If the advertisements leading up to the 2013 release of Tomb Raider are to be believed, Lara Croft is a survivor. Years of being relegated to a blend of lady-hero badass and video game sex symbol have worn heavy on the virtual explorer. In spite of exploitative media and rumors of nude codes, Lara has returned in a solid action-adventure game. Similarly, the recent release of a new comic from Dark Horse has provided her with a rebirth in print media as well.
It was back in 1997 when Lara Croft made her first appearance in comic books, as a cross-over in Tomb Raider/Witchblade #1. From this initial Top Cow Productions offering, Lara went on to have a comic book run of fifty issues based on the original games from Core Designs. A glance at a gallery of art from these comics reveals that many of them featured the Lara Croft of the early PlayStation days: top-heavy, scowling-yet-seductive, and often wearing an improbable wardrobe for adventuring. Just as the latest game took heavy redesigns for the beloved character, the offerings from Dark Horse follow suit with a fresh comic for the British bombshell.
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Last week, Dark Horse Comics posted the first of a four-issue series called EVE: True Stories. What makes these tales stand out from their video game comic brethren is that they actually happened(well, more or less). Unlike the actions in Mario or Sonic games that occur every time a player sits down to play, the details in EVE: True Stories chronicle an online event that involved thousands of players back in 2009.
I must admit to having almost no experience with EVE: Online, save for knowledge of its existence as a vast and complex massively multiplayer game. I have seen screenshots of intergalactic battle cruisers and read stories of the need for economic analysis of the game world, both of which made the experience of play seem rather daunting. Having read the first issue of True Stories, I am at least a bit curious about this rather social spacecraft simulation. The artwork is made up of heavy contrast and shadows which serve to heighten the sense of espionage and cunning in the plot thus far. These dark illustrations come as no surprise considering artist Tomm Coker’s work on Daredevil: Noir. The well-paced story is written by Daniel Way, who has quite a bit of experience working with Marvel Comics (of note, Wolverine: Origins). Overall, the first issue is worth a read, especially considering that Dark Horse is offering it as a free digital comic.
What makes this entire comic book event rather exciting is the potential of such a collaboration. With the advent of capture technology and Let’s Play videos, game enthusiasts have been able to share their experiences with the world at large like never before. Those fierce skirmishes in Halo or the epic raids in World of Warcraft are no longer confined to a handful of screens. The stories that players create in eSports competitions become international news. And thanks to the efforts of CCP Games and Dark Horse Comics, there is one more outlet that chronicles the tales of games and the players behind them.
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All images courtesy of the EVE: Online Community
A new Tomb Raider comic book series was announced at the 2013 San Diego Comic con. Written by famous comic book scribe Gail Simone and published by Dark Horse comics, this series will involve the newly rebooted Lara Croft and take place directly after this years video game release, following the newly established cannon. Are you getting this? A new Tomb Raider comic book series with ridiculous talent behind it is incoming! Fans rejoice!
Wait, there’s more. This comic book series announcement was extra special for fans because it was two-fold: Not only is a comic book series involving the new Tomb Raider cannon coming out, it will be leading directly into a video game sequel. That’s right – a SEQUEL. Acting as a bridge between the newest Tomb Raider game and its upcoming sequel, this comic book will (I assume) lay the groundwork between the games and get us all ready for a brand new adventure with Lara Croft! The comic book series is said to be coming out in February 2014, the video game sequel has not been officially revealed and does not have any kind of release date or further information.
My first thought was “no way” when a friend of mine brought this to my attention. I looked it up and was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. I’ve been a huge Tomb Raider fan since the first game’s release back in 1996. I have always been drawn to the games and their famous heroine, and I assume I always will be. When the reboot came out earlier this year I was ecstatic. It was a great game and a fantastic new way to portray Lara Croft. I’m really excited about a comic book series, but I’m even more excited about the reveal of a planned video game sequel. I was worried there may not be one due to Square Enix’s reports on low profitability and poor sales.
One of the cooler things about all of this is that Gail Simone is a gamer herself, and has said that she loves classic Lara Croft and that this opportunity is compelling to her. That’s very cool. I feel like the best comic books are written by people who like the universe and characters they are writing about, which is obvious. I mean we all know that writing/talking about things we like is much more informative and fun than talking about stuff we don’t really care about. I can’t wait to hear more information about this series and the video game sequel, I love to know what Lara has been up to since her adventure in the Dragon’s Triangle. It feels great to be a Tomb Raider fan right now!