Lazarus is not your typical post apocalyptic/sci-fi/western thriller. It's a character driven tale of the powerful and how they keep and exercise their power amid a society divided by class. At the heart of the series is Forever Carlyle, the most sympathetic genetically engineered enforcer and protector ever seen in comics, a cross between Terminator and La Femme Nikita. In issue #8, the stakes are higher as she is tasked with averting a bombing at the Lift.“LIFT,” Part Four
Forever calls on the Daggers. The Barrets reach the final stage of their journey as all threads converge on Denver for the Lift.
It's the type of scenes like the opening one where Greg Rucka lulls you into an action sequence, the comfort of ass-kicking from a human weapon like Forever, only to punch you in the heart pages later when she is emotionally crushed along with the reader that exemplifies the tone of the series. Lazarus has muscle but also brains and heart.
The class struggle is embodied in the Waste class of the Barrets who joined thousands on a trek across Colorado to the Lift selection in Denver. A chance to join Carlyle and a better life if they survive the journey. Son, Michael, gets a chance to help others in a new capacity and if the foreshadowing holds true his assistance will become invaluable.
With some new found information Forever knows the who, what, where and why of the next move of the Free and she has to help stop the terrorist group from detonating a bomb that could prove disastrous.
Along with Rucka's great ear for dialogue and intricate plotting the series gets it look from artist and "cinematographer" Michael Lark that produces some of the smartest layouts and visuals in comics. Scenes are created with a specific limited color palette (wonderful work by colorist Santi Arcas) in dark and subdued panels that compliment the seriousness of the action taking place or the emotional turmoil within characters. The book does not offer many light moments and the artwork reflects that. It's practically noir-style consisting of many shadows and melancholy. Rucka and Lark are in sync and it's what gives the series its continuity in all aspects of the storytelling.
Lazarus, because of its reliance on characters over huge action set pieces, offers a unique experience where you invest in the characters and follow along as the story twists and turns causing the reader to "feel" and "think." Not a bad thing nowadays. This is why this comic could easily transition to television because of its serialized structure. Now is a great time to jump on this title as the Lift arc is coming to an exciting conclusion.