Lazarus #1 Review
By: Rob Gruszecki
In a dystopian world where the world is owned and operated by rival families, wealth is power and each amalgam of criminal voices is protected by a pillar known as the Lazarus. The Lazarus is an immortal and viciously violent extension of the family’s will and strength. As a wall that is displayed as the face of a family, this chosen living shield takes an endless stream of bullets and abuse only to arrive face first in their own blood with countless wounds to show as medals for their service. Every demise is met with a few seconds of darkness but capped off with a resurrection yet unexplained and sensationally eerie.
Reuniting the legendary team that produced Gotham City, Greg Rucka (Lady Sabre, Alpha, 52, Stumptown) and Michael Lark (Daredevil, Winter Soldier), Lazarus is an instantly exhilarating book as well as gruesome, upsetting, shocking and creative. A crime epic that will hopefully be one of the new Saga or East Of West level hits from Image comics, Lazarus combines a welcome mashup of speculative doomsday fiction and modern street level, gritty criminal pulp. Charting the reign of Forever Carlyle as her family’s defence we are thrown into this new and frightening world with fresh perspective and our initial exposure is equal parts unsettling and curious.
Greg Rucka is a master of the pulp crime genre and he does not let up with the first issue of Lazarus. His prose style is as strong as ever between these pages and his first handful of narrative boxes explaining in gross detail the injuries incurred from endless gunfire is simultaneously a welcome environment for the writer and a brand new world to explore for his audience. Combining all the best parts of his novels and of his strongest comics (Stumptown, Gotham Central) Rucka shines in the first few pages of his new ongoing from Image Comics.
Michael Lark has been a favorite of mine since his work in the pages of his Daredevil run with writer Ed Brubaker. From then I learned to love his style and minimalist approach to comics even more in the pages of Gotham Central, a series that was as close to a creator-owned series as you can get in mainstream superhero titles. His work in the pages of Lazarus are breathtaking and he only gets better with each subsequent project he works on. I would rank Lark amongst my top favorite artists in comics and anyone who has yet to be exposed to his brilliant work need only look at the first two page spread of this first issue here in Lazarus and witness his detailed and horrific image featuring a brutally murdered woman and her following rebirth.
Lazarus by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark has been a series I have been incredibly excited for since it was announced last year and I am so happy that Rucka continues to visit the grime soaked world of crime fiction along side the collaborators that best compliment his hyper-detailed and intense style of scripting. Michael Lark’s work alone in this series will be worth the subscription.
Rob Neil Gruszecki is a writer, musician, podcaster and Wednesday Warrior
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