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Lazarus vol. 1 TPB [Review]

lazarustpb001Family

Written by: Greg Rucka
Art and Letters by: Michael Lark with Stefano Gaudiano and Brian Level
Colors by: Santi Arcas
Cover by: Michael Lark
Publication design by: Michael Lark and Eric Trautmann
Edited by: David Brothers
Reprints: Lazarus #s 1-4
Published by: Image
Cover Price: $9.99

This is another volume that I was ‘sold’ on by virtue of it being $9.99 and thus the chance to try a new series on the cheap (functionally $2.50/issue rather than $3+).

Lazarus is a story set in the future, a world wherein Families run things, and a sort of caste system: core Family at the top, a serving class, and “waste” at the bottom. The term Lazarus applies to a Family’s “champion,” someone who seems genetically engineered to be the epitome of that Family and a sort of enforcer or military type function defending the Family’s interest. This first volume introduces us to the Carlyle Family and their Lazarus, Forever Carlyle. As the Family deals with a recent attack by a rival Family, Forever is sent in to make peace, though some in the Family don’t want peace and so lash out, with rather painful results.

Only four issues in, I can’t say that I feel all that vested in the story…while I’ll admit to curiosity at where things will go, it hasn’t particularly hooked me to where I’ll eagerly seek out single issues or the next volume. It’s an interesting concept, though, with the family intrigue; secrets and betrayals; sort of a futuristic Game of Thrones type thing. 

The art doesn’t exactly do much for me…though that’s not a bad thing here. I had no problem following the story, and even the almost too-frequent “silent panels” seemed to get things across quite well. I did definitely appreciate the lack of full/double page splashes as those tend to really chew up pagecounts pointlessly.

I suppose Rucka‘s name on this would actually be another “selling point” for me, and while this volume’s failed to really hook me, Rucka‘s name and the curiosity I do have means I’ll probably snag the next volume once I notice it’s out, to see if a few more issues’ worth of content do what these didn’t.

All in all, though…not bad for a $10 volume, and it definitely does far more toward getting me to be willing to continue with the series than just a single issue or two would have done.

Action Comics #889 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Action Comics
Story: 2.5/5
Art: 3/5

Captain Atom
Story: 2.5/5
Art: 2.5/5

Overall: 2.5/5

Action Comics #888 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Action Comics
Story: 2/5
Art: 2.5/5

Captain Atom
Story: 1.5/5
Art: 2/5

Overall: 2/5

Adventure Comics #10 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Story: 3/5/5
Art: 2.5/5
Overall: 2.5/5

Adventure Comics #8 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Story: 2.5/5
Art: 3/5
Overall: 2.5/5

Action Comics #886 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Action Comics
Story: 3/5
Art: 3/5

Captain Atom
Story: 0.5/5
Art: 2/5

Overall: 2.5/5

Action Comics #885 [Review]

Divine Spark, part 3

Writers: Greg Rucka and Eric Trautmann
Artist: Pere Perez
Colorist: Javier Mena
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Cover: Cafu with Santiago Arcas
Asst. Editor: Wil Moss
Editor: Matt Idelson

With Chris safe (for now) from the aging that was killing him, Nightwing and Flamebird confront The Guardian and his Science Police as well as Mon-El. The confrontation sees revelations shared as to what the two are doing on Earth, and new alliances as the “true” “enemy” emerges. Lois confronts her father, and everyone’s lives are in jeaopardy at issue’s end.

I continue to hope for another spark of enjoyment of this title like I had during the Brainiac arc. While I still don’t like that Jonathan was killed off, there was something to Johns’ story then, and Frank’s art, that as a whole made for a very enjoyable product. Fair or not, that’s the standard I find myself holding this title to, and it’s a standard that–for me–is not met.

The story itself is fairly straightforward, and well within the bounds of the overall story being played out in the Superman family of comics from the past year-plus. It continues to hold potential, but somehow just doesn’t quite fully take off and actually do anything with it.

The visuals also are pretty solid, but not much to my liking–but as with all art, that can be very subjective. Characters are all recognizeable and no one comes across as particularly abnormal-looking, and there’s little trouble following the action. The art certainly fulfills its role that way…it just doesn’t have anything that leaves me in awe or particularly marveling at the issue’s visuals.

Taken in a vacuum, the story’s worn thin and worn out its welcome with me–I’m ready to see Superman restored to the blue and red as well as to his own title and this one. Taken in context of solicitations, previews, and the like…it’s great to know that the “status quo” is about to change, if only to see what the next “phase” of the overall Superman corner of the DCU will be like.

Captain Atom, Chapter Seven
Writer: James Robinson
Artist: Cafu
Colorist: Santiago Arcas
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Asst. Editor: Wil Moss
Editor: Matt Idelson

In this issue’s second feature slot, Captain Atom battles a number of other DC super-heroes in typical fashion before ultimately having a chance to explain himself and what he’s doing here. Others then step in, leaving us on a “cliffhanger.”

Visually, this segment isn’t all that bad, though the characters all come off with a somewhat generic appearance, almost a lack of some sort of detail I can’t quite put my finger on. The story is typical and seems to break no new ground, and really just serves to fill in a continuity hole, bridging events involving this character over the past six years.

While Captain Atom’s story is presently tied to the Superman books by story itself as well as being a second feature, it seems that his segment shortchanges the lead story, taking valuable space from that. It’d be preferable to have a separate bi-monthly or quarterly regular-sized-issues series to tie this character into things.

As a whole, this is another standard issue of the title. If you’re already following things, it’s worth continuing. If you’re on the fence…I can’t say this issue would really convince you to hop on in. I’m obviously not blown away by the issue…but neither am I convinced to drop it. Just disappointed that this doesn’t in any way feel like required Superman reading.

Action Comics
Story: 4/10
Art: 5/10

Captain Atom
Story: 4/10
Art: 5/10

Overall: 4.5/10

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