Lazarus #7

Lazarus has consistently been one of my favorite series. I love dystopians. I love female leads. i love the “what ifs” of impossibly stratified classes and corporate wealth that elevates families into royalty… and dumps everyone else into poverty so extreme that there’s no escape. It’s impressive… and yeah, it’s depressing. 

The review for last issue is here.

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So I’m a huge fan and we’re getting into some meat now. The Barrets, an impoverished Midwestern family who recently lost everything in a flood is travelling to Denver for “the Lift” they are hoping to get jobs working for the Carlyles …but so are alot of people, so many that they clog up the highway as they make their way on horseback. They are attacked in the night and their daughter, Leigh, is killed and the father is shot.  

Forever is interrogating the woman who ‘distracted’ the guards so that her friends could steal materials to make a bomb. She doesn’t care about threats of prison or torture. But Johanna offers her something different.. a better life. A make over, higher social status, acting classes, a job. Is it an offer to good to refuse?

We also get another glimpse into Forever’s training with Marisol. I think Forever kills her. It’s so heavy. Greg Rucka is stopping my heart with this one. Next issue Forever will be at “the Lift” and since she’s becoming more aware of the atrocities both inside and outside of her family I expect her to get into a lot of trouble. But her training tells her that if her family needs someone dead… she must abide. Will she sympathize with the “waste” or will she stay true to the Carlyles? 

The faux advertisement for Morray cellular service on the back page is a nice touch. Corporate empires = global take over. It’s terrifying and awesome. 

Lazarus #3

Forever Carlyle is in Magdalena, Mexico after being “taken” by the Morray family.

This happens:

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Yeah, Forever is such a bad ass that it gives me indescribable joy.

She hands over her gun without much ado, but when pressured to give up her blade… uhhh… she teaches them the meaning of “dis-arm.”

The Morray’s Lazarus, Joacquim, and Forever look pretty tight.

Back in California, Jonah is arguing with Forever’s doctor to tell him where Forever is. He won’t. But he is giving hourly updates to her father.

Forever and Joacquim are bonding over being the only Lazarus’ they know and all the weird implants and engineering they’ve had done by their families. They had been ordered to kill each other, and in quite Shakespearian fashion, they are totally sweet on each other.

Jo and Jonah are upset that Forever is talking peace with the Morrays when they want war. Jo decides that they will kill Forever and frame the Morrays and that will be war.

But she’s the Lazarus, she can’t be killed.

Some revelations are made before the Morrays and Forever, representing the Carlyles come to a trade agreement. Joacquim escorts Forever back and they start to get a little close, a tender moment for our tough guys …before the earth beneath them goes KABOOM!

Forever Carlyle… the Lazarus, ultimate weapon with no ability not to obey her family, a tool created… who has a crush. What will become of Joacquim? Will Forever get free-will (in so much as free will can exist)? What’s Jonah’s angle?

The most bad ass opening possible, and some insight into Forever’s character, what life is like for the ultimate weapon.

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http://familycarlyle.tumblr.com/

Greg Rucka continues to be my extra-favorite with his responses to fan letters …”We’ve found the variety of responses to Forever’s design to be… interesting. To those who have a problem with her strength, size and relatively modest bust (in comic art-style terms, at least)… get over yourselves.”

Chew Vol. #6

Chew came recommended by Kiss My Wonder Woman who has an awesome blog that you should look at when you’re done looking at mine. Anyway, I had to start with volume 6… well, no that’s not true. They had other volumes that weren’t volume 1. But this one was called “Space Cakes” and I’m having a dystopian-future-outer-space thing happening over here right now. 

CHEW: Volume 6: Space Cakes

While Tony Chu – the cibopathic federal agent with the ability to get psychic impressions from what he eats – clings to life in a hospital ICU, his twin sister Toni steps up to take center stage. Toni is cibovoyant, able to see the future of anything she eats, and, lately, she’s seeing some pretty terrible things.

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I don’t even know how to review anything as weird as this. It was really enjoyable. Dear God was it original. And hilarious. 

So this was my first time ever reading CHEW and Toni is not usually the main character, her ability is also a bit different than her brother’s. If you also have no idea what’s going on here, she goes around biting people to see their future and has been known to lick psychotropic frogs, she’s a riot at parties and a NASA special agent.

A meeting with an old friend has her hunting down a gangster that runs an illegal chicken restaurant speakeasy that’s serving up psychotropic chicken/frogs or chogs or fricken, whichever you prefer. Oh yeah, no one can eat bird meats because of bird flu.

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Then somehow NASA agents team up with the FDA and USDA to find a vampire via a victuspeciosian (a beautician who can transform people temporarily using food products). There’s another chicken involved here also, a deadly bionic rooster that is a USDA agent.

I can’t really make this make sense so I’ll just say:

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You should check out CHEW

(Volume 6 collects issues #26-30, plus the blockbuster spin-off one-shot that stole America’s heart, Chew: Secret Agent Poyo)

Check out the comic so you can get excited that this thing is going to maybe possibly be a TV show!

Lazarus #1 & #2

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Inspired by class warfare and stem cells impact on bone regeneration, Greg Rucka and Michael Lark create a comic starring “Forever Carlyle, the lazarus.” The first panels show Forever taking 3 bullets before getting up, bloody but a-ok, and exacting her revenge in a rather harsh manner. Forever visits a doctor where she reveals the men broke in to “the guest house” because they wanted something to eat. The doctor says, “The family provides for ALL citizens, as you know. If they are DOCUMENTED residents of the domain they receive their allowance.”

At the Carlyle’s Harvest One facility, there has been an attack and the seed vaults were raided. And her brother, Jonah, demands that punishment be enacted. Forever does what she is told, but her conscience and emotions are weighing on her. She doesn’t think the man who confessed to aiding the Morray family in attacking was really involved.

There’s some interesting topics here: class warfare, people receiving an “allowance” (which is essentially welfare) from The Family, citizens having to be registered in the domain, absolute power over the population, super-regeneration, scapegoating people for treason. The art is dark and muted tones, it really sets a mood.

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Issue #2 starts off with Forever taking her “maintenance regimen” which is a big ass pile of vitamins. Forever is discussing the attack at Harvest One, saying that she found no evidence about how the man she executed was contacted by the Morray family (probably because they were never in contact, which she doesn’t say, but her family keeps thinking of people around him to throw under the bus). Apparently the Carlyle’s have the best seeds that will grow anywhere (did we just throw GMOs in the mix??).  Then Forever and Jonah take off to LA at their father’s wishes. LA has been destroyed by an earthquake, but they own rebuilt what the family needed. Apparently it’s in Forever’s genes to do whatever the family asks (what does that mean??). But Forever takes off for Mexico.

There’s so many things to talk about!! 

Evil GMO controlling family who dispenses an “allowance” to the population. The population is broken into categories of “family”, “serf” and “waste” …yes, considered “waste” by the Family. Looking to make an example by murdering citizens in order to control the population. Crazy science! Genetically altered female takes a bullet to the brain and after a minute or two recoup, doesn’t even get a headache? Oh snap!

Also someone wrote in a letter to the creators after issue #1 and said “The only thing I didn’t really like was how butch Forever looks but that is just a minor flaw in my opinion.”

And Greg Rucka responded, “Yeah, not to throw down, but Forever looking like she can kick your ass? That’s not a flaw; that’s by design. Making her a frail little waif would have made about as much sense as putting her in high heels.”

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Hooray! I cannot wait to see what happens next! Also, fuck yes! Female centered comics!