Owning an iPad has made me a more frequent reader of comic books than I have been at any point since I was a kid. I don’t write a lot about the ones I read here because I find that few people who don’t already read comics are willing to give them a try—despite all of the form’s cultural progress over the past several years, the idea of actually reading a comic book is still too loaded with juvenile connotations for most folks. On occasion, when I come across something really outstanding, I’ll make an exception, like I did with Darwyn Cooke’s stunning adaptations of Richard Stark’s “Parker” novels—but that post was greeted with mostly crickets.

Nevertheless, I feel compelled to mention Greg Rucka and Michael Lark’s “Lazarus” series, the fourteenth issue of which debuts today. Its genre is near-future, dystopian science fiction, set in a world where some kind of economic collapse has resulted in the planet being carved up into territories owned by feudal families. That premise might sound familiar, but it’s an astonishingly vivid vision, masterfully crafted and narrated by Rucka, who is one of comics’ very best writers, and rendered with bracing naturalism by the amazing drafting hand of artist Michael Lark. I was skeptical about the book at first, admittedly in part because the series logo is not particularly impressive. But I’d read Rucka and Lark’s work on “Gotham Central” series some years ago and found that to be truly superb. “Lazarus” is even better.