The Battle Of The Houses In Lazarus Risen #1

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
House Aklaq has betrayed House Carlyle, and House Carlyle will not receive this without paying retribution. Forever and Johanna infiltrate Aklaq territory to deliver their vengeance to Aklaq’s leaders and reinstate and ally. Meanwhile, Beth and James continue to train the next generation of Forever, aka Eight, Carlyle House’s Lazarus. Beth seems to take pleasure in abusing Eight, and Forever can’t handle it much longer. After that, Forever begins a mission against House D’Souza.

Lazarus Risen #1 cover by Michael Lark
Lazarus Risen #1 cover by Michael Lark

I haven’t had any prior experience with The World of Lazarus or any of its story. From what I’ve read in Lazarus Risen #1, in addition to the fact that it’s based upon an RPG, I can glean that it has a very dense story and world.
That’s not inherently bad, and Lazarus Risen #1 is far from unintelligible for the uninitiated. The comic itself comes with a character list and a couple of pages of backstory in the opening. Being the professional critic that I am (and I am oh so professional), I was able to follow along on just skimming the character list.
None of this tells you whether Lazarus Risen #1 is a good comic, and…yeah, it’s pretty solid. The story has a swift and hard-hitting pace. The characters, are interesting and have distinct motivations. Forever is the most sympathetic despite being a living killing machine.
It is hard to root for House Carlyle given the feudal structure of all this nonsense and the fact that Johanna seems pretty duplicitous herself.
The comic does come off as cloyingly edgy at times, but those moments are few.
There is also a World of Lazarus short story at the end for those who want more from the universe. I’m a very professional comic book reviewer…so I didn’t (it didn’t have enough pictures for me).
Lazarus Risen #1 art by Michael Lark, Tyler Boss, Santi Arcas, and letterer Simon Bowland
Lazarus Risen #1 art by Michael Lark, Tyler Boss, Santi Arcas, and letterer Simon Bowland

The artwork of Michael Lark and Tyler Boss is damn good. The comic isn’t as text-heavy as one might expect, so Lark and Boss carry a lot of the narrative. They do it well, and the action scenes are very visceral and even brutal at times. Santi Arcas’ color work isn’t especially exciting, but it’s functional and does what it needs to do for the comic.
Lazarus Risen #1 is a solid first issue. The characters are mostly introduced quite well, the pacing is swift, and it’s not hard to glean what’s going on–even for newbies like myself. This one is worth a recommendation. Feel free to pick it up.
Lazarus Risen #1 comes to us from writers Greg Rucka and Lilah Sturges, artists and cover artists Michael Lark and Tyler Boss, color artist Santi Arcas, letterer Simon Bowland, and is based upon the work of Crystal Frasier.

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