Tomb Raider #2: Mystic Artifacts
by Dan Jurgens, Andy Park (Top Cow, 2001)

Saga of the Medusa Mask was entertaining enough to bring me back for a second comic-book adventure with Lara Croft. Had Mystic Artifacts come first, I'm not sure I'd have returned to the series for another look.

Don't get me wrong. Andy Park's art is still lush and gorgeous. And Dan Jurgens' storytelling isn't terrible, but he falls back on a few mismatched themes and hackneyed plot devices that make this outing with the Tomb Raider, well, less than fresh.

The first of two stories in Mystic Artifacts couples a lost world with live dinosaurs and cavemen with Morgan le Fay and the lost stone of Merlin. These concepts just don't mesh together well, and the story falters about as much as you'd expect. I mean, Morgan le Fay and cavemen??!

The second tale involves yet another secret society of people you've never heard of but has been around for centuries and wields more power than God. It also revolves around the Eye of Shaherettin, a gaudy green bauble that Lara says she's never even heard of on one page, but just two pages later she's spouting legends about the jewel like an expert. And people wonder why comic-book continuity gets a bad rap.

Still, the series is batting .500 so far, so I'll see what the third volume has to offer.

review by
Tom Knapp

14 March 2009

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