cover image Lazarus Jack

Lazarus Jack

Mark Ricketts, . . Dark Horse, $14.95 (128pp) ISBN 978-1-59307-097-7

Lazarus Jack was a Houdini-like escape artist in the 1920s, but he's now a bedridden nursing home inhabitant. The mysterious Mr. Nemo offers Jack his youth back so that he may search for the members of his missing family, lost to another dimension in a long-ago accident. Of course, Nemo's offer comes with a price: Jack embarks on a time-twisting adventure that brings him into conflict with his family at different points in time. Domingues's panels resemble cartoon cels, with a slickly animated look, and the fresh coloring gives the art life, but the story isn't well developed. Characters come and go without sufficient explanation or characterization. There are too many deus ex machina elements, including an alien lizard-dog that reverses Jack's age, the shadow creatures who bedevil him, and the magic spells Jack conveniently remembers whenever needed. Ricketts attempts too much in one story—reuniting his hero with long-lost family members, exploring an alternate dimension, fighting treachery—without any one element having the resonance it should. Still, readers looking for an entertaining action tale will find enough to satisfy them despite this work's flaws. (Oct.)