Comic Vine Review


Lazarus #2 - Family, Part Two Review


The Carlyle Family has soap opera-caliber drama, and deadly tempers.

The Good

Stop. Look at the cover of this book. Forget about the intriguing story inside, and just look at that cover. If the words "bad ass" don't come to mind, flip the book over, then flip it back, and then look at the cover again. Tell me for a second that you wouldn't be afraid of that woman, and I'll tell you you're a liar. Michael Lark and Santi Arcas? They're that good.

The interiors are equally dramatic. The prime-time drama feeling is accentuated with carefully-selected angles and evocative faces, and some panels feel like stills from a movie. Deep shadows and a muted, dusty palette (sprinkled with futuristic glows here and there) heighten the intensity of a pressure-cooker of a story.

Said pressure cooker is filled to the brim with characters that beg to be explored further, from the razor-sharp, intensely angry Carlyle Family to their mysterious Lazarus, Forever, to the foreboding Morray clan and the Waste we haven't seen much of yet. Greg Rucka has dreamed up a juicy story within the Carlyle set alone; it's almost enough to stand on its own -- but then there's the much larger interplay between the Families, and the even bigger situation with the Serfs and the Waste. Suffice it to say that we're in for a LOT with this book.

As with the first issue, there's a delightful mix of science in the narrative -- last time, we learned a little bit about how Forever's physiology worked; this time, it's hints of medicine and agricultural science. The key to making a futuristic story feel more real is having science that sounds like it works, and Rucka is nailing this. Mentions of future-tech are subtle and cursory, rather than textbook-like, and they fit seamlessly into the dialogue.

And Forever? She's scary good. Part Beatrix Kiddo, part Jason Bourne. I cannot wait to see where things go next -- her fearless step into Morray territory just ratcheted things up about twelve notches, and I am dying for a Lazarus-on-Lazarus battle.

The Bad

The pacing on this issue is just a hitch slower than the first, and lighter on action. I can't wait to see Forever deploy some of her Lazarus moves again -- presumably next issue -- so, while this slice of family drama was definitely intriguing, it'll be nice to see more bullets, blades, and badassery.

The Verdict

LAZARUS is a soap opera. A violent, dystopic soap opera. Two issues in, it's brimming with potential for an explosive story steeped in clan drama and class warfare. I'm searching for something else on the stands to compare it to, and coming up blank. I'm calling this a must-pull; "sleeper hit" is not good enough for this series.

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Edited By longbowhunter

Your right this does feel like a dystopian soap opera. Hadn't made that connection but it fits. I can't wait for something bad to happen to Jonah. He makes your average inner city slumlord look like Ghandi.

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Posted By JangoCrossfire

Wonderful review, Miss J. This was hands-down my favorite book of the week. The family drama just pours from the pages.

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Posted By Jonny_Anonymous

I hope someone shoots that Jonah fool in his stupid face

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Posted By MissJ

Loving the Jonah hate! I'm pretty sure he'll get punished soon...he's just too slimy to stick around.

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Edited By K3vinkha0S

This book just oozes with originality. I enjoyed the slower pacing of this issue. It helps you feel the richness of this world Rucka has created. Also really loving the backmatter.

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Posted By TheShutup

Thank you so much for reviewing this, I thought Comicvine was almost ignoring this series after not reviewing the first issue or adding it as a category for "Best New Series Poll" lol

I liked the first issue better, but this issue was great because it introduces the rest of the carlyle family (well the blood family at least) Thi book kinda reminds me of a Dystopian- future Godfather lol
Definitely one of the top 5 comics being put out today!

Image is just killing it in the comic industry with all these great titles!

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Posted By SavageDragon

Wonderful review, Miss J. This was hands-down my favorite book of the week. The family drama just pours from the pages.

So true. This book rocks. @missj check out the orange text columns of the letter pages. It tells a simplified (yet very detailed) backstory to the patriarch Carlyle! Very intriguing as well. 5/5 issue.

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Posted By gmanfromheck

@theshutup: we talked about it on the podcast. We didn't ignore.

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Posted By Perfect 10

i liked this issue better than the first. the first was good but this took the cake. more characters, hints of the family dynamic (and the world at large) and great writing