writer: Greg Rucka / artist: Michael Lark
I read a lot of comic books, but I don’t read all the comic books. I’m sure someone will dispute my following statement with something not in my pull-list, but it needs to be said: Lazarus is the most unique high quality comic book on the stands. I just don’t think I’ll hear any argument against that any more. Lazarus does more with building the bomb then most comic books do with the explosion. It’s possible that you come to comic books because you enjoy the action and you want to see a barrage of sword slashes, gunfire or meta human powers being exercised in large splash pages and I can’t fault that. This ain’t that book. It’s so much better for it.
Welcome to the Gala everyone! Well welcome if you’re not Waste which makes up about 70% of the population. The 16 families are meeting for the first time in 65 years and they have marked it with just the right amount of lavishness. Two (of about six) awesome things I want to point out about this issue. For one, the interaction between the Lazari is great and surprising. Considering the frigid and robotic demeanor of the Bittner Lazarus in last month’s issue, we see the exact opposite in this issue, as she’s actually a shy and somewhat timid person when she’s not on assignment to be a badass killing machine and emissary. There’s actually quite a bit of camaraderie between the Lazari, even as they are fully aware that they may soon be dispatched against each other. And can we get a shout out for the Black Lazarus, Xolani?! And he’s not even the ONLY African Lazarus. I appreciate that Rucka, you aiight with me homie.
The second thing I want to gush about is I still think the story telling in Lazarus is just on another level, particularly with the trust that Rucka and Lark have with their audience. I’ve remarked before about their use of silence and emotion (which is used nicely in issue too, especially in the ballroom), but their ability to drop subtle and important items throughout their narrative, only for them to be huge down the line. Turns out that Jonah (who looks REALLY bad now) being in his 60s but looking about 31 isn’t a fluke. Or the fact that Malcolm Carlyle looks about 30 years younger than his counterparts. The Carlyle Family has figured out the “Longevity Code” and that has become quite a motivating factor for the other family to turn against them.
Look, I’m a broken record: this book is great, this review is too long and if I wasn’t obvious enough, you should be reading this book! Like, seriously, do yourself a favor, you can catch up on 12 issues in a weekend.