Could Greg Rucka's Lazarus Be Amazon's Game of Thrones?
A few weeks ago, Netflix made a major investment in comics when the company purchased the rights to almost all of Mark Millar’s creator owned comics. Last week, Amazon made its own move by placing three sci-fi projects in development as television series. As reported by Variety, one of those potential shows is Lazarus, based on the comic book series by writer Greg Rucka and artist Michael Lark. And if Amazon really wants to answer Netflix’s recent move, then perhaps it should give Rucka a similar deal to the one that Netflix gave Millar.
First, let’s talk about the Lazarus comic book series. Rucka and Lark brought it to Image Comics in 2013, and it’s been one of the most popular titles for the resurgent publisher. The comic takes place in the future, where the world is under the grip of sixteen powerful families who rule using a feudal system to maintain their control. The main character is Forever Carlyle, the designated “Lazarus” of her family. Like the Biblical Lazarus, Forever is seemingly unable to die. She’s been genetically modified to heal from almost any injury and she’s the chosen “warrior” of the family who has to pursue their agenda at any cost.
It’s pretty clear that Amazon wants its own Game of Thrones genre series that connects with its audience and breaks out into a larger hit with casual fans. Lazarus can be that series, if it is given a chance to succeed. Rucka and Lark have done an astonishing amount of groundwork establishing the world and its supporting characters. It’s a fully realized creation, and the serialization of its storyline makes it ideal for a television adaptation, The comic feels like it was inspired by the great shows of Peak TV, and it would make sense if it became a TV show as well.
To date, Rucka and Lark have produced twenty six issues of Lazarus, plus three one-shots. It’s ideally suited for live-action, but it’s far from the only creator owned comic that Rucka has in his arsenal. Rucka’s espionage book, Queen & Country, would also benefit from a serialized television approach. Likewise, private investigator series, Stumptown, also seems like a very good fit for TV. Rucka’s comics for Marvel and DC have also demonstrated his ability to write for many different genres to meet the specific demands of each story. That’s a skill that Rucka could also bring to bear, if Amazon wants him to create new series beyond Lazarus.
Both Rucka and Lark are attached to Lazarus as executive producers, with Rucka slated to write for it as well. Hopefully that will ensure that Lazarus is loyal to the original stories when the show receives its opportunity on Amazon. So far, it’s just in the early stages of development. If Lazarus isn’t ordered to series and isn’t halted, it will likely get a pilot order from Amazon. From there, Amazon will examine the viewing numbers to determine if it makes sense for a full series order. But we’re excited about the prospect of seeing this comic come to life.
Images: Image Comics