An action-packed sci-fi/western, “Lazarus” #8 presents readers a futuristic thriller that kicks ass every single issue. You don’t ever want to cross paths with Forever Carlyle, but if you do, she better not be pissed off. You won’t be able to resist the eye-catching action sequences that the “Lazarus” series delivers. It was just nominated for the Best New Series Eisner Award, so that tells you something.
Since she was a little girl, Forever Carlyle has been genetically altered to serve and be faithful. She has been trained to obey and protect the Carlyle Family since day one. But Forever has been lately seeing cracks in the political system, which is governed by the wealthy. As society has been divided by the rich and the so-called “waste,” a rebellion is about to take place. A time-ticking bomb is about to go off, taking millions of innocent lives, and Forever doesn’t know where it is.
In the opening pages, writer Greg Rucka provides an exciting flashback into Forever’s training days. As a little girl, we see Forever playing her own type of videogame. With great skill, we see her dodge, sneak away, and take down armored men and women one by one. We get a better understanding of how Forever was raised and that her childhood innocence was lost the day she was born. What’s surprising about this specific training day is that it takes place on Forever’s birthday.
In this installment, The Free are presented as a homeless band of terrorists. One of their members, Angel, has the time-ticking bomb that Forever wants. But whenever she tries to stop them, the Free are always one step away from her. The Free want to rebel against Forever’s sister, Johanna, who is an evil genius. Forever has to choose between stopping the rebellion or protecting a criminal.
I particularly liked how artist Michael Lark depicts Forever’s character design in the opening pages. Though she’s a little girl, Lark doesn’t play off her child-size stature for laughs. Notice how there is a look of awe on Forever’s face when she kills someone. She doesn’t understand the toll it means to actually murder someone. When she is older, those emotional moments are wiped off her face.
Lark also presents a side of the future where there is lack of water and plant life. Denver looks like a never-ending desert in Lark’s wide shot. Because people have no money for gas, they have to revert to the past and depend on horses. Interestingly, the church has hi-tech gadgets to take care of the wandering pilgrims when they enter their mobile hospital.
“Lazarus” #8 is an action-packed romp that doesn’t slow down. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next issue.
Reviewed by Jorge Solis