Lazarus #7 (Comics Review)

Up until now, Lazarus has been one of the most interesting series to come out from Image Comics. The first arc was pretty intense and it not only told a great personal story as far as the protagonist Forever Carlyle was concerned, but it also told a wider story about the world that Greg Rucka and Michael Lark have created. Suffice to say, I enjoyed the first arc. But, the second arc has been giving me doubts. The action has slowed down considerably, as the last two issues depicted, and the story has been split as well, between the events revolving around the Carlyle family and between those involving the Barrets and their friends.

The new issue, it suffers from low-key action, and heavy story-ing. We get a little bit of characterisation here and there, but it doesn’t quite work so well because the narrative is just so weighty with all of what needs to be covered to the move the story further. I enjoyed it to a degree, but I still can’t quite like it fully because its as if Rucka is doubling down away from the action. Lark’s art too wasn’t quite so good either, though that just might be the narrative-art associative thinking.

Lazarus 07The issue starts off with a look into Forever’s past, from when she was a child and being trained to become the Lazarus for the Carlyle family. With her instructor Marisol, Forever shares quite a few private moments and I think that those opening five pages are among the best material in the issue, despite the fact that the harshness of Forever’s training put me off. But then again, that works to the advantage of the character because you really do care for her and Rucka makes you care for the instructor, Marisol, too. She has been somewhat of a mystery in the past couple issues, but she’s starting to get some depth now and I love that.

The rest of the issue is spent dealing with the robbery that happened at one of the Carlyle holdings, and during which Forever caught the thieves’ decoy, and the journey of the Barret family as it abandons its holdings and sets out for the Lift sponsored by the Carlyle family, whatever that is (more on that in a moment). Despite the fact that I like Forever so much, her scenes with the thief and with her sister Johanna didn’t really work for me. I couldn’t bring myself to care, to be honest, and I find that quite weird. She’s been a fascinating character all the way through and yet, I just wasn’t interested. Even whenever the focus switched to the Barret’s, I couldn’t bring myself to care because their narrative is so divorced from what is happening with Forever. Sure, they’ve suffered some terrible losses recently, and they suffer yet another here, but I was just cold to it all. I didn’t react.

And as for the Lift, it has been mentioned several times in the past couple issues, but I have as yet no idea what it is, or why it means so much to the Barrets and their friends. That is one of the conundrums of this arc, and indeed this issue, that I really want to see resolved. If Rucka keeps to previous form, then the arc will end next month when Lazarus #8 is released, but I have a feeling that the arc will go on for at least another issue, if Rucka maintains the same pacing as he has here. Either way, I really want to see these mysteries resolved.

On the art side, we have Michael Lark back, with Brian Level still doing some assists. I have to admit that I was a bit bored and that is largely because so much of the issue was spent with people just talking to each other, such as Forever’s interrogation of her prisoner, or the Barrets having their chats, or Forever talking to Marisol. It was just too much. There really isn’t a whole lot of action to break that monotony, and consequently the art suffers because there isn’t quite the range of expressions on the characters that I’d expect. Just too much talking really. Still, that doesn’t mean that the pencils are bad, just that there is too much of the same happening. And as for the colours, no complaints there. Santi Arcas’ colours are good as always.

Overall, I’m a bit meh about this issue. It was decent at best.

Rating: 7.5/10

More Lazarus: #1, #2-3, #4, #5, #6.

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Posted on March 23, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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