I am smitten with this version of Barbara Gordon. She’s cute and determined, and just wonderful all around. That said, this version of Barbara Gordon rewrites a lot of the original Barbara Gordon, meaning that she’s no longer a vigilante librarian/Congresswoman. But it also rewrites the dreadful 1990s version of Barbara Gordon who preferred to ask Batman for permission to kick ass rather than making that decision for herself. DC confuses me with its constant rewriting of characters…
So anyway, this version of Barbara Gordon, is a college student with a roommate who wants to get in on the whole superhero gig, and a best friend who’s getting married. She’s got a lot on her plate, and it’s all just fun, something mostly lacking from the Bat-verse. Plus, there’s quite a lot of diversity going on, and (unrelatedly) the artwork is gorgeous. There are things I didn’t quite get, having missed the first volume (why did everyone think Dick Grayson was dead? What the feck is going on with Jim Gordon being Batman?), but it didn’t matter because I was too caught up in enjoying myself to let it get in the way.
I only have a passing familiarity with Valiant Comics, so Ivar was entirely new to me which was something of a handicap as it becomes clear that readers are supposed to know who he is. The thing is, he comes across as a total dick and I can’t really tell if that’s his normal characterisation or not. If it is, how did this guy get his own series? Arguably, the main character is actually Dr. Neela Sethi, who is on the verge of a major scientific breakthrough when she gets dragged into Ivar’s world. She’s certainly a more sympathetic character than he is, and she gets some pretty funny dialogue, but I wasn’t particularly interested in her back story which was unfortunate as it was a pretty big plot point. The time-travel had the potential to be interesting but seemed to be used mostly to provide different backdrops to the back and forth between Ivar and Neela. So yeah, I doubt I’ll be picking up any further volumes of this one.
I honestly don’t remember where I came across Foxlowe, but I’m glad I picked it up because it was wonderful. Green lives with her family, but they’re not an ordinary family, they’re a newer, better, more enlightened family. The more we learn about the Family and their ways, the more unsettling things become. Green accepts her world unconditionally, but should she? From the very beginning, there’s a sense of unease in Green’s story, and as we get deeper into it, that unease grows until it eclipses everthing else. Whenever you feel like you have a handle on what’s happening, the rug gets pulled out from under you. This is not a comfortable read, but it’s a brilliant one.
I love this series. There, I said it. I’m a fan of Greg Rucka’s work generally because he writes such amazing women, and he hasn’t let me down with Lazarus which has an awesome (female) main character, and a host of interesting (female) supporting characters. Plus, he’s added in some sci-fi. Yay! Forever Carlyle is her family’s Lazarus, which means that she is responsible for protecting them and their interests. With the world at war, Forever is more important than ever. This started as a political thriller set in a dystopian future and it’s blossomed into a full-on war comic set in a dystopian future, which I am all about. Plus, the twists – good lord the twists! I need the next volume in my hands right now, please.