Lazarus #26 (Image Comics)
Our world is at a tipping point, where a handful of futures are possible provided we somehow manage to avoid global annihilation to satisfy the greedy death cult that has taken control of world politics. It’s tragic that the most likely one, right now, is that of a corporation-based oligarchy…
… especially given that this comic has spent years explaining why that is a terrible idea.
So, here’s the set-up: America dissolved into corporate city-states as government (whose function is to care for people )was replaced by corporations (whose function is turn a profit). We don’t know how this happened in the world of this comic, but it’s likely a mirror of how it happened here: the people behind corporations bribing politicians to recognize corporations as people so that they can make legalized bribes turning towards the corruption of first one and then both political parties to a revolving door of corrupt profit at the expense of anyone not caught in that loop, all fed by a purchased media that acts as a propaganda mouthpiece of those same corporate interests.
As people get voted into government with the stated reason of proving that government doesn’t work, those same people kill their countryfolk, corrupt religion, and turn profits for themselves and their friends while ignoring the dead and dying outside their country estates.
That’s happening all across the world right now. It has happened in this comic. The families that control corporations have divided the land and the people (whom they call the waste) and rule like feudal lords. The least worst of them is probably the Carlyles, who are still pretty awful to other people and one another. Their family politics would make the Lannisters from Game of Thrones proud.
Because physical warfare against other corporations doesn’t turn a profit (that only works when you can sell two or more countries into fighting one another and get the corrupt politicians to foot the bill on behalf of those countries), the corporations of this world have each created a unique Lazarus – inhuman representatives that represent the highest advances in cybernetics and genetic manipulation.
The best of them belongs to the Carlyle clan in the form of Forever Carlyle, a cloned warrior woman who has been led to believe that she is part of the Carlyle family and basically cannot die. Problem is, she discovered what she is while another corporation (probably the worst of them, imagine Kinder Morgan or Walmart without the pretense of government regulation) has stolen some of the Carlyle’s technology for themselves.
All of this has led to a war that is plaguing the Carlyle clan from within and without, and the corporations that they nominally work with are now circling them and looking to take them for all that they are worth. It’s all pretty horrifying stuff and the world is as deep and complex as you’d expect from someone like Greg Rucka.
The art will probably draw your attention, too, the muted colors and heavy inks of Michael Lark being pretty much perfect for this book and giving Lazarus much of its weight. This is one of the most politically complex comics being published today and something that everyone should be reading.
Hunt this down and read all the trades. It is well worth the hunt.