Sunday, March 17, 2013

Retro Review: Tomb Raider/Witchblade

In a previous post I mentioned how I when I was a adolescent/teenager my dad generally refused to buy video games for me. So I never got an Nintendo 64 or a Playstation like a lot of my peers. My dad was a little anti-video game and had just decided it was a waste of time and something I should be outgrowing. Oddly enough he was always supportive of my rather all consuming comic book habit. I guess he just figured better for me to be reading than pushing buttons. But, while he wouldn't shell out for a new system, he would occasionally get me games for the PC. One of those games was Tomb Raider, a game high on my Christmas list for that year and one that I was instantly hooked on the moment I started playing it. I simply adored both the game and the character. A hot female version of Indiana Jones with a sexy British accent, what's not to love?

So one day I was reading a Witchblade comic, one of the few non Marvel or DC books I even sorta followed at the time and I saw this advertised, with a form to mail in and get it. And when I saw I could get a Tomb Raider comic book, the song Suddenly by Billy Ocean began playing in my head. Truly, you wake up and suddenly you're in love.

Our story starts with an old lady calling 911 to report that there's some sort of domestic disturbance next door. Next thing you know a big demon monster holding the body of some guy comes bursting through the wall. And who's chasing after it? None other than Lara Croft.
After a firefight the winged demon monster gets away. We then cut to Lara being interviewed on the scene by the police and specifically Detective Sara Pezzini the current bearer of the Witchblade. Lara tells Sara her story that she was paid by a 90 year old former mob boss named Lucas Moralito who was seeking a magic MacGuffin amulet that will give him immortality and stuff. When she gets it for him he reveals that he wanted it so he could get revenge on the children and grandchildren of his enemies. She tries to take the amulet and it breaks releasing a big dragon demon monster.
It's been going around carrying out Moralito's plan and Lara has been trying to stop it. Sara tells he she's free to go if she can go with her to help her stop it. So we have a nice little Lara Croft/Witchblade team up as they sneak into Moralito's compound, find out he is indeed the dragon/demon thingie, and get the jewel off his chest taking away his power. Lara is about to put a bullet in the old bastards head when Sara stops him, saying he should face the law. Of course there is no way any of this can be proven in court so he doesn't even get charged. Honestly, Sara came off as kind of a dumbass here.

So that was Tomb Raider/Witchblade. Was it as good as I remember? No, not really. It's really not the best intro to Lara, it doesn't do all that much to get Tomb Raider fans into Witchblade, it just really felt like just another issue of Witchblade that happened to have Lara Croft in it. Odd since Tomb Raider got top billing. Really it just felt like a cash in. Also it seemed odd that Lara was completely unaware of what the Witchblade was. It seems like an ancient weapon shrouded in legend is exactly the kind of thing she should know a ton about. This would eventually lead to a Tomb Raider ongoing book that took place in the Top Cow universe of Witchblade, Magdalen, and Darkness, and it was a pretty decent series, but this could have been a much better introduction to Lara Croft then it was. All that being said it's not a bad issue at all. In fact if you're a Tomb Raider fan I would say give it a read. It can be a little pricey, but there's a reprint called Tomb Raider/Witchblade Revisited that is usually pretty cheap.

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