BookHound
Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer

LAZARUS by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark

Greg Rucka Lazarus Volume 01 cover

Greg Rucka is a writer I routinely follow in comics. He writes some of the best character-oriented stuff out there. I enjoyed his run on Wonder Woman and on Gotham Central (and I’m wondering how much of that will be cherry-picked for the new Gotham television series coming this fall). I love his work on Stumptown, his private detective strip set in Portland, Oregon, where Rucka himself lives.

Lazarus is something new, and yet it’s something the same as well. It’s Rucka telling an action-packed story about a world that might yet evolve if economic trends and overpopulation continue. As a result, it’s scary stuff to contemplate, which is what he wants his readers to do.

Greg Rucka Lazarus Volume 01 page 01

However, Rucka also gives you a great story, so you get plenty of bang for your buck. This one is like Dynasty, the old 1980s series with John Forsythe and Linda Evans. The family in these pages is anything but loving. Or moral. They’ve got twisted and reprehensible covered in spades, though, so they’re very interesting.

Forever still remains something of a cipher to me. I know she’s the Carlyle family’s “Lazarus,” their strongarm warrior that – apparently – can’t be killed. That alone has got to take a toll on the character. I like her a lot, and I feel sympathetic for her situation, but I know she’s not getting out of it any time soon. Which is good, because watching her struggle against all odds and knowing the lies she’s being told keeps me turning pages!

Greg Rucka Lazarus Volume 01 page 02

The world Rucka depicts is harsh and bleak. I like the sacrifices that are made with the same fervor that I hate that they have to be made. I like that no matter what Forever does, she’s pretty much screwed until she figures out everything that’s going on.

Rucka is a smooth writer though, and even though the reader knows more than Eve does, we still don’t know everything that Rucka knows about this world. I can’t wait to see who gets thrown under the bus next, which makes this very much a soap opera like Dynasty.

Greg Rucka Lazarus Volume 01 page 03

In an interview, Rucka says that he and artist Michael Lark have been hoping to do something together for a while, and Lazarus is their project. Having a writer and artist who know and respect each other on a comic makes for a good story. Rucka knows when to get onto the page to advance the story, and when to leave it up to Lark to carry the plotline. There are lots of action sequences throughout the book and Lark makes the most of them.

Greg Rucka Lazarus Volume 01 page 04

Evidently the comics are going to come out erratically, but volume two is projected to release in July. I’m looking forward to it.

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