by Greg Rucka, Michael Lark, and Santi Arcas; Image Comics
So much of our collective imagination is based around the idea that there have been golden ages, times which were morally, or creatively, or materially better than today. Sometimes I wonder if we are in such a golden age today, a golden age that threatens to teeter off into some kind of corporate police state run by an oligarchy of plutocrats. And it seems that Rucka, Lark, and Arcas have worry about this too. In Lazarus they portray a future where a dystopian North America is controlled by extremely wealthy families, who, through their stranglehold on scarce resources and strength of arms, rule as merchant princes over retainer Serfs and piteous, countless Waste. A future that seems like the logical extension of our current economic disparity, of personified corporations, of commodified natural resources, and of uncontrolled climate change. It is in this terrible and plausible future that Lazarus tells the story of Forever Carlyle, the genetically enhanced, superhuman Lazarus enforcer of the Carlyle Family and the complicated familial and situational conflicts she is embedded in. Lazarus: Family, the short first volume of the series, is effectively the opening scene of the ongoing comic: the first chapter succinctly establishing the premise of Forever, and the rest of Family constructs the larger world and the dynamics of Family Carlyle. As such Lazarus Volume 1 is so much more intriguing than satisfying, but it has certainly left me hungry for more.
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