By Greg Rucka, Michael Lark & Santi Arcas
The latest arc in Lazarus is very much a step in a different direction compared to the last arc. After focusing on the families who basically run their designated areas in this futuristic dystopian future the latest story arc shows us the opposite of that by focusing on the poorest citizens in these areas also known as the “waste.”
Last issue was the first of this new arc “The Lift” and at first it felt a bit jarring to transition into this story after such a packed first arc. With this recent issue it helps settle the reader into this new story that still involves the main character and Carlyle Lazarus, Forever, but truly shows the flipside to this society that Rucka has built in Lazarus. It’s actually quite intriguing to see how people who really have no relation to the main families live their lives and the horrible oppression they face on a day-to-day basis. While this story does a great job of showcasing the hardships of the waste, it also shows how Forever deals with these people and her conflicting thoughts between wanting to be a loyal soldier for her family but also have a moral compass and signs of empathy making her more of a human being then a super soldier. Even though The Lift may feel like a slow build, it seems more like pieces are being moved into place for a bigger payoff further down the road.
Lazarus has some of the best art in a comic thanks to the realistic styles of Michael Lark. Aside from the previous issue which seemed a bit more rushed than usual, this issue’s art is back to the style that made the first four issues such a treat to just examine. The thing that really sticks out artistically for The Lift arc is that since we focus so much on the poor society in this future that it can be hard to still showcase that this takes place in a more technologically advanced future than the one we presently live in. Lark, however, still pulls this off quite well with subtle designs like the look of the shipping crates to the fact that even the poor households still have a touch screen computer to receive messages and news on. Artistically Lark does a great job of balancing the differences between the ways the poor and the better off live without losing the sci-fi vibe that Lazarus is known for.
The Lift arc is proving to be an unexpected but enjoyable read that not only helps shapes Forever’s characteristics and exposes the reader to more of this vast world that Rucka and Lark have built. When thinking about it, it might have been a waste to solely focus on the fighting between the main families without exploring all of the other aspects of this world they have built. This arc proves there is much more to Lazarus than just fighting and as a reader it is intriguing to see how this will relate to the main story and how these new characters will affect Forever’s life journey.