Reviews

Short & Sweet: That Comic Game

It’s an all Wendy, all game-adaptations edition of Short & Sweet! We(ndy) reviews Tomb Raider #1 and Mass Effect: Foundation #8.

Tomb Raider #1 Gail Simone and Nicolás Daniel Selma. Dark Horse Comics, 2014. Tomb Raider #1
Gail Simone and Nicolás Daniel Selma
Dark Horse Comics

Putting Gail Simone on book with a female character of questionable purpose is usually a promise that she’ll turn that character into more than just the sum of her well-endowed parts. In this case, it’s Lara Croft—the adventurer who’s recently undergone a significant video game reboot—whom Simone has taken back to show us how Lara got to be the confident, kick-ass woman that Angelina Jolie got to play in the movies.

It isn’t entirely necessary to play the new game to get started on this comic, but you should know the basics. Lara survived a shipwreck and a dangerous island adventure that taught her a lot of things, not the least of which was learning to kill. Back home now, Lara suffers nightmares and other symptoms of PTSD, as do the few friends who made it out alive with her. Simone doesn’t pull punches on how badly they are all affected, but Lara still has her wits about her and is now determined to take care of her friends, including Jonah, whom she finds babbling nonsense in his desert trailer. Things suddenly turn upside down with the introduction of a strange artifact that clearly means trouble for Lara.

I was already intrigued when it was announced that Simone would be writing the comic, and I am not the least bit disappointed. This is a Lara I want to know more about, and the mystery has already piqued my interest.

— Wendy Browne

Mass Effect: Foundation #8 Mac Walters and Tony Parker Dark Horse ComicsMass Effect: Foundation #8
Mac Walters and Tony Parker
Dark Horse Comics

As a Mass Effect fan, there is little good I can say about this series. It is essentially a backstory for several popular characters from the video game that focuses on Maya Brooks, a character who was recently introduced in the downloadable content, Citadel, as Cerberus’ administrative support. The first issue wasn’t bad; it details Maya’s acceptance into the terrorist organization. The rest of the stories are just about shoehorning her into the lore to justify her presence and purpose. But, despite writer Mac Walters being the Senior Writer for the game itself, canon seems to be a meaningless concept to him. Unless, that is, his excuse is that characters, such as Tela Vasir and Miranda Lawson, were telling big ol’ lies (either that or they suffered from amnesia) when they told Commander Shepard the exact opposite of the things that go on in this story.

At least fans who raged about the cover have little to worry about with their beloved Thane Krios. The problem of his finger anatomy has been fixed, and despite the seductive pose, Maya does not get to romance the assassin; though there’s no real explanation given for his presence or what he does for her.

Frankly, I have yet to read a Mass Effect comic that has impressed me, and it makes me question Walters’ role in the game overall.

— Wendy Browne