Graphic Novel Series in Progress : Lazarus

Lazarus is a series by Greg Rucka, Michael Lark, and Santiago Arcas about a woman named Forever Carlyle. Forever is her Family’s Lazarus. This means that she is their one woman Forever Carlylearmy. The dystopian setting of this series has three castes of people. Those within a ‘Family’, the ‘Serf’ or those that work for the Family, and the ‘Waste’ those that do not work for the Family. As expected this is a messy situation so the Lazarus child is the one that cleans up and protects the others in her family from these messy situations.
She’s been trained since she could walk to fight, think, and act like a soldier. Then she’s been so pumped full of modifications that she can’t help but become that perfect soldier. I’m not sure what can kill a Lazarus – because it doesn’t seem like there is much. The comic is brutal and slightly gruesome at times. Within the first two pages we see her shot several times, at least twice in chest. She gets right back up and destroys those that shot her. Later another Lazarus takes a blade all the way through her chest and stands back up. My guess would be decapitation?
Anyway, off track, the first issue of Lazarus is our introduction. The Carlyle Family is one of the richest and meanest. Forever’s father developed a drug that extends the life of those who take it. Her siblings are all pushing 90 but look 20. Father Carlyle however is getting on in age and this issue looks at how her brother Jonah is more then ready for the old man to pass on.
Ah… the politics of a dystopian ruling family. Betrayals, back stabbing, and manipulation abound in these. Three volumes in and I’m still not sure what some of these people are up too. The plot sounds simple enough when looking at the first issue but it gets bigger and much messier after that. The second volume pulls in those considered Waste, showing how a Family’s fight affects the world and people around them. The third volume is when things and politics are starting to explode. All the while we are revealed the layers of Forever’s character. What made her who she is. Her father’s absence and his push for her to be a perfect warrior. Her siblingsAbsentPapa¬†machinations and her own stubborn belief in saving lives where she can.
Forever is a character I could sit down to tea with. I would definitely be on my best behavior, but I would want to talk to her and probe her mind. If this were an actual science fiction novel I’d read the shit out of it (if anyone knows of anything like it, let me know!). The writing is on point for me, the dialogue snappy. At times it’s witty and at times it tells me just enough to break my heart. Meanwhile we’re treated to beautiful views, blood soaked battles, and scenes of absolute despair. These comics, for me, are a work of art. The details in the art and the ability of the writer to show, not tell just with his words things that don’t show even in the visual world around our character is amazing.
So far three volumes are out, with the fourth coming in January I believe. As far as I can see there might be one after that before it ends. I am pumped to see the end to this, I can’t even begin to fathom what might come next.

“Let them hate, so long as they fear”

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