After a spectacular opening, “Lazarus” #1 becomes a smart and action-packed sci-fi adventure. Within the first few pages, Ruck pulls you into his dystopic world. “Lazarus” has something to say as readers are given a chilling glimpse into the future.
WRITTEN BY: Greg Rucka
ART BY: Michael Lark
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: June 26th, 2013
Minding her own business, Forever Carlyle has suddenly witnessed a group of thieves robbing her house. The robbers have somehow managed to break into the Carlyle family vault. These so-called burglars are not looking for money or jewelry. They are actually there stealing the water and food supply. Forever doesn’t know whether to call the police or tell the criminals to leave. The intruders then make the decision for her. One of the robbers raises his gun and shoots Forever between the eyes. But, this isn’t the end of Forever. This is just the start of a really bad day for her.
Writer Greg Rucka creates a dystopian future that is falling apart. Society has become dominated by the wealthy and political families. What’s interesting here is that Rucka’s writing is heavily influenced by the Occupy Wall Street movement. At its core, the eternal battle between the Haves and Have Nots is a common theme in many sci-fi tales. The poor will always be at war with the rich, but what makes this tale different than most is the main protagonist, Forever.
Forever Carlyle is an attention-grabbing character because readers are going to witness her change. While her loyalties are with her family, Forever is still being influenced by outside forces. Even though she doesn’t want to, Forever is going to change after her meetings with people of different social classes. She is slowly beginning to learn there are different kinds of power. I look forward to seeing how Rucka develops Forever in the next issues.
The pacing of Michael Lark’s illustrations is perfectly executed in the opening pages. Lark plays around with the zombie genre when Forever Carlyle is shot right in the head. When she rises, the creepy blue-toned drawings look like something out of a horror movie. The atmosphere changes when Forever breaks into action, taking down the robbers one by one. The action sequence is quite cinematic, as if already storyboarded to be put on the big screen.
Lark does a great job in his portrayal with Forever. There is so much detail in the clothing and hairstyle so that Forever looks physically tough and mentally withdrawn. Though she is supposed to be cold-hearted, there are moments of vulnerability captured in Forever’s facial expressions. Forever is clearly being affected by the circumstances of those around her. I’m interested in seeing how Lark breaks down her emotional barriers as the cracks on the wall are now settling in.
Ever since I read “Gotham Central,” I’m excited for the creative team-up of Rucka and Lark. I can’t wait to see what they see do with the “Lazarus” series.
Reviewed by – Jorge Solis