about the father and daughter that we know almost nothing about.
In a sense there is nothing really wrong with this story, but at the same time it lacking in both originality for its content and in the approachability of the characters. There is some promise here, as with such randomly presented characters, that indeed something could come of this by the second issue, but equally there is probably not enough of a hook here for the first issue to draw in the readers for another try.
Story: Mike Richardson Art: Gabriel Guzmán
Story: 6.0 Art: 6.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass
Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Dark Horse Comics has released a preview of Resurrectionists #1, a new creator-owned series from writer Fred Van Lente and art by Maurizio Rosenzweig, Moreno Dinisio, and Juan Doe.
Are you near-death experienced? Framed architect-turned-thief Jericho Way has discovered he’s a Resurrectionist, one of a select group of people who can not only remember their past lives, but become them. Two groups are now after his services—the Sojourn corporation, which wants to exploit his powers for mysterious purposes, and a motley crew of modern-day tomb robbers who have been trying to pull the same impossible heist for 3,000 years—and if Jericho joins them, he may steal back his own future!
Resurrectionists #1 is on sale November 12th.
Aw Yeah! Itty Bitty Mask! Dark Horse Comics has released a preview of Itty Bitty Comics: The Mask #1 by Art Baltazar and Franco.
The Mask is back, and it’s Herman Shazbert’s turn! When the mild-mannered zookeeper buys his wife a strange mask, the whole family wants to try it on! But watch out, Grandma Shazbert—it will put quite the pep in your step!
Itty Bitty Comics: The Mask #1 is on sale November 12th.
Dark Horse kicked off New York Comic Con with the reveal of the latest release in its growing line of figures based on characters from the smash-hit HBO series Game of Thrones!
Hodor has emerged as a favorite character in the HBO series, often seen carrying the disabled Bran.
Dark Horse is now revealing a special sculpture of the two characters: Hodor with Bran Stark in a woven carrier strapped to his back. All the details from the series are captured, and the exacting paint application conveys the subtleties of character likeness and costume. Practically a double figure, it measures over nine inches tall, keeping the size proportions of previous releases in the line.
Hodor and Bran join other new Dark Horse Game of Thrones figures in April 2015: Tywin Lannister, Joffrey Baratheon, and Petyr (“Littlefinger”) Baelish.
The Game of Thrones: Hodor and Bran Stark figure will have a suggested retail price of $39.99. The figure is slated for an April 15, 2015, on-sale date in stores.
From superstar writer Daniel Way and artist Jon Proctor comes the long-awaited complete Gun Theory.
Everyone who’s laid eyes on Harvey is dead. That’s because Harvey is a hired killer whose victims never see him until it’s too late. Through years of practice, Harvey’s appearance and demeanor have become so devoid of humanity that he has become invisible. Unknowable. Untouchable. Until Harvey meets a woman who, strangely, can see him.
The Gun Theory hardcover is on sale September 30, 2015, from Dark Horse Comics.
Dark Horse Comics has released a preview of Grindhouse: Drive In, Bleed Out #1 from Alex de Campi and R. M. Guéra
Grindhouse is back from the dead, and it’s meaner, badder, and dirtier than ever! In the first of four new exploitation opuses, Scalped’s R. M. Guéra joins series writer Alex de Campi for “Slay Ride,” a brutal holiday tale of revenge and supernatural terror in the driven snow!
Grindhouse: Drive In, Bleed Out #1 is on sale November 12th.
Created by Eisner Award winner Eric Powell, The Goon is set to take 2015 by storm!
Once upon a Hard Time is a climactic miniseries that has major consequences for the Goon and his supporting cast. If you’re a Goon fan, you can’t miss this.
After the tragic events of Occasion of Revenge, the witch coven believes that control of the unnamed town will soon be in their grasp and the Goon’s tragic soul will contribute to the curse that increases their power. But has their plot destroyed the Goon or created a monster too savage for them to withstand?
The Goon: Once upon a Hard Time #1 is on sale February 4, 2015, from Dark Horse Comics.
Since my return to regular comic reading I have been seeing these pesky little imprints on comics that look somewhat interesting. Always printed by Dark Horse, they say “Black Sky Project.” The problem with me is that I am somewhat of an absolute reader, in that I read absolutely everything or absolutely nothing. In terms of Project Black Sky, I have never really known where to start, despite the fact that most series are not very advanced, and so I never really did get into any of them. I would rather start with a #1 and then sort out what I want to read after I have worked my way through the series. As if Dark Horse was reading my thoughts I discovered that they will be releasing a Project Black Sky Sampler, including the first issues of each of the series under this imprint.
Suffice to say, that for anyone that is curious about any of the series or the overall tie-in that this is an excellent place to start. Each of the main four main characters was introduced and explained and the plot got going for each of them. In my opinion, the best was by far Ghost, whose supernatural background does not match my own tastes very well, but whom is well written and well-drawn as well as providing an engaging story from the get-go. If there is one criticism of this sampler it is that going in that I thought that Project Black Sky would be better explained than it was, as opposed to this being essentially just a collection. That is likely to be the response of the readers that have already been invested into these series. This issue is not really for them, unless they are trying to complete a collection.
The overall effect of this release is what it aimed for though, at least in terms of myself as a reader. While three of the series I am happy to follow in passing, I am likely going to give Ghost a try on a monthly basis, and for anyone interested in a superhero setting outside of the Big Two, they might just find something, or everything, that they are after in this book.
Story: Tim Seeley, Fred Van Lente, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Christpher Sebela and Frank Barbiere Art: Mike Norton, Freddie Williams II, Ryan Sook and Colin Lorimer
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read
Boom studios and Archaia provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.
Following the critically acclaimed first series, The Witcher House of Glass, Dark Horse Comics and CD Projekt Red are set to bring fans a new adventure of Geralt of Rivia, the legendary monster hunter from the hit video game franchise The Witcher.
From Eisner-winning writer Paul Tobin with art by Joe Querio, Fox Children will lead Geralt aboard a ship of fools, renegades, and criminals, where some passengers are more dangerous than others, but one is hiding a hideous secret!
The Witcher games have collectively earned over 360 industry awards and have sold more then 8 million copies worldwide. Get to know Geralt of Rivia with the release of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on February 24th, 2015, on Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4!
The Witcher Fox Children #1 is on sale April 15th, 2015.