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Lazarus #4

by kanchilr1 on October 01, 2013

Writer Greg Rucka Artist Michael Lark

Introduction

Lazarus has gotten much praise within the short, but beloved frame of it’s existence. The comic series takes place in a dystopian future, featuring several gangs at war with others. The premise and class system is slightly more complicated, but at it’s core this is mainly a crime comic book series. The main character of the narrative Forever, is slowly starting to become self aware over the course of the last couple installments. Even though she is essentially rich and immortal, she is stuck in a dangerous cycle of violence plaguing every character in the series. Like much of the work of writer Greg Rucka, this comic has massive television potential but does not feel like a dull screenplay. The recent conclusion of Breaking Bad has proved that people are hungry for material like this, the question is if any of those fans would possibly make the leap from television to comics. Gangster stories revolve around characters who make strange decisions that reveal some of the more brash decisions that the average person would never make. In other words, because of the type of story this is there will be a major sense of detachment for the reader. None of these characters are inherently good, so Rucka has to pull some major leg work in order to get the reader interested. He has pulled this off in spades thus far.

Writing

This comic book has been going back in forth in two wildly different plot directions. The first issue teased something small that is finally payed off here. While I may not have been crazy about the last couple issues from a plot perspective, there is no denying the incredible writing that led up to this moment. It also makes the last page of this title feel earned. This is a dark story that opened up a door with in an incredible amount of possibility. It does not even seem possible for Rucka and company to deliver anything short of greatness following the major turning point here. It is truly awe-inspiring how at first glance this title just seems like a future noir gangster story. However, digging deeper there is a lot of interesting motives behind some of the family and actions within. Now that readers are growing acquainted with the fascinating world behind this book, there seems to be more possible than ever before from a narrative standpoint.

Art

The art of Michael Lark really speaks to the strengths of the writing in the series, The tone permeates into a larger morose piece of work. The dark future of Lazarus does not seem suited to be portrayed by any other artist in the business. A world like this evokes the best parts of science fiction by grounding it firmly in reality. The gritty world showcased here is set in a backdrop that has expensive real estate complete with miraculous Minority Report inspired technology. Selling this strange place to the audience is one of the definitive strong suits of Lark. The only complaint that I have for the penciller, is that at times his style can get too scratchy to the point where it may hurt the storytelling. Some facial expressions or aesthetic styles can detract from the rest of the book.These complaints are still minor, and in no way should deter readers from the stellar illustrations provided here.

Conclusion

Rucka and Lark hit some strong beats in this turning point in the plot that will start paying off those who have spent some time with the saga. Enjoy a fine piece of craft, and a richly dense world developed further in Lazarus #4.

Our Score:

8/10

A Look Inside