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Tomb Raider: The Greatest Treasure of All

Posted: Saturday, October 1, 2005
By: Ray Tate



Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Joe Jusko
Publisher: Image

Let’s see now. I believe I added this particular Tomb Raider project on my want list in the year two thousand if not earlier. It’s now the midpoint of two-thousand-and-five. Was the book worth the wait? Hell yeah!

Joe Jusko has been painting since the seventies. His vivid work graced the seventies Marvel magazine covers, and without a doubt helped sell the black and white content inside. He has lost none of the right stuff. The Greatest Treasure of All is a mouth-watering feast of fantastic paintings. While other artists have since met the feat of making Lara proportionate and healthy, Jusko with just a taste of honey was the first, and the finished product makes him seem first all over again.

Jusko paints Lara not like a pin-up doll but as he would paint a credible super-hero. A run down of his painting process serves as an extra; if you ask me he could have just penciled and inked the book and you would still feel as if you had purchased something worth the coin.

Jusko transports Lara into an untamed wild of lush jungle life. Gorgeous surprises await her and a comedy relief character named Chase Carver. Excitement in violent yet beautiful glory rifles through the panels, and quieter scenes nod to realistic expression in flashback.

While it’s easy to overlook the story in The Greatest Treasure of All, Dan Jurgens excels with a story that’s worthy of Jusko’s experienced brushwork. The story at once offers a counterpoint to Lara’s less humanistic excursions and deepens her character.

Jurgens and Jusko preserve what has always worked for Lara--her confidence and perseverance. One scene is so telling. While Chase flounders as he flops toward the water. Lara takes the drop in stride and gracefully waits to plummet into parts unknown.

Tomb Raider: Greatest Treasure of All is a forty-eight page special having only two ads at the end. Forty pages depict what has to be called Joe Jusko’s masterpiece. The rest of the book focuses on Jusko’s artistic process and includes snaps of the models that he used to complete the greatest Tomb Raider treasure of all.



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