Greg Rucka & Michael Lark “Lazarus vol. 1: Family” (Image, 2013)
There’s an immediate downside to this collection: the length. With the inclusion of only four issues, there just isn’t much room to build a world and tell a compelling story. Ultimately Rucka seems to do both partially—hinting at a unique setting with intricate plotting.
Lazarus is set in the dystopian near future. The world seems to be controlled by various families, who each control certain regions. Families like the Carlyles control land, resources, and people. They have vassals and serfs like in the Middle Ages. Lazaruses like Eve are used as weapons against the population or against other families.
Our protagonist is Forever (Eve) Carlyle, who seems to be some sort of immortal humanoid created by the Carlyle family. She thinks that she is a member of the family; the family itself seems to think of her as a weapon or tool. Despite the presence of lots of action, the meat of the story lies with the interpersonal relations – how the various members of the Carlyle family interact with each other and with Eve.
What we are given here is extremely well done and great fun. But the short length means that it’s impossible to evaluate more completely. While the parts seem to be there it’s impossible to know, as this volume ends right when it appears that the story is actually starting.
Still, if the test of an ongoing story is “do I want to read more?”, then volume one gets a solid “A”. I’m ready to read more, please.