The world is adjusting to a flu pandemic, that sees the dorm complex of an American college quarantined. A lot about this premise feels familiar, but nevertheless the creative team still manage to deliver an enticing first issue. Quickly introducing us to the various characters attending this college, the issue doesn’t waste too much time going over the pandemic in question. Instead it uses the visual side and some tense developments to showcase the effect of this canine flu, with it leaving us a lot to mull over as we await the next instalment.
Clay McLeod Chapman is the creative mind behind this project, and I have to say that I think he has a winner on his hands. Right from the start you get a sense of loss and fear, though at the same time optimism. As the story progresses, the writer does an amazing job of building to the various twists, allowing for a much more emphatic response in the process. During this we also get some wonderful light drama, with a set of young characters that differ vastly from one another. This all comes to an intense climax, with the mysterious element sure to entice.
Despite the concept being enough to intrigue, it is the visuals that are likely to draw readers in most. Though the style doesn’t initially grab my attention, it quickly grew on me, suiting the narrative perfectly. Between the zany facial expressions and soft texture to his colours, Jey Levang leaves us with a final product that is simply extraordinary. The unique layout and gritty rendering of the pandemic is also more than enough the convince readers that this is a story worth following, with the emotion being intense to say the least. The illustrations also have a subtle charm about them, with the simple linework allowing for a more fluid product.
Lazaretto #1 is everything that you want from an opening issue and more. Giving us a premise that is both engaging and familiar, the creative team do a fantastic job of getting this story off the ground. In doing so, they introduce us to all the key characters, with there being more than a few surprising moments along the way. So if you’re looking for a new series to pick-up, I recommend choosing this new title from BOOM!
(9 / 10)