REVIEW: ‘Lazarus Planet: Revenge of the Gods,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Lazarus Planet: Revenge of the Gods #1

Lazarus Planet: Revenge of the Gods #1 is published by DC Comics, written by G. Willow Wilson, art by Cian Tormey, colors by Jordie Bellaire, and letters by Pat Brosseau. A second story is titled “The Stranger,” written by Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad, with pencils by Alitha Martinez, inks by Mark Morales and John Livesay, colors by Alex Guimarães, and letters by Becca Carey. In the next part of the Lazarus Planet crossover, the gods terrorize Earth. So Wonder Woman has to pay a visit to Mount Olympus.

The plot of this first story is confrontational but slightly scatterbrained. It spans the globe, showing the gods tormenting humans. And in building the picture, Wilson does well. It latches on to the high fantasy and theological part of the storyline. But after that, the story loses much of its tension and suspense. Multiple story threads are happening simultaneously, none of which seem to progress. They are almost all interesting, like strands of mythology and flickers of stories. They are like the little asides in American Gods, pretty tales and pre-chapters. There is power in many of these scenes, with larger-than-life characters and huge movements within the greater fabric of the DC universe, but the issue feels too much like an in-between comic, a stepping stone for a larger story. It would be challenging to pick the story up blind to any previous context, especially considering this is a #1.

The second story is much more enticing for newcomers, as two strangers try live streaming their approach to Themyscira. Uncertainty and worry are instilled from the first moment, and what unfolds are events that will have damaging and lasting consequences for the Amazons. This is admittedly a thread that runs through the whole comic. But personally, the last snippet of the book tells the story much more effectively.

This book’s dialogue and characters are great, highlighting the strength of Wilson’s writing. The balance between grandiosity and a more grounded approach is measured beautifully. The way the Gods speak with an ancient voice, talking down to the mortals now at their mercy, is full of weight and vigor. When Wonder Woman travels to Olympus, a showdown with Hera is delightful. Wilson’s characterization of Hera, filled with true arrogance and disdain for anyone beneath her, is dripping with emphasis. And while that is happening, another superb conversation is occurring within Olympus, demonstrating the quality of the characters in the book. 

The art in both stories is fantastic. Tormey shines in the primary story, excellently depicting numerous Gods from multiple pantheons and cultures. What is great about them is most of them are humanoid, but just from a glance, they can be identified as something bigger and more imposing. Tormey is an artist who can tell much of the story without using word balloons. The opening pages are set in a city rife with detail, and the artist can depict this and simultaneously display an extremely entertaining entrance to the issue. The body language is theatrical, as well as the facial expressions. The locations are stunningly constructed, but much of the comic suffers from a static feeling that slows the pacing down. The backup story is also gorgeous. The level of detail is jaw-dropping when the inking is considered, most noticeable in the hair and armor of the characters. 

The colors are flawless, which is to be expected when featuring the best in the business,  Bellaire. The depth within the shades the colorist uses is mind-boggling at times. Particularly towards the end, inside the throne room of Mount Olympus and inside the corridors of the castle. Here there is such a rich intensity to the tones, just as integral to the story as the line art. In the second story, the colors are provided by Guimarães. This style is naturalized if spruced up slightly to add the tropical theme of Themiscyra. The lettering is excellent in both stories;

Lazarus Planet: Revenge of the Gods #1 is an issue that would probably be best in a collection rather than on its own. The talent of the creators is evident right from the beginning, and the writing of the characters and the art in both stories show that it isn’t a poorly made book. However, the lack of focus and an inability to grasp the plot makes it hard to attach to the comic and get invested. As part of a trade, those weaknesses are limited. But on its own, the lack of context or proper recap is not good enough for an issue with #1 in the title.

Lazarus Planet: Revenge of the Gods #1 is available where comics are sold.

Lazarus Planet: Revenge of the Gods #1


Lazarus Planet: Revenge of the Gods #1 is an issue that would probably be best in a collection rather than on its own. The talent of the creators is evident right from the beginning.

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