August 20, 2016

'Tomb Raider Archives' Collects 50 Issues of the Classic Top Cow Comics

As part of the Tomb Raider 20th anniversary celebration, Crystal Dynamics has revealed Tomb Raider Archives, a four-volume set collecting the classic Top Cow comics originally published between 1999 and 2006.

Andy Park, the series' original artist, made the official announcement during the SDCC panel "20 Years of Tomb Raider: Lara Croft's Multimedia Empire." The book will include a foreword by Park and feature his artwork, as well as the work of renowned comic artists Michael Turner, Marc Silvestri, David Finch, and many more. Writers include Turner, Dan Jurgens, and others. The set will be published by Dark Horse, which produces the current Tomb Raider and Lara Croft comic series.

Here's a breakdown of the four volumes:

Tomb Raider Archives Vol. 1: Issues #1-15
Tomb Raider Archives Vol. 2: Issues #16-24, #26-34
Tomb Raider Archives Vol. 3: Issues #35-50, #0, #½
Tomb Raider Archives Vol. 4: Tomb Raider Journeys #1-12, one-shots

Volume 1 will go on sale November 30, 2016. It will have 408 pages in an 8" x 12" hardcover format. Volumes 2 through 4 will follow next year.

Apparently issue #25, "Endgame," a Tomb Raider–Witchblade crossover, could not be included for legal reasons. That's unfortunate, but if you simply must know what happened, copies of this issue can usually be found at reasonable prices on Amazon and eBay.

ADDENDUM (8/21/16): Check out Treeble's comment below the post for more info about which issues are needed to follow crossover plot completly. Thanks, Treeble!

The Top Cow Tomb Raider comics were previously collected in a single massive paperback called the Tomb Raider Compendium, which has been out of print for many years and fetches premium prices on used book sites.

For more info about the Tomb Raider Archives and other #TombRaider20 festivities, visit the official Tomb Raider Blog.

Tomb Raider Archives Volume 1
Tomb Raider Archives 4-volume set collects 50 issues of the best-selling Top Cow comic. Order from TFAW, Amazon, or Amazon UK.

4 comments:

  1. Don't mean to be a bubble buster or anything of the sort, but issue #25 is crucial to the storyline. I suspect jumping from #24 to #26 would make little or no sense, but just #25 on its own won't be enough -- anyone chasing that issue down should also look up Witchblade #60 and EVO #01 for the complete storyline arc. #26 picks up from where it ends.

    The Compendium itself didn't have any issue other than #25, but even then the beginning of #26 made it very clear a piece was missing.

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    1. It seems crazy that they couldn't get the licensing to include all of these, but I guess it was beyond their control. I will add a note to the main post to check your comment, since you clearly know more about it than I do. I think I read maybe 10 issues back in the day. ;)

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    2. Yeah, as we were discussing on Twitter at the time, if these were run by Image I think it'd be ok, but as Tomb Raider is now under Dark Horse it makes sense they couldn't reprint comic issues from a IP they don't own the rights to.

      I guess these licensing issues go way back though. At some point in 2007, Top Cow had planned on releasing the complete Endgame arc as a trade paperback. It was announced and even had an ISBN number attached to it, but never made it to the market... [http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=10280]

      I'm curious to see if they'll at least try to bridge the gap, but I honestly doubt it. :(

      Unlike the Compendium and now the Archives, the tankobons (for which I'm forever indebted to you ;)) include not only #25 but also the other two comics for the complete story. It misses out on the one-shots and special crossovers though, so there's no true "complete experience" just yet.

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Tomb Raider Archives - Collecting all the classic Top Cow Comics
Tomb Raider Archives 4-volume set collects 50 issues of the best-selling Top Cow comic. Order from TFAW, Amazon, or Amazon UK.