Sunday, August 18, 2013

REVIEW: Lazarus #2

Writer: Greg Rucka 
Artist: Michael Lark 
Colorist: Santi Arcas 
Review: Arthur Black

There is a rising jewel from Image, which was started in June. Lazarus is a tale set in the world after government and society have broken down. Power falls to a few families holding wealth and food. These families take care of themselves and those that work for them. Other people are left to fend for themselves and are referred to as waste. Each family has one member that is given genetic enhancements and technology to be the family’s protector and enforcer. This individual is known as a Lazarus. 
The first book introduced us to Forever Carlyle (awesome name) and her family. The book was a bit dry, as first books can be, but it laid the ground work for a good story. The Carlyle family was attacked by waste and the Morray family. The waste attacked a guest house, where Forever happened to be. After a brutal assault on her, Forever took out the intruders. The Morray attack was on a seed storage facility, and this was thwarted by the family’s soldiers. The attack revealed there is a traitor in the family or personnel, and Forever was to exact justice and set an example.  

Forever is presented as a character in conflict. She is supposed to be more like a robot following orders blindly, but her engineer is trying to combat Forever’s emotions. After the encounter at the guest house, she shows remorse for slaying the men, whom were just after food.  These kinds of conflicts are the best. I love reading stories where the internal struggles are as tough as the external ones. This really allows us to attach ourselves to the character as they develop. This was the case for me a long time ago reading Spawn and The Darkness, when they first started. 

In the second book, we are shown into the interior of the Carlyle estate and meet the family. Let’s just say that the Carlyle family is a bit dysfunctional. We are shown a tight web of lies and secrets that are ready to blow up in their faces. The siblings do not trust each other and even start to assault each other. Out of this boiling brew of deceit and mistrust, Forever rises with loyalty to her father and family.  

At the end of #2, we are left with a nice “what the . . .” The way this one is ended is very clever. It really leaves you wondering which direction they are going to go next. These endings (I call them “crossroad endings”) are greater than just climatic endings, because it leaves you wondering how the spin will land. This can be great for the writer or a death sentence for the book, like landing on bankrupt on The Wheel of Fortune. 

The books have a nice flow to the action, and the story is taking off. In book one, the action is drawn in a step-by-step progression. Michael Lark has a unique style to his drawing, and it is very descriptive on its own. Action scenes are great with very precise and uncluttered images. The dialog throughout the books is simple, but it is direct and effective.  

Lazarus has been a nice surprise in a new comic, and I hope Greg Rucka does a great job with this story. In my opinion, it has all of the makings of a great comic line with endless possibilities. On August 28, 2013, the third installment of Lazarus will be on shelves, and I cannot wait until it is out to find out which direction the story is heading.

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