Tomb Raider King is one of the first titles launched by Ize Press, the new Yen Press imprint focusing entirely on Korean webtoons.
In a not-so-distant future, tombs containing magical objects appear all over the world. Humans don’t know what is going on, but they adapt quickly and companies with tomb excavation teams appear. Jooheon Sun is the leader of the excavation team for the world’s largest excavation company, TKMB. However, he hasn’t realised how crooked his boss is—he sends Jooheon and his team into a tomb to die.
Vowing revenge, Jooheon attracts the interest of a mysterious crow that sends him back 15 years into the past, when tombs were just starting to appear, and most of the world still didn’t know about them. Jooheon, not forgetting his vow of revenge, has a head start on collecting the magical objects called relics to forge his own path. Relics are not only objects but people too that materialise from the world’s history and legends, such as weapons, pharaohs and gods. Moreover, he not only has the memories of the future from his previous life, but he also has the same excavation skills acquired in previous raided tombs, which give him an advantage.
When the first tomb he encounters swallows his apartment, Jooheon uses it as his first step to vengeance. And the fact that he can beat agents from the US and Japan who already know about relics but wish for Korea to not know is just the plus side. So Jooheon starts clearing tomb after tomb, fuelling the ire of Japan that has a secret relic predicting the future that risks messing with Jooheon’s plans. Well, first things first, Jooheon has to take care of it—he can’t let anyone or anything get in his way.
I don’t even know how to start to describe this manhwa. It’s packed full of action from page one until the very end, and it made me wish that the second volume was already available. The illustrations are great and almost remind me of a video game, also thanks to the turn that the story takes because of the crow (read this manhwa to know what I’m talking about!).
Tomb Raider King Volume 1 is a full-colour manhwa, albeit kind-of dark and grim. There isn’t much to dislike about the manhwa, but if you’re picky like me, you’ll wish for some finishes on the cover (sparkles, shiny spot UVs) as well as glossier pages for the illustrations like many other webtoons seem to have.
Although Jooheon comes across as a straight-laced guy at the beginning, the betrayal from his boss breaks something in him, and it’s safe to say that he turns into a rotten and selfish person, getting his way by force and not being above killing. While he wanted to collaborate with relics in the past, he now knows how twisted they can be and what cost they require, and he doesn’t have the willingness to go down the same path. He was fed up with being a doormat, so now whether there are relics or humans, he’s going to deal with them with force. We don’t get to really know any other character in this manhwa, with the whole volume focusing on Jooheon and his path to revenge.
The crow remains a mystery. We don’t know what it really is. A relic, maybe? One can only speculate at this point. But I need to say that the crow has quite a nice sense of humour in the way it displays the skills to Jooheon. There are also three characters, all humans, whom Jooheon turns into his underlings, but there is nothing more about them. We’ll figure out whether they are important or not – at least compared to the crow that seems as if it will be fundamental to the development of the story.
Tomb Raider King Volume 1 was written by SAN.G, adapted by Yuns(REDICE) and illustrated by 3B2S. It was translated into English for Ize Press by TapasMedia.Inc, and Volume 2 is already up for pre-order, releasing in early 2023.