What is a Lazarus? This is the question Greg Rucka begins to answer in Lazarus #2. The book opens with Forever being examined by her sister, Beth. Beth prescribes her a cocktail of all sorts of colorful pills, injects her with some type of serum, and even performs a type of full body scan which appears to break down her genetic code!
Figuring out what is a Lazarus, is not all about physiology. Forever is able to give an apt military intelligence report on the Family Morray’s attack of Harvest One in Lazarus #1. Her report also included an investigative ability in determining how the attack occurred and the defenses were breached. Forever’s mental state is also put to the test with some grueling questioning by her Father. The sequence reinforces Eve’s moral dilemma revealed in the first issue.
Rucka isn’t alone in telling the story. Michael Lark’s art especially the full body scan really highlight Forever’s physiology and how her body operates from a skeletal breakdown to a brain scan, all of it being accomplished on an ipad-like device. The report breakdown also features some futuristic although familiar technology with a 3-D map of the Harvest One facility coming out of a nifty projector the size of a coffee mug.
The biggest reveal on what and who Forever is leads to a sibling fight which quickly escalates to a life or death scenario between Beth and Jonah. All is not well in the Family Carlyle. Arcas is once again up to the task drawing heads slamming into tables, trays being thrown out of the maid’s hands, and Stephen attempting to separate the two warring siblings. The sequence is full of tension and really motivates the reader to learn more about the Family Carlyle and what motivations and goals each of them have.
Setting up the chance (opportunity) to delve deeper into one of the family members, Rucka takes full advantage and gives the reader a look into Jonah and how he has managed Los Angeles, not to mention his relationship with his sister Johanna. Definitely hints of Cersei and Jamie Lannister.
Rucka returns to Forever, and displays her skills at deception, easily throwing off a tail and even leaving him a note just in case he thought he was outsmarting her. The Lazarus has a ton of talents, a superior physiology, and a hint of mystery to (in) her past. It will be interesting to see how these traits will be put to test especially when she has her first run-in with Family Morray.
Forever Carlyle is fleshed out, both literally and figuratively. The drama and politics surrounding Family Carlyle keep the tension high as intrigue swirls about in this dystopian future.