Lazarus #14 reveals something about the nature of Forever Carlyle both programmed and personal. Jonah’s ultimate fate is decided.
Previously in Lazarus #13: Lazari try to relax and Forever learns the evils of dancing.
LESSONS IN LAZARI
Greg Rucka bares a secret in the pages of Lazarus #14. He gives the readers information about the nature of a Lazarus, therefore about Forever our protagonist, that has been teased for several issues now and despite the fact that it is not altogether shocking it is a satisfying revelation that should lead to the unravelling of many more threads that have been held tight in the mystery of Lazarus thus far.
Lazarus #14 opens with Forever sneaking around the Triton One where events of the past couple issues have taken place. The entire facility is on lockdown, with so many warring families aboard it does not suit the safety standard to have enemies running about in a crisis. As a Lazarus Forever can move about undetected and she effortlessly locates her brother Jonah.
For some time now Jonah has been the prisoner of an enemy family – Hock. Jonah has been physically and mentally tortured for his family’s rejuvenation and anti-aging formula and by the time he reaches Lazarus #14 Rucka has plucked out his eye and given him an emotional turn around. Where in the past he regarded Forever with disdain Jonah is nothing short of elated to have the family Lazarus appear out of nowhere as if to rescue him.
For her part, Forever is less inclined to feel excitement upon the reunion with the man she had assumed to be her brother. By Lazarus #14 she has orders to murder Jonah in order to keep him out of the hands of the family Hock and to keep him from causing further distress to his own family – Carlyle. However, Forever wants to express her disgust in Jonah’s behaviour and she wants answers. Is she really a descendant of the family Carlyle? Is her father really her father? Is her family really her family? Has she been lied to? Has she been drugged? How could Jonah have betrayed them?
As mentioned above, these questions have been swirling almost since the second issue in the series. Rucka has Jonah drop answers to almost all of them as soon as they are demanded of him. Though they may not be altogether shocking, Forever now has the stepping stones upon which to launch a crusade for truth that, I hypothesize, will ultimately lead her to making war against the family Carlyle. Lazarus #14 tingles with Forever’s first betrayal of her father, the first time in her life she has questioned order and, likely, the first lie to have ever crossed her lips.
Lazarus #14 is a key issue in the series and Greg Rucka has paced it perfectly. There’s even a cliffhanger on the final page that is sure to leave readers on the edge of their seat.
Michael Lark does an outstanding job in Lazarus #14 as he has done for the length of the entire series. Forever isn’t a waifish girl on the page, she’s strong and scary and looks like the ideal person to take on her family’s combat at every turn. Though still lovely in her way, Forever has moments with Jonah in this issue where she is downright frightening and it is a beautiful thing to behold.
Colourist Santi Arcas breathes a special life into the pages of Lazarus #14. Lark has a sketchy, sharp aesthetic that lends a sense of danger to all aspects of life in the pages of this series and Arcas slaps such a dark, earthy colour palate on top of it that lend a feeling of reality to this post-apocalyptic world that many other comics set in a similar near-future lack.
Lazarus #14 is a cool issue with great art and Michael Lark is often given the chance to showcase his talent in completely silent panels. The art is never buried under words, which is a refreshing change of pace.
THE BOTTOM LINE: STILL GOOD
Lazarus #14 is the culmination of a lot of storytelling, the sprouting of many seeds that have been planted over the past year and change. The strength of this issue relies heavily on readers’ familiarity with the narrative as a whole and is a very rewarding read.