First Impressions: Lazarus Succeeds in Breadth and Depth (Lazarus #28 Review)

Jonah has a son, and the former Lazarus is finally feeling like he belongs with his new family. He has a wife who loves him, a son he adores, and a father who treats him well. However, a family war between the Bittner's and the Vassalovka's threatens to upturn all of this. Some of Jonah's new family is assigned to the front line, but Jonah himself, as well as his adopted father, are sent out onto a factory ship.

Lazarus #28 cover by Michael Lark
Lazarus #28 cover by Michael Lark

Lazarus, like Descender, is a dense comic in terms of lore. Lazarus aims to set up a complex world where wealthy families have taken over the globe, a family member is ordered killed but survives in secret, and the families war over territory and resources all the time.

That said, this comic is made accessible through its narrow focus, which is likely partly due to its status as a quarterly. Jonah and his family are the center of the narrative; the rest is just backdrop, context, and occasionally barges in to drive the plot.

That's smart. It makes the story personal, more emotional, and generally more engaging. Greg Rucka is also economical with text her and knows when to let the art tell the story.

The pacing is solid too. Nothing is dwelled on for too long before the next development/scene/plot beat/etc.

Lazarus #28 art by Michael Lark, Tyler Boss, and Santi Arcas
Lazarus #28 art by Michael Lark, Tyler Boss, and Santi Arcas

Michael Lark and Tyler Boss do excellent work on the art, giving the dramatic scenes the gravitas they deserve, the characters distinct appearances and expression, and the world a lot of life and detail. Santi Arcas supports this with an organic and often rustic color palette to make the world look even more rundown and decaying.

Lazarus #28 is a very welcoming comic all things considered. Despite its deep and complex backstory, Rucka knows how to make this something a reader can just pick up and follow. They may not receive the full breadth of the world; how could they coming in at #28. However, they can easily follow along to a compelling story set in a world where greed has run even further amuck. This one earns a recommendation. Check it out.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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