ComicBase contributor Larry Robertson tackles Claws, collections (Tomb Raider and Witchblade), and House of M—oh my!
Despite its title this one-shot does not include the Tomb Raider and the Witchblade teaming up for an adventure. This comic reprints two stories that were originally published in two separate one-shots in 2003: Witchblade: The Demon and Tomb Raider: Scarface’s Treasure.
The fourteen page Witchblade: The Demon is a dark and moody tale written by Mark Millar with wonderfully appropriate art by Jae Lee. The twelve page Tomb Raider: Scarface’s Treasure is written by Geoff Johns with the gritty art of Mark Texeira. These two shorts have absolutely nothing to do with one another. The only new material presented is the nice cover by Jae Lee but at $2.99 this is a much better deal than the original two one-shots which were higher priced Dynamic Forces limited editions.
This action-packed mini features the wonderfully fun art of Joe Linsner. This is a real treat for most Marvel fans who are already familiar with the numerous covers Linsner’s done over the years. The story is less enjoyable, but only slightly. Wolverine and the Black Cat are captured and dropped onto an island for a super-powered version of the Most Dangerous Game. Who would dare play games with the likes of Wolverine–only the mad gamer, Arcade!
It’s a fun ride and with a lot of nice moments, but writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray should have done a little continuity research before tackling Logan. There’s no originality in Wolverine having trouble boarding a plane—his claws were already covered years ago (he carries a S.H.I.E.L.D. issued medical card that says he has a metal plate).
House of M was Marvel’s blockbuster “wide-screen” event of 2005. This limited series spawned numerous spin-off one-shots and other minis that explored aspects of the story in greater detail from other point of views. The tragic effects of the House of M storyline will be felt across the Marvel Universe for years to come.
Writer Brian Michael Bendis deftly combines action (see Wolverine’s wild ride in #3) and pathos as Spider-Man, the Uncanny X-Men and what’s left of the New Avengers awaken in a strangely altered world ruled by Magneto where mutants are the upper class and baseline humans are the subordinate under class.