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.