Comics: *Lazarus*, Volume 1

Spencer Ackerman, on Twitter this morning:

Lazarus: the best sci-fi comic out. A strong contender for best comic out, period.

That reminded me that I have had the first volume of Lazarus on my list of stuff to read for a while, so I got it. It is good, and definitely among the better sci-fi comics I have read lately.

I really like the art. It is more formalist than what one finds in most of the major titles from the Big 2, but not so over-stylized as to call undue attention to itself (Wytches, I'm looking at you here…) The color palette is nicely muted, and works well with the grim tone of the story.

The plot definitely moves along, and the larger story seems pretty compelling. It is hard to turn around these days without bumping into dystopias, but I appreciate how this book handles the political, economic, and social issues implicit in its vision of a future ruled by a small cadre of families. Plot-wise, this volume is mostly about pipe—a lot of backstory and hints of conspiracies yet to be revealed.

There is a risk of some cliché in the inevitable self-discovery arc for Eve, the main character, but I am willing to leave that in the category of "wait and see."

My main gripe is with the characterization/portrayal of the female characters. Among the supporting cast, the women are largely confined to Lady Macbeth-type roles. Eve herself is a relatively solid character, but even she gets stuck with belly shirts and other impractical and unnecessarily skimpy outfits. I guess this kind of stuff shouldn't surprise me at this point—it is just disappointing to find it marring an otherwise well-written book.

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