Greg Rucka, Michael Lark and Santi Arcas' Lazarus is a dystopian possible future where corporations have replaced countries, and a small number of a families have all of the power. While the series is decidedly science fiction, there's a grounding in reality and our own world's potential for catastrophe that makes Lazarus one of the scariest comics on the stands.
Captain America: Civil War is in cinemas now, and everyone’s raving about its impressive set-pieces, complex themes and snappy banter. Marvel Studios and the Russo Brothers not only managed to make possibly the best Captain America film (and the best Avengers film) so far, but they told an awesome, tightly-plotted story that never felt bloated despite the number of characters demanding the spotlight.
The Captain America franchise has always skewed somewhat more toward espionage thrillers than your average superhero series, similar in tone to the Jason Bourne series or the modern day James Bond films. If you loved Civil War and want to try some comics in a similar vein --- but you’ve already read Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s Captain America run --- we’ve compiled a list of five of the best independent comics to try next.
Sometimes a writer and an artist bring out the best in each other. Greg Rucka would probably tell you how fortunate he's been to work with several especially fantastic artists throughout his career: JH Williams III, Yoshitaka Amano, and Steve Lieber, just to name a few. Likewise, Michael Lark has been paired with some excellent writers like Ed Brubaker and Dean Motter. But Rucka and Lark may be at their best when working together, as they did on the neo-classic Gotham Central, so it was no surprise that last year's announcement of Lazarus, their new series from Image Comics, was met with significant praise from readers, critics, and other creators alike.
Like Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples' Saga, Lazarus was the kind of comic book that seemed destined to be critically lauded even before anyone read it. Image Comics, knowing what it had on its hands, marketed the book at every opportunity, releasing artwork well in advance as well as a short story set in the Lazarus universe. But all the early praise did give me some pause. I love what both creators have accomplished together, but sometimes reality can't live up to the hype, even when everything looks good on paper (so-to-speak). But I can confirm Lazarus #1 is a success. Let's take a look at why.