Awesome news of the day: Dark Horse is putting out a series that takes off where the most recent Tomb Raider game ended, and it’s being written by Gail Simone. Are you excited? We are excited.
Go under the cut for details about what to expect from the story, and when you can expect to see this project on the shelves of your local comic-book shop!
In an interview, Simone explained how the comic will fit into Lara’s new continuity:
…we start just a few weeks after the end of the game, and this is all in continuity, it will be Tomb Raider canon, and lead DIRECTLY into the sequel. This is what got me excited; we get to be part of Lara Croft history.
Considering Lara Croft’s history as character who exists purely as eye-candy for the player, the fact that she is being reclaimed as a true, fleshed-out heroine (by some of the female writing greats of the industry, like Rhianna Pratchett) seems indicative of a shift in the portrayal of female characters at-large. Not only are characters that were once flat vectors of sexual desirability being given identities outside of their appearance, but they are also being taken under the wing of writers who are increasingly women.
Simone had this to say:
It’s true that the earliest games didn’t really give deeply emotional motives to the characters, but damn, they were fun. And groundbreaking in several ways.
The way I see Lara now is, she’s not after treasure. She’s not really after thrills. She’s a questioner, she’s an explorer. She wants answers.
The thing is, she’s completely unstoppable. That’s what I love. Everyone underestimates her, and that is a terrible mistake to make.
There’s no way to deny that Lara Croft is one of the single most recognizable video game characters of all time. She is famous for being the iconic adventuring woman, the gun-toting badass of the world, taking names as she globetrots to find treasure and stop anyone who would get in her way. That character was always exciting, but also simple. She had her singular motivation and didn’t get a chance to be explored as a person who is more than her badassery. That is part of what makes the last Tomb Raider game so fantastic. In the words of Gail Simone:
All we’re doing here is showing the journey—how does a British schoolgirl become this adventure icon, this magnificent, dangerous woman?
She is a complete person, and it’s exciting to see her basic identifying tenets written into the context a larger life story.
As a side note, Simone’s friendship with Pratchett is pretty much fantastic?
I absolutely have, and what a joy it is to count her as a friend, now. She is simply an astonishing storyteller…the writing in the Tomb Raider game is so natural and believable and convincing, you really feel Lara’s pain and struggle. A lot of that is pure Rhianna.
She goes on to mention the Red Sonja anthology they will be writing along with lots of other famous women authors (which we have reported on before).
Sadly, we’ll have to wait a while to see the fruits of this project: expect the comic series to be out around the end of February 2014. Simone will be at the Dark Horse panel at SDCC, so if you’re there go check it out to get all of the details right from the source!