The second arc of LAZARUS comes to a close this month, giving us resolution to the Barrets' upward struggle and Forever's hunt for The Free and their bomb.
Closure doesn't necessarily mean happy endings; one of the best parts about this series is that everything is so faceted. A win isn't always the glorious occasion it might be, and it's usually with strings attached. Or body parts detached. That there's a sting along with the happiness is what makes this narrative so compelling; there are no easy victories, and things aren't just cleanly handed over. There are at least two significant hooks for the next arc, and my interest is definitely piqued.
The world in this book is so rich, so multi-dimensional, that it seems nearly real. Rucka and Lark spare no detail and waste none of the bulked-out (24 pages) issue's space; while The Lift could be a mysterious process, it's exposed in detail, bringing us further into the story world and connecting us more closely with the Carlyles, their Serfs, and the Waste. The team keeps up this heightened amount of detail through the book's backmatter; as with all issues, this month features more snippets of history, politics, and strikingly realistic advertisements amidst the letters pages.
This book is really hard to find fault with; I do wish that there were more clear transitions between flashback sequences and present narrative (though it seems that Forever's age is an easy hint), but overall it's an intriguing and smooth read.
LAZARUS is a gem of a book; Rucka and Lark have mastered worldbuilding, and aren't ignoring a single corner of their creation. Political drama, near-future science, and real human hopes and dreams (albeit against a dystopic backdrop) meld together in a wonderfully scripted and strikingly illustrated work. I'll be looking forward to next month's one-shot, as well as the continued exploration of this brilliant, unsettling world.