Well here we are, the last issue of Tomb Raider before Rise of the Tomb Raider releases in November. From the way issue #18 ended, I honestly had no idea this was the last one. The writer, Rhianna Pratchett, tweeted about it this morning, and thus educated me. I had to reread the issue again before writing about it, to see if I could see the hints that this is indeed the last one leading up into the next game. Now that I know it is the last issue, it honestly changes how the comic reads, and for the better. Nothing is wrapped up, and it appears that nothing will be wrapped up, as the events of the comic set the story for the game. Even though issue #18 does not have a “real” conclusion and it is incredibly light on the action, it’s one of the best issues of Tomb Raider I’ve read in a long time. And yes, I did feel this way before knowing it’s the last one; learning it’s the last one only makes it better.
Now that Lara and Sam and company are back from Mexico, neither are handling what went down very well, and neither are talking to one another in any sort of constructive way. Sam wants to avoid it and yell at Lara about being a control freak and constantly running away. The pot is calling the kettle black here, but Sam makes an extremely valid point yet again (she told her the same at the start of the Mexico arc).
And Sam isn’t alone in telling Lara what an idiot she is. Kaz yells at Lara the same thing about Yamatai that I’ve been saying for months. No one else has told Lara this nugget of truth before, so I suppose it’s only fair that Lara wouldn’t come to that conclusion herself.
Lara is finally coming to grips with the fact that she has not handled Yamatai or anything else that has happened to her well. She’s paranoid, overly controlling, and is too ready to run off on the next adventure before closing her last one. It’s unfortunate that it takes two friends to yell at her and one to get arrested (oh that’s not a spoiler, it’s the cover) for her to realize she needs help. The trailer for the upcoming game has shown Lara in a therapy session, and while the comic doesn’t go that route, it sends her down a rather healthy path toward recovery.
The bad news is that it looks like we aren’t saying goodbye to Yamatai or the Sun Queen any time soon. That said, it does look like we’re taking a fresh perspective on it, and the video game won’t drag down as much as the comics. If that’s really where the game was always going to go, then it really wasn’t the comic writers fault for constantly harping on the Yamatai story; they were doing what Crystal Dynamics told them to do, and they were doing the best they could with what they were given.
As much as I have disliked these comics, I’m afraid they will be necessary for connecting many dots in Rise of the Tomb Raider. The last issue releases tomorrow, July 29, 2015.
Digital review copy received from publisher.