Review: Lab Raider #1

Lab Raider #1

Lab Raider #1 returns us to the world crafted by writer Matt Miner. It’s a world that blends real-world animal activism with an over the top sense of storytelling comics can deliver.

Lab Raider picks up on the world that started in Liberator and followed up in Critical Hit. Jeanette and Sarah are still working together to liberate animals and free them from experimentation. This volume has a bit of a twist though bringing in a horror element to it all.

Lab Raider #1 continues the tense nature of previous volumes. But, unlike those, Miner uses some of the tricks he deployed in his horror series Poser. Throughout the issue, there’s a build up until the eventual reveal at the end. It creates a ride that you both want to see where it goes and don’t at the same time. The series has never shied away from violence and here that continues. Both seen and implied, this is a debut issue that has more in common with slasher horror films than it does with the message focused previous volumes.

The art by Creees Lee with color by Josh Jensen and lettering by Matt Krotzer helps build all of that tension. The art and design are fantastic but there’s still unease about it all. It doesn’t have a line heavy “dirt” look but everything is just slightly muted in a way that adds a dour look to it. The art helps create an atmosphere that builds up to the horror that awaits at the end.

While the series still has a focus on animal rights and activism, this latest volume feels a bit different. It’s not quite as in your face with its message. Instead, it focuses on its main to protagonists. We see the impact from the previous volumes on them. And, their mission this time while still political in nature results in a twist that’s much more in line with what you’d expect in a horror film. This feels like a new direction for the series and Miner is showing some massive growth in his writing bringing in previous success here. Whether you agree with animal activism or not Lab Raider #1 is a solid start and has me wanting to see where it goes next.

Story: Matt Miner Art: Creees Lee
Color: Josh Jensen Letters: Matt Krotzer
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Black Mask Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review