Lazarus #5 Review

After a brief absence from Forever Carlyle, she returns in a stunning new chapter to the story of the Carlyle family, her upbringing and a first look into the lives of the “waste” and their struggle to gain a foothold in the world.

Official Description from IMAGE:
NEW STORY ARC! ‘LIFT,’ Part One: Following Jonah’s betrayal, Forever is beginning to question the nature of family, in particular her own. Waste from all over the Carlyle domain travel to Denver in hopes of improving their lives.

The term “new jumping on point” is very prevalent in the world of comics and Lazarus #5 is no different. While it is a new arc and a “point” for new readers, I highly suggest going back and reading the first four issues in single copies or the trade before coming on board. This is simply to great a story to not get the full details of Forever and the clan she protects. However, that’s not to say you can’t get a decent understanding starting here. Greg Rucka kicks this issue off with the first look, for longtime readers, at Forever’s upbringing and the unusually harsh conditions her father places upon her. While her responsibilities as she grows up are paramount to the families survival the emotional punishment she suffers as a child can seem harsh even by those standards.

Lazarus05coverRucka excels at the harsh and unforgiving and Lazarus is no exception. The Carlyle family is in a shaky truce with warring families and once again Rucka shows off Forever’s strength and leadership in the face of pending war. Rucka makes her one of the toughest, strongest females written in quite sometime and readers are lucky to get such a great creation. Also for the first time in the series we get a glimpse at the population known as the “waste” and the unforgiving circumstances the must live with. The first four issues of Lazarus focuses on Forever and her family. Issue #5 starts filling in the world in which they live and develops more of a complete picture with which Forever struggles to maneuver within her family and those who serve them.

Michael Lark’s art is gritty and dark which gives you the sinking feeling of a world teetering on the brink of collapse and renders Forever with the strength of a God yet struggles with a fragility lying just beneath the surface. Not an easy task but one Lark is more than capable of illustrating in great detail. It’s a subtle yet strong balance he maintains throughout.

Lazarus is quickly becoming a more rich and complex landscape and Forever continues to be a sympathetic but tough leader in a world she just may not completely belong. Rucka and Lark have created a must-read title for Image and are setting up for what appears to be an epic explosions within the ranks of the three factions that inhabit this dystopian world. Thanks to the skill and collaboration of Rucka and Lark, Forever Carlyle is on the brink of becoming an iconic heroine! New readers jump on Lazarus now and discover what you have been missing!