Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Lazarus, Volume One


Greg Rucka has always been hit-or-miss for me...I've enjoyed a lot of his comic book work, but I detested his various runs on Batman, and his endless Crime Bible mythos stories for DC. I hated what he did to The Question and The Spectre, but I loved his GOTHAM CENTRAL arcs. So I went into his new creator-owned series with low expectations.

 And I was very happily surprised to find that I loved it.

 LAZARUS, VOLUME ONE presents a suitably dystopian future that is ruled by mafia-like "Families", who control huge portions of land, and have small groups of soldiers and trusted workers. The rest of the people under their control are called "waste". You can imagine how they're treated.

 LAZARUS is the story of Forever Carlyle, "Lazarus", or Enforcer, or The Family Carlyle. Forever is the youngest of the Carlyle siblings, and is tasked with protecting the Carlyle property and holdings. This first arc is mostly world-building, as we get to know Forever and her family, and the various other Families that the Carlyle clan shares a tenuous truce with.

 MINOR SPOILERS BELOW!!!!



 I really enjoyed this book, but I was left scratching my head about just what Forever knows about her condition/role as the Carlyle "Lazarus"....The Family moves Heaven and Earth to keep her in the dark about just what she is, but she is referred to as a "Lazarus" repeatedly throughout the book, and toward the end, she has a hellacious fight that finds another Family's Lazarus reduced to the state of any given Terminator at the end of their respective film: A metal skeleton with bits of flesh hanging off. So....does she really think she's human, or what?

 END SPOILERS!!!

 Whatever...This book was good enough to hook me. I'll definitely be back for Volume Two. Forever is an engaging, interesting character, Rucka has created an interesting world, and Artist Michael Lark, already a favorite of mine, has really kicked up his artwork a notch or three.  His work here is phenomenal.

 Highly recommended.

 Image Comics provided a review copy.