The first volume that collected multiple editions of the Lazarus series introduced the mafia-like families that rule a future dystopian U.S., along with their genetically enhanced Lazari and focused on Forever Carlyle, the Lazarus of the west-coast controlling Family Carlyle. The second volume explored the world from the perspective of the Waste, those not affiliated with a Family, and the concept of the Lift, where individuals can be elevated from being Waste. Here in the third volume, collecting issues 10-15, the focus returns to the Families and their Lazari.
The events in Conclave – intrigue between and within Families, torture, genetic alterations, hostage negotiations, meeting of all Family heads and their Lazari – are compelling and interesting, yet somehow this always feels like a bridging story. Even a touch of romance with another Lazarus and the excitement of a violent and bloody fight between Forever and another Lazarus do not lift it from this feeling.
I found this to be thoroughly enjoyable, and it left me wanting more. Luckily, the fourth bind-up will be published soon.
If you have read and enjoyed the first two volumes in the Lazarus series, definitely give this a read. Otherwise, my advice is to start at the beginning or most of the relationships, though the book begins with a ‘dramatic personae’ chart, and interactions will make some sense but lack context. As in the previous volumes, this is rated M/Mature. It does contain material of an adult nature.
Lazarus Volume 3 written by Greg Rucka, art by Michael Lark with Tyler Boss | Image Comics, Inc. March 2015 | paperback, 144 pgs | library copy