Comic Review – Lazarus #19

  • 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: 09/02/2015

In Lazarus #19, Malcolm Carlyle remains at death’s door. In attempting to save his life, new recruit to the scientist team (previously made up of Dr. lazarus pBethany Carlyle and Dr. James Mann), Michael Barrett finds something interesting in Malcolm’s genetic make-up that possibly hints at Forever Carlyle’s origins or at least dark secrets within the heart of Family Carlyle.

As for our main protagonist (the Carlyle family Lazarus), Forever, she’s still where we left her at the end of the last issue in the midst of the war against the Hock family lying face up in the snow with a bloody hole in her head and for all intents and purposes very much dead. So much so that the rest of her squad, after waiting to see if she’ll regenerate (spoiler: she doesn’t), set out to attempt to complete their mission without her.

We jump around a lot again between different characters this issue, but it works better than last time as each scene is connected by this issues main event namely that aforementioned bullet currently residing inside Forever’s head.

Because of this there’s a real driving rhythm to this issue that was lacking from #18. The story and plot are executed with skill and style by Rucka and Lark, they drop the ending like skilled DJ’s dropping one last pulse pounding beat to end their evening’s set and things are set up nicely for what promises to be an exciting next issue too.

Michael Lark’s art remains excellent throughout, the extended dialogue free scenes that he and Rucka have never been afraid to illustrate are particularly beautiful, be it in the action sequences or sights of Forever’s former squad hiding from Hock patrols.

The art can convey tension or it can be absolutely explosive to the point of making your eyes bulge.

lazarus p1Oh, and a big shout out to Owen Freeman for another gorgeous cover. This creative team has really set up what’s to come in each issue without giving anything major away as comic covers are sometimes known to do.

The biggest hang up with the series still remains though, while we still wait to hear more about the waste (the underclass of this dystopian future) who haven’t featured for quite some time. Though I’ll admit, maybe we just need to be patient. Despite this frustration, in the ever healthy and interesting letter pages Rucka gives us a lengthy reply to one that details lots of interesting snippets about the waste.

Why we aren’t being shown this in the main comic I don’t really know. They could even be featured in the slightly dry if world building back matter that so far has focused on detailing the various histories of each of the numerous Families. When do we get to hear the people’s story, the people cry!

Still, this is a brilliant issue that’s thrillingly paced and is over all too quickly. Bring on next month where it looks like we get to see Johanna Carlyle’s scheming finally come to a no doubt catastrophic conclusion.

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