Lazarus

The London Bookshop Crawl aka An Awesome Bookish Day

Yesterday I spent the day going to many bookshops in London with a lot of book loving people. It was the London Bookshop Crawl which was organised by the wonderful Bex and it as so much fun!

Going into the Bookshop Crawl I didn’t know anyone. Bex had set up a Twitter list of the people who were going on the crawl so I’d followed them all to try and learn names and get to know some of them but really, I didn’t know anyone when I arrived at Foyles at 9:30am.

When I got there, there were already some people sitting in the café with hot drinks and pastries. After having a hot chocolate I went browsing the shelves of Foyles with Annette and Lauren, we talked about what genres we liked and recommended books to each other which was great. In Foyles I bought A Darker Shade of Magic and The Man in the High Castle – two books I’d been meaning to get my hands on for a while. I did start the crawl saying I’d only get one book per shop but that failed straight away! (more…)

REVIEW: Lazarus Volume Three by Greg Rucka, Michael Lark and Santi Arca

Lazarus_Vol3-1A conclave has been called in order to try and broker peace for the feuding families. Two sides have appeared those following Jakob Hock and those following Malcolm Carlyle. Forever Carlyle is the families Lazarus and protector whose been raised to never question her orders but as things transpire, Forever isn’t sure who to trust anymore.

My experience with the Lazarus series has been a bit up and down. I enjoyed Volume One but then I really didn’t like Volume Two. Now, after a guy I know at the comic store I go to convinced me to give Volume Three a go, I’m back to liking the series a lot again.

Volume Two feels more of an interlude from the main story as set out in Volume One. This Volume is much more focussed on the politics of the world and gives it a bigger scope as you’re introduced to the many different families and their Lazarus’s.

Forever has a lot of decisions to make. She’s always been told that she’s a part of the family and her father is her father, but she begins to doubt that and wonders if she was made in a lab rather than born. She also has two decide who to trust out of her brother and sister and whether to tell her father her doubts and fears. Forever isn’t used to being unsure about things so it gives her more depth as she tries to figure out what to do.

There’s a fight at the end between two Lazari, Forever and another woman she considers her friend, that spans numerous double pages and there’s no dialogue. There’s just the amazing art and you can imagine the movements as the two Lazari fight and it’s gripping as you’re not sure who you want to win because if Forever does win she’ll lose her friend but if she doesn’t her family will lose everything.

Lazarus Volume Three makes the world bigger and more complex, secrets and lies that were hinted at in Volume One are revealed but there’s still more intrigue and a brilliant cliffhanger ending. 5/5.

REVIEW: The Punisher Vol. 2, Secret Avengers Vol. 1 and Lazarus Vol. 2

FullSizeRender (58)The Punisher Vol. 2: Border Crossing – Nathan Edmondson, Kevin Maurer, Mitch Gerads, Carmen Carnero and Phil Noto

Frank Castle is in trouble, he’s injured and has not only gang lords after him but Crossbones as well. Things get interesting when he runs into Black Widow but whether their meeting will be good for Frank, who knows? All Frank knows is that he has to get back to LA before it burns to the ground.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed volume one of The Punisher (I mainly picked it up because I’ve seen the various Punisher movies – check out The Punisher: War Zone – and because I liked the art). I really like Frank Castle and his attitude towards criminals, he is a vigilante but when he’s not around things are decidedly worse for the general public. Volume One ended on a bit of a cliff-hanger so I was keen to see what happened to Frank next.

I really liked his encounter with Black Widow and how his story entwined with that of her (as seen in the series by Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto) but you don’t need to be reading Black Widow to know what’s going on (though I highly recommend it because it’s great). They’re interesting characters to have together as they are both comfortable with doing bad things for the right reason.

All the threads that were set up in volume one are coming together and painting a complicated picture – but not too complicated. There’s the strand with the drug lords and the strand with the new Howling Commandos but Frank (and you as the reader) is slowly starting to join the dots. Everything hasn’t become clear quite yet so I’m certainly looking forward to seeing how it all pans out in the next volume.

I still like the art a lot but the way the panels are ordered so they suddenly go across a double page spread sometimes threw me a bit. 4/5. (more…)

REVIEW: Hawkeye, Lazarus, Sex Criminals, The Manhattan Projects and Rocket Girl

I’ve been catching up on my comic books (the majority of which featured awesome female characters) so here are another batch of reviews.


FullSizeRender (18)Hawkeye Vol. 3: L.A. Woman
– Matt Fraction, Annie Wu and Javier Pulido

Hawkeye Volume 3 combines alternate issues of the comics run – Hawkeye Annual 1, Hawkeye 14, 16, 18-19, 21. I thought it was a bit strange to have odd issues instead of consecutive issues like your average trade paper back but it turns out it makes a lot of sense. The volume follows Kate Bishop who after getting fed up with Clint Barton has decided to go to LA with Lucky the dog. Instead of having a nice, relaxing time in the sunshine she stumbles into supervillain Madame Masque’s plans. Kate’s not quite on her own; she does have Lucky, the cat she’s supposed to be looking after and the newly-weds next door to help her out.

It was great seeing what Kate gets up to when she’s not dealing with Clint’s ridiculousness – Kate’s such a great character so it was nice to see her strike out on her own. The art was different to the rest of the series but I liked that as it showed how Kate and Clint are different on another level. I especially liked the pictures that were Kate’s inner thoughts. Hawkeye Volume 3 continues to have great writing that’s funny but also touching and the art compliments the writing perfectly. 5/5.

Lazarus Vol. 1: Family – Greg Rucka, Michael Lark and Santi ArcasbFullSizeRender (21)
Lazarus is set in a dystopian war-torn future where there are a few great families who have the power. In each of these families there is a Lazarus – the Lazarus has the best training and assets and is the family’s sword and shield. In the Family Carlyle, the Lazarus is called Forever and she is deadly.

Forever is near-indestructible and will do anything to protect her family. Her family isn’t exactly honest though as everyone seems to have their own agenda and Forever is being kept in the dark. Forever is an interesting character, she’s strong but there’s a vulnerability about her and I like that a lot.

The plot is slow moving but that doesn’t mean it’s boring. It takes the time to build the dystopian setting, add layers to the characters and it slowly builds the tension between the characters which I can see paying off in the future. I’m definitely going to be picking up volume two soon. 4/5. (more…)