Following the journey of Jeanette and Sarah — two animal rights activists with a penchant for getting into violent situations — Lab Raider tells the tale of how, after breaking into a research lab, they make a disturbing discovery in a sub basement.
This isn’t a title I would usually be drawn to, which is exactly why I wanted to check it out. In each issue we learn more about both Sarah and Jeanette as we see exactly what brought them to this point in their lives, showing simultaneously what’s made them such close friends and the challenges they’ve faced along the way in pursuit of doing the right thing…by any means necessary. While dealing with some important political issues, Lab Raider also focuses on the darker side of animal rights activism.
In the past few years, there have been a few titles that have dealt with the idea of people trying to do the right thing while frequently making the wrong choices, and Lab Raider is a great example of this. Sarah and Jeanette are faced with endless challenges in their efforts to better the world, but ultimately they rarely respond to these situations in a considered way, often acting on gut reactions and seeking out revenge against anyone in their path. However, despite being faced with frequent adversity, this is a story that speaks volumes about friendship, and always having people to turn to during hard times.
Throughout the four issues writer Matt Miner dishes out some interesting ideas and creates a realistic friendship between the protagonists. Although there’s some unbelievable moments within the narrative, the dialogue remains natural and believable in every scene.
Creees Lee’s artwork suits the series really well and throughout these four issues he does a great job of depicting action and emotion from both the humans and animals in Lab Raider. I also feel that Josh Jensen’s colouring compliments Lee’s artwork well, subtly altering the tone between scenes to further contribute to the mood.
While there are some interesting ideas here, I do feel like ultimately Lab Raider needed more time to develop into the story it could’ve been. While it feels like there’s some potential for a continuation it was pretty clear from the outset that Sarah and Jeanette were on something of a doomed path, and it was unlikely they had any real chance of “getting out”.
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