writer: Greg Rucka / artist: Michael Lark
Contrary to what Steve Spurrier might think, the meeting of the families in Lazarus is the world’s largest (outdoor) cocktail party. After the surprise at the end of last issue where Hock discards his leg braces and dances with the very green Forever Carlyle, we begin with the aftermath of that grand gesture. The implication is that Hock has unlocked the code of the longevity genetics and is using that as leverage to recruit the other families to his side. It really is the endgame for this summit, so the Carlyle family is left scrambling to see how authentic Hock’s discovery may be and what it will mean for their possible success during the summit.
After my first read of this, I gathered that there were really only a couple things going on this specific book: more background and history of the Lazari and Forever’s emotional immaturity. Both of those are on full display as Forever, an efficient and brutal killing machine, could not be more awkward in social and political gatherings, even among her fellow Lazari. But this magic of this comic has always been sewn into how efficient it is, and how background or small details actually inform you about how the world works. It would be easy to look at Forever and Sonja Bittner and say, well, they are emotionally stunted because they were engineered as elite soldiers and that goes with the trope. The reality is that it depends on the family, as many of the Lazari are suave and charismatic, confident and commanding. Poppa Carlyle’s treatment of Forever reflects her social interactions much more than her genetics do.
As usual, Lark is consistent and excellent. Besides my monthly praise of how effective they are with silence and emotion, I especially enjoyed the dialogue heavy portions of the poker game of the Lazari. There are distinct styles and personalities among them and they really stand out in how Lark depicts them.
This issue was more set-up towards what will surely be a big climax and I’m sure getting to know the personalities of the Lazari will have a profound effect when we see them in less casual settings. We got a full dose of Forever in this issue and that’s never a bad thing.