Lazarus Planet: We Once Were Gods #1 from DC is perhaps the best setup comic in a crossover in a considerable time. There are four tales herein and each is a work of art. Thanks upfront to every creative team. All of you put a new polish on these classic characters. Okay. Let’s get into what’s happening with these heroes dealing with the literal fallout from Lazarus Planet Alpha.
‘Hunger Pains’ is mainly a work in writing and art by Francis Manapul, an artist I’ve admired since back when he drew The Flash. He is joined by Andworld Design on flawless lettering as they spin a tale of a paranoid family finding strange, naked persons washing up on the beach. This is written with the tension of the original Night Of the Living Dead, and it so fits the story of these humans trying to contend with more changes (Lazarus Rain this time) wrought by superhumans. It’s also an Aquaman tale, and gosh, is he drawn to perfection. This story was a zinger in a book that only gets better.
Lazarus Planet: We Once Were Gods #1 is not playing games. ‘Songs Of Pain’ by Dan Watters, with art by Max Dunbar, is a Martian Manhunter tale. I remember loving this hero and being mad he rarely gets a series or attention. But this story of him meeting a person with newfound, Lazarus Rain powers is so damning, so touching, so tragic that it bowled me over. To make it even better, it circles around an infamous DC tale and villain I thought no more could be written about without being redundant. Watters proved me wrong and I thank him. Dunbar’s art is liquid gold, matched with the fabulous colors of Romulo Fajardo Jr, and striking letters from Troy Peteri. Hot dog, this one alone is worth the cover price, y’all.
‘Song Of The Dead’ by Phillip Kennedy Johnson got me acquainted with Bia as she trains with Wonder Woman on Themyscira. A great opening on its own, especially with the detailed Jack Herbert art and living colors from Alex Guimaraes. Pat Brosseau delivers on the letters to precision as Wonder Woman battles the dead, apparently an effect from the Lazarus Rains, in an action-packed tale that serves as a prelude to Lazarus Planet: Revenge Of The Gods. I heard of this upcoming series and didn’t cared for it at first. Well, this team got me to. Darn them all, and I love them for it. Make sure you read this one.
Lastly, ‘The Price Of Eternity’ by Josie Campbell unites the New Champion of Shazam, Mary Marvel, with Malik, Black Adam’s protege. I can recall fondly loving The Power Of Shazam in the 90s, and this story took me back there, when the Shazam powers brought wonder, grief, and cosmic adventure. This hits all those notes as the heroes seek to free a trapped Billy Batson from the Rock of Eternity. It’s fun, witty, and has cool, clean art by Caitlin Yarsky. Jordie Bellaire commits lively colors to every panel. Clayton Cowles places a ton of dialogue around with ease, and this story also sets up Revenge Of The Gods so count me doubly hype for that storyline. I need to go back and get The New Champion Of Shazam because I love Campbell’s writing style. Also, Hoppy can do no wrong.
Lazarus Planet: We Once Were Gods #1 just did an amazing thing. It made me hungry for an upcoming series I never gave a thought to. This issue revivified my interest in the Amazons, the Shazam Family, and especially Martian Manhunter. I love those characters who can’t hold a regular monthly title, and it’s only in these crossovers we (sometimes) get to see their value. This issue cashed in all its chips to create emotional, vibrant tales of very powerful characters. For those who think it’s too hard writing the more powerful heroes in comics, read this. Get this. Enjoy these and appreciate what they’ll lead into in the months to come.
Give us more characters not on the A-squad of popularity. Let them out to face evil and find new fans.
Lazarus Planet: We Once Were Gods #1 is available wherever comic books are sold.
Lazarus Planet: We Once Were Gods #1 just did an amazing thing. It made me hungry for an upcoming series I never gave a thought to. This issue revivified my interest in the Amazons, the Shazam Family, and especially Martian Manhunter