by Greg Rucka & Michael Lark
Issue five of Lazarus begins a new arc for the series and also introduces the readers to a concept called “The Lift.” This is when people from the poor working class known as “waste” can try out for a spot as a “serf” who work directly for their area’s family and are treated to better living conditions than the life of a “waste.”
This issue starts with an insightful flashback of Forever training as the Carlyle family Lazarus and reveals more of her relationship with her adoptive father and leader of the Carlyle family. Aside from the insightful flashback there are also two very strong and polarizing moments for Forever in this issue. First she tries to apologize to a relative of an innocent man she had previously killed which seems to be haunting her conscious, but in the very next scene she makes a group of opposing waste kill one of their own for having shot Forever in the back to prevent a war. That seems to be a concept that Rucka cleverly puts in every issue of Lazarus; a moment where you see the power these families have over the “waste” usually by playing mind games with the poor and showing both how cruel the families are and also how cruel they have made their respected waste population too.
Michael Lark is one of the best artists making comics today and every issue of Lazarus is proof of that. Now this issue in particular seemed a little more rushed artistically than the previous issues. That’s not to say it’s by any means bad, because the worst Lark art is still better than most people’s best, but even the cover for this issue felt a tad bit flat when compared to the previous ones. This is of course a very small criticism that really doesn’t hurt the story or take the reader out at any point; just an immediate observation.
Transitioning from one arc to the next can sometimes be a bit of a bumpy ride but Lazarus still pulls it off. Rucka still leaves some things open from the previous story to carry over and address through time while still setting the stage for what’s to come next with the introduction of the “Lift” process. Seems like there will be plenty of new characters to explore and even some more new families to introduce, so this still just feels like we’ve only chipped into the tip of the iceberg.