Review: Lazarus Book 1 Hardcover
I read a whole lot of comics, and despite both DC and Marvel putting out a lot more books per month, the vast majority of the books I read are from Image Comics. The creator-owned publisher just puts out so much great stuff. With all that great stuff coming out ever month, however, it’s real easy for the occasional amazing book to fall through the cracks and miss my ever-watchful eye. And so it was with Greg Rucka and Michael Lark’s Lazarus. As a matter of fact, if it wasn’t for the great bunch of geeks over at the Image Comics Fans Facebook group I may have never picked this book up. But I did pick up Lazarus, and after reading the volume 1 hardcover it quickly became one of my favorite books of the year. Here’s our preview.
It’s easy to describe what Lazarus is about. A dystopian future where corporate CEO’s and their families have divvied up the globe into territories, leaving all but a chosen few serfs serving the leadership with the rest of mankind begging for scraps. Many of these controlling families (perhaps all of them) have a genetically enhanced, and seemingly immortal superhuman protector, know as a Lazarus, that acts on behalf of their family. Lazarus follows a single Lazarus named Forever Carlyle, working on behalf of family Carlyle, as she deals with restless neighbors, backstabbing siblings, and the mystery of her own existence.
But it’s hard to really describe what Lazarus is about. This volume one hardcover may include only nine issues, but in that short span writer Greg Rucka has built an ambitious and compelling world, full of rich characters, built on ominous concepts, and so utterly, terrifyingly possible as to immediately suck readers in. Rucka is an expert in world-building, and he displays this skill with vivid flare on each and every page. Artist Michael Lark, together with colorist Santi Arcas, create such spectacular pieces of artwork on each and every panel. The consistency, the attention to detail, and the outright beauty of the artwork leaves absolutely nothing to be desired.
Lazarus volume 1 is also a great looking oversized hardcover, that includes a ton of extra that not only look great and act as a fun addition to the collected edition, but adds loads to the world-building by giving readers a detailed timeline and info on all of the families controlling the world.
It’s a rare thing for me to find, but Lazarus is a perfect comic. Amazing artwork, brilliant story-telling, and a finely built world that is as believable as it is disturbing. The creators are hitting all the right chords in this title, and the only bad thing I can say about is I should be kicking myself for not picking it up sooner.
I sincerely cannot rave enough about Lazarus. It truly is a book that belongs in the upper echelon of Image Comics right along side titles like East of West, Deadly Class, and (Yes!) Saga. This is in no way an over exaggeration; Lazarus should be a comic on everyone’s radar. It’s simply way too good to miss. Perfect score!