Comic Review – Lazarus #18

  • Writer: Greg Rucka
  • Pencils: Michael Lark
  • Inks: Michael Lark and Tyler Boss
  • Colors: Santi Arcas
  • Letters: Jodi Wynne
  • Cover: Owen Freeman
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Release Date: 7/29/15

Last issue in part one of the Poison arc we saw Family Carlyle facing defeat in its war against Family Hock. At the end of that issue Forever, Family Carlyle’s Lazarus (read genetically enhanced near immortal ninja bad ass), took command of a fire team and got ready to lead them in re-taking the seaport city of Duluth, Minnesota from Hock’s military in the hope of changing the tide of the conflict.

The Carlyle family conflict begins straight away in part two as Forever brings a stealthy end to a squad of Hock’s soldierslazarus 18page over a gorgeously executed three page action sequence. Former waste (people who are not currently in service to one of the families) Casey Solomon (now Corporal under the direct command of Forever), makes a personal connection with the Carlyle Lazarus, a relationship that will no doubt prove important later on.

That’s what this issue is all about really, it jumps around a lot between members of the Carlyle family setting things up for future events that have been hinted at before now. Still, it succeeds in not feeling disjointed, is easy to follow and the dialogue flows well. Despite these strengths, it feels like this issue is a bunch of pieces on a chest board being shifted into their required positions without any space left to really develop the characters any further.

Also the continuing focus on the Carlyle family is starting to feel a bit claustrophobic. We know there’s a whole world of waste and other families out there begging to be explored as we have been shown them before, even in some detail. More please!

Though perhaps with Carlyle’s position in this world seeming somewhat fragile with it’s paternal leader, Malcolm Carlyle, out of action while his eldest son proves incapable of filling his boots – not to mention Johanna Carlyle scheming away once more – we might see the series spreading in its scope in future issues.

lazarus18page2We finish the comic back with Forever and her fire team and it’s here that things really shine. Rucka and Lark are masters of scripting and penciling action sequences, as they have shown many times before in this series, and they do it again here. You could almost be tricked into thinking you were watching a movie (or a TV show) rather than reading a comic book as the action progresses so fast and smoothly before your eyes that you can make it through the last few pages without even blinking.

This effect is aided in no small part by Santi Arcas’s colors. Soft greys and purples mixed with dark reds and pure white really bring the fight scenes and backgrounds to life.

It seems like Rucka is setting the scene for major events soon to come and the ride remains more than good enough to hang on until they do. Although if we don’t start to get a bit more outside the Carlyle family goings on then things risk starting to turn stale soon.

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