Jarad’s Comics in Review – Lazarus and Quantum & Woody!


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Lazarus #4
Writer: Rucka, Greg
Artist: Lark, Michael
Cover Artist: Lark, Michael
On Sale Date: October 2, 2013
Publisher: Image Comics

I shouldn’t be surprised, but the artwork and storytelling remain top notch. The synergy between the two long time collaborators is seemless. This is the best I have ever seen Michael Lark, his style has continuously evolved since his days on Gotham Central and is even a noticeable improvement from Daredevil. I would be interested to see how he has altered his technique and what programs if any, he is using. The paneling and layout are outstanding. It has to be seen to adequately be appreciated. Comics are inherently a visual medium and as such, this is the only way that you can get away with it, without distorting things or rendering it unintelligible. Parallel stories and events take place simultaneously that mirror each other. This is an old trick but worked to perfection here.

Greg Rucka’s work on Gotham Central and Queen and Country is under appreciated and critically acclaimed. Sadly the sales numbers just aren’t there. This is a fate I hope Lazarus does not share. This is a lush world with many unsettling depths. Deeper down the rabbit hole we go, the less likely you are to emerge from it. I could get into what could be interpreted as thinly veiled messages about our current world and state of affairs, I am certain someone will whenever the series is concluded, but for now I just want to enjoy it.

As we left our protagonist, Forever Carlyle (Lazurus of the Carlyle family), her seeming doom was at hand due to the machinations of her brother Jonah. I do not know the extent of a Lazarus’ regenerative abilities, but they seem to be indestructible barring a beheading or complete incineration. It appears as though they may even have a metal exo-skeleton underneath, Terminator style, as the Moray’s Lazurus exhibited a metal jaw. Forever has been genetically engineered and her biological functions are monitored. Johanna Carlyle meanwhile shows the lengths that she is willing to go to achieve her goals. It is very rare to get fully realized three dimensional characters, so I suggest everyone savors this while they can.

I give this issue of Lazarus, 4.5 out of 5 Nerdskulls.




Quantum and Woody #4
Writer: Asmus, James (Check out our interview with James here)
Artist: Fowler, Tom
Cover Artist: Santiago, Donovan
On Sale Date: October 2, 2013
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment

Do you like Bromance? Beta-max? Super Science gone awry? Conflict? Romance? Clones? Questionable Physics? Reboots? Monsters? Flashbacks? Fun?

Then this is the book for you. This is the funniest book being put out today by any of the major publishers. It is an absolute delight to read. It’s also not politically correct, so if you are easily offended, I wouldn’t recommend it. Presuming you have a less serious disposition, Quantum and Woody is what Deadpool aspires to be; a comic in every sense of the word. The scenario is absurd and the solution to their problems… well it’s not a real solution but it will have to do.

If you loved the original series, you are already reading this. If you only liked it and are unsure, there are a few new notable wrinkles. While Eric Henderson, Quantum, plays the straight man to Woody’s hijinks, they are now brothers, Woody was adopted. This significant change in the new continuity pays large dividends over the course of the initial story arc. There is tension between them as they competed for the attention of their shared father. The flashbacks are really entertaining, especially one that involves a young Eric and the Anarchist Cookbook. Woody is likable and infuriating, but, at the end of the day, they are family.

Satirizing the endless amounts of Acronym based organizations in comics, Quantum and Woody join in the fun with E.R.A. (Edison’s Radical Acquisitions) what a wonderful idea. Thomas Edison is one of America’s most beloved sons; inventor and genius. That maybe how he is portrayed in mainstream history. What Beta-Max (an early 80’s cyborg) reveals is a completely different picture, one of a glorified megalomaniac who stole ideas, inventions and technology all for his greater good. Humanity will get technology when he deems it appropriate. This society would limit the discoveries and profit immeasurably from their indiscretions. I do not know how recurring this cadre of villains will be going forward, but can only hope to see them again soon. They act as a perfect foil to our erstwhile heroes.

If any of this sounds interesting, I implore you to pick up the first four issues, you won’t regret it. Let’s hope the bonds that bind them keep them closer than ever, if not there could be explosive consequences.

I give this issue of Quantum and Woody, 4.5 out of 5 Nerdskulls.

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