After that heartbreaking and emotional rollercoaster of the last arc and the intriguing lead-in issue last month, things are set to get very interesting in Lazarus #11. Is it good?
Lazarus #11 (Image Comics)
Forever is still feeling conflicted and a bit out of it months after receiving a text saying that the Carlyle Family is not her real family (way back in issue #4). With all of the genetic modifications she’s been getting, including some new ones, it’s not an unfounded concern. Of course, there’s no time to worry about that; at the Ontario Border, a Lazarus by the name of Sonja Bittner has shown up with news for the Family.
Man, I think it’s one of those assassins from that video game.
This arc gets straight to the point, starting with a great opening and then diving head-first into the story. It immediately follows up a plotline that hasn’t been looked at in a long time (a rather big one at that), but also builds up a brand new storyline and conflict that has a lot of promise; I also enjoyed seeing new locations and meeting the other Families. Hell, maybe we’ll finally learn about why the world is the way it is too. Either way, the story for the arc got off on the right foot and has sold me already.
Not only is writer Greg Rucka’s story solid, but his world-building and character work is great as well. Besides the prospect of what is to come, the introduction of a new Lazarus with a unique personality is intriguing (as well as the bit of insight in what her Family may be like with how she behaves), as well as the whole concept of a conclave to begin with. Of course, the character writing is really stellar as well; Forever is still a very enjoyable and well-layered protagonist, who should be interesting to watch through this arc. Reintroducing the other members of the Carlyle Family we haven’t seen since the last arc and bringing in Marisol also helps flesh these characters out. Everyone’s interesting and well-written, but I suspect we’ll see some real good development in the next few issues for each.
Insert “Hearts on Fire” training montage music here.
Of course, the rest of the writing isn’t slacking either here. The storytelling and pacing are very strong; every scene has a purpose in progressing the story or developing the characters. The dialogue is engrossing, even in the more dialogue-heavy scenes. I’m slightly disappointed by the fact that we are not following up on or seeing the Barret family from the last arc, who were a huge focus last time; I know Rucka won’t forget them, but I wouldn’t have minded seeing them in this issue, even for a quick second. Despite these nitpicks, the writing is top-notch and great overall.
The artwork by Michael Lark is still very high quality; the usual praises can be sung for this series’ art, like the fantastic looking characters and great coloring. However, I have to give it more credit than usual for the atmosphere and imagery; all of the scenes in Ontario during the snowfall are gorgeous looking and really grab your attention. You can feel the tension and mood in the air with how everything is laid out, the body language of the characters, and the engrossing atmosphere. Really some of the best work the series has seen thus far.
Whatever you say scary, bloody claymore wielding woman.
Is It Good?
Lazarus #11 is a terrific and fantastic start to this new arc. The story, writing, and artwork are all superb — promising an exciting and thrilling journey for this arc. With issues like this, Lazarus continues to prove to be one of the best comics out there on the market. If you haven’t checked out yet, get to it! You are missing out on all the fun.