The first issue of LAZARUS, the new dystopian Image Comics series by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark, has sold out the day of its release. Called “absolutely riveting, complex and stunning” by Comic Book Resources, LAZARUS #1 is immediately going back to press. The second printing will be in stores on July 24, the same day as LAZARUS #2.
The story of Forever, an apparently-immortal young woman, who was created as a lethal bodyguard and enforcer for the powerful Carlyle family, LAZARUS is set in a society that is at once highly futuristic and regressively feudal. Concentrated wealth and technological knowledge has put a few families in control of the lives who those who work for them, and Forever’s job is to maintain her family’s hold on power.
As writer Rucka recounted in interviews at the New York Post and Beyond Chron, Forever’s story and society was influenced by the Occupy Movement’s concern about economic inequality. While gratified at the new series’ success, Rucka is hesitant to ascribe political motivations behind the success of LAZARUS, though he does feel the comic speaks to people’s present experiences.
“I’m not sure I’d claim that we’ve hit a particular chord or social note, but I do think Michael and I are talking about — at least as backdrop — a scenario driven by some very real-world concerns,” said Rucka. “Not that we’re all headed to a genetically engineered future, or that the economic situation will become as dire and dark as we’ve painted it; but the fact is, we’re living in a very unstable world, and economic instability is part of that, despite recent gains. I have friends who are worried about where their next meal is coming from, whether or not they’ll be able to fill their gas tank, never mind their concerns for their future and the future of their children. That’s our reality right now, and it doesn’t take much imagination to extrapolate that to its worst.”
LAZARUS has received soaring reviews upon its debut:
“Mysterious, sleek, and hard-hitting; this is a first-rate page-turner from two of the finest creators working today.”
– MTV Geek
“Masked in science fiction, but inspired by the devastatingly increasing amount of lack in the world, Rucka and Lark have begun an important story. With haunting images and a compelling narrative — I am certain that Lazarus will take its place among the ranks of the comic elite and lay waste to the rest.”
“It’s difficult to make dystopian science fiction stories fresh these days, but “Lazarus” pulls it off beautifully, showing more depth in its first issue than many stories in the genre do by the time they’re done.”
– Multiversity Comics
“Lazarus #1 embodies everything I want in a comic book: dystopian near-future, hard sci-fi, badass female protagonist, contemporary social and political themes, blistering action, a touch of pathos, art that makes me feel like I can smell the cordite and taste the dirt. All this is to say, right out of the gate, the book is basically perfect.”
The second printing of LAZARUS #1 is available for pre-order now (MAY138228).