This week, we take a look at three books and an awesome attorney. Three books heavy on grrl power – a lethal lady, a breezy bandit
Forever Carlyle is the Lazarus of the Carlyle Family. Tasked with protecting its lands, law, and security, she will do anything to uphold the Carlyles’ authority within their lands, even to the extent of executing lowly servants to prove a point.
Although her loyalty to her Family is unquestionable, Forever’s conscience and emotions are starting to get the better of her.
Collecting the first four issues of the series, Lazarus’ first arc – aptly titled Family – sets up the world impressively and in Forever, gives us one of the most intriguing, lethal and dangerous women in comics right now (sorry, Elektra).
The opening few pages set her up perfectly, starting off with a flashback where Forever is shot three times and left for dead before getting up later to wipe out her attackers. Later, she confides to her medical examiner that the men she killed “only wanted something to eat”, leading to her brother Jonah ordering said examiner to keep her under control and prevent her from “getting ideas”.
The richness of detail Rucka and Lark have built into their world makes this opening arc a much more satisfying and meatier read than you would expect. It raises all the right questions, enacts some intriguing mysteries around Forever’s status and origins, and gives us tantalising glimpses of that dystopian world.
From the derogatory term “Waste” to the dismissive and arrogant way in which the Families talk about and to those outside their circle, the inequality that exists in the world – the disparity between the Families and Waste – is a point the creators hammer home relentlessly.
“There’s no point in wasting resources on Waste who can’t appreciate it,” remarks Jonah in one panel, as he sips champagne in his limo while travelling through the desolation of his domain.
Another indication of the amount of thought Rucka and Lark have put into their alternate world is the timelines included from the second chapter onwards, where they list in detail the history of their world, including the origin of the term “Waste”, the global economic fallout that caused the setting up of the current Family-based system, the creation of the Lazarus programme, and the history of the various Families.
It’s an incredibly detailed world that is made all the richer by Rucka’s engrossing story and Lark’s stellar artwork (he even designed different crests for each Family), and makes for a cracking read that is equal parts dystopian drama and action showpiece.
Image Comics has been churning out creator-owned masterpieces quite regularly over the past year, and Lazarus certainly ranks as one of its best ongoing series right now.
Bandette Vol 1: Presto! Creators: Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover Publisher: Monkeybrain Comics / dark Horse
Comics PRESTO! Meet Bandette, the world’s greatest and sweetest teen thief, occasional police helper, and probably the best-loved criminal on the streets of Paris. Come and be beguiled by her adorable outfit! Be enchanted by her quirky wit! Be entertained by her daring exploits! Be amazed by her loyal gang of urchin helpers!
Previously only available in digital format, this Eisner-nominated MonkeyBrain series is finally available in print, and what a delight it is. Collecting issues #1-#5 of Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover’s series, this hardcover edition of Bandette also includes short stories about the supporting characters, featuring guest artists
as the Carlyle Family Lazarus, Forever is given the best they can offer – training, technology and assets, every scientific advantage.
bandette pulls off a heist that turns into a car chase through Paris, in bandetteVolume1.