Friday, August 09, 2013

Lazarus






This past week I slept weird, I guess, and pulled some nerve in my back, so I haven't been very industrious, or at least, that's what I'm blaming my laziness on this week.  I'll have to think of another reason for next week.  Such is my life.  But I have had this sharp pain under my left shoulder, which has limited my movement and motivation.

I just read Greg Rucka and Michael Lark's, Lazarus 1 and 2.  It is the beginning of an interesting SF comic, which has the potential for an interesting movie adaptation if the series can maintain the same caliber.  It's a dystopian tale where society has broken down into several kingdoms (more or less) ruled over, not by governments anymore, but by wealthy families.  The families have protectors, that are stem cell modified, known as a Lazarus, and Lazarus of  the Carlyle family is known as Forever (she's the female on the cover).  The Lazarus is similar to the character, Wolverine, in that they are hard to kill, have a fast healing factor,  and are more fit and powerful than normal people.  This is about all we know by the second issue.

The comic is interesting on a lot of levels.  On the surface it's an adventure SF story, but like a lot of well made SF, there are subtext underlying the surface as well.  When I read the comic I would think about all sorts of things.  Not to get too political, which I can be at times, I remember during the last presidential elections, I had a friend, who I felt had drifted off into the deepend, which was sending me all this Ron Paul propaganda by way of this web site known as Infowars.com and prisonplanet.com run by conspiracy wingnut, Alex Jones. 

Now Ron Paul may be a shrewd and savvy politician because like musician Frank Zappa told Alice Cooper, any free promotion is good promotion (when the rock press was writing about Alice Cooper stomping chickens to death on stage when his band first started out, which was not true, by the way).  At any rate, one of the conspiracies that Jones and crew were putting out is the Bilderberg Group conspiracy.  In short, it's about a bunch of super wealthy people who want to take over the world.  Now if it were just this one conspiracy, the Alex Jones site might actually sucker in a few more converts, however, if you dig deeper, they also believe in tons of other conspiracies, like UFOs, big foot, to George Bush having a hand in the 9-11 incident, and a lot other crackpot ideas.

The only thing about the whole promotion for Ron Paul thing was, I felt,  if you associate yourself with crackpots, what does that say about you?  I tried to win my friend back over from the darkside with simple reasoning, but I doubt I had much success.  Neither here nor there.  One of my arguments though was: If you were this wealthy, wouldn't you want to maintain some semblance of an ordered, non-violent society to some degree?  After all, you live on earth too, and either you would have to send messengers out for you and your family, or you'd have to go out into the world to get groceries and supplies after a while.  Also unless your entire family lived together under one roof (sort of unlikely), you'd be worried about the other parts of your family in such a dystopian world.  You'd want some order in getting your daily water supply, road maintenance, and many other facets.  The idea opens a pandora's box of worms.

One of my other arguments is:  How wealthy can you be?  I know it would be nice to be a billionaire, or even have ten billion, how about a hundred billion?  When do you stop?  Eventually your going to die sometime anyway, and you can't take it with you, so why have all this crazy wealth if you're going to just live in this deplorable hopeless world?  You certainly don't need even a billion dollars just to have a life of leisure to sit around on your ass all day and drink mai tai cocktails by the pool.  I'd ask him these questions, and either he'd evade the question or his answer would be, because they want power.

At any rate, this is the sort of world that is being built in the comic, Lazarus.  The world has broken down into a few wealthy elite people.  They've formed more or less a NATO alliance to maintain a certain amount of peace and order, however, as in the first issue we see that there are power struggles and corruption with that world.  There are a lot of ways Rucka and company could spin their tale.  What part will Forever, and the other Lazarus have within the story (they are almost similar to the constructs in Bladerunner).  Will Forever betray her family for the greater good of society?  It's a good beginning with a lot of potential.

While on a similar note, Elysium, the movie starts this weekend.  Its plot, from what I've read,  is similar in tone, except, the elite live aboard a space station in earth orbit.  To me, that's even more risky than living on earth amongst all the waste, but I'm still planning on seeing the film.  These are the plots and plot holes of science fiction, and they are all interesting ideas to think about. 






2 Comments:

At 7:53 PM, Blogger The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Interesting. And some of the mind numbing preaching gets really old. Avatar was really annoying in this way.

I really loved district 9 and I'm disappointed blomkamp had to go preaching politics. That is boring science fiction when the message has to take center stage. Economic injustice and inequality. Got it.

It looks visually exciting and I plan to see it but going overtly into class warfare is rather Hollywood. Disappointed.

How fitting to have Matt Damon at the helm of that one.

I did expect more from a follow up.

Best
Sff

 
At 8:59 PM, Blogger El Vox said...

SFF: I think Elysium may be a pretty decent film. I didn't mind Avatar, really enjoyed the visuals, but the story was a bit weak. Although I had problems with some of the plot as I do with a lot of films from time to time.

I don't mind that a SF film contains elements of politics or social commentary, but I also want a tale that stands on its on two legs as well. Sometimes I long for the older days where SF was just sheer escapism--Pacific Rim was good in that regard :).

I'm interested to see where the comic Lazarus goes as Rucka said he got the idea from the Occupy Wall St. Movement, but at the same time wanted the stem cell angle to have some harder science grounding to seem plausible. I don't think I need much history on stem cells or iPS cells as he calls them, I just like the idea of a metahuman, and I'm good. I like how Rucka though allowed us to see a bit of the workings of his thinking process on coming up with the comic, and had a lot of statistics etc., in the back of the #1 issue, which added to the enjoyment.

I don't know if you caught that recent news story about the stem cells hamburger, ha, so I guess it's on the horizon. Cheers.

 

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