Tomb Raider: Dark Waters #14 Review

Story By Rhianna Pratchett
Pencils By Derlis Santacruz
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics


Everything you love about Tomb Raider is in issue #14, Dark Waters. Lara hires body doubles, there’s a car chase, a survived shark attack, guitr3le and deception, and a link to a mythological beast and a shadowy underground organization. So, basically everything you’ve come to love and expect from Tomb Raider, if you played the games, or even if you just watched the movies.

In this issue, Lara and her team travel to Mexico, exploring a link between the chupacabra and Las Serpientes Que Caminan (The Walking Serpents). They are delayed by Sam, who has some kind of break down and throws herself into storming, shark-infested waters. The boat’s captain is injured, but by the end of the issue they’re back on mission, ready to dive into the jungles of Mexico.

Action-packed and slightly humorous, this issue succeeds in setting up a great story arc. Rhianna Pratchett wastes no time jumping into the thick of it, and Derlis Santacruz’s artistic style accompanies Pratchett’s story perfectly. However, if some of the female characters didn’t wear different clothes, and have a different haircut, I might not be able to tell them apart. Part of the problem is that there isn’t a lot of variation in distinctive personalities. And facial expressions – especially Lara’s – are pretty limited. The characters themselves come off as “non-interesting,” even though the story seems strong.

Pratchett has writer credits on a ton of video games – Tomb Raider, Bioshock Infinite, Risen, Overlord, Prince of Persia, and Mirror’s Edge, just to name a few. She has relatively fewer writer credits on comic books, but she can clearly craft a great story. Characters translate different when people read them versus when people watch/play them, but I think Pratchett will catch on, and her characters will improve.

Otherwise, I’m really looking forward to digging into the rest of this series, and seeing the way it progresses. If nothing else, we can count on great action sequences, interspersed with comedy and mythology – Tomb Raider staples, as far as I’m concerned.

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