Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Review: Lazarus Planet: Assault On Krypton

Lazarus Planet: Alpha #1 was a brilliant opening to the latest DC event. The story had legitimate stakes, moved at a brisk pace, showcased some of my favorite characters, and had beautiful art. 

Now the aftermath of the Lazarus volcano are being felt throughout the DC Universe. We'll see this in one-shots and mini-series, setting up the next year of stories. Today it is Lazarus Planet:Assault on Krypton. Really it should have been called Assault on the Super-Family. This book takes a peek at Dreamer, Jon Kent, Mercy, and Power Girl, all characters with connections to Superman. 

Each character gets their own story in the anthology. We know Jon and Power Girl will be getting their own stories, in the Adventures of Superman and Action Comics anthology respectively. I don't know where Dreamer and Mercy will end up, although the Lex-centric new Superman book is a good place for the latter. 

The stories themselves are quite solid, each ending on a sort of cliffhanger to get us interested in reading more. The Jon story was probably the best of the bunch, introducing a new villain, charming and irreverent. 

The art includes stories by veterans like Scott Godlewski,Sami Basri, and Marguerite Sauvage. Skylar Partridge pencils the Dreamer story and is a new name for me. Her work is stylish enough to work in the dreamscape. Partridge draws a pretty good Supergirl to boot.

If you're a fan of the Super-Family, I'd say this is worth the $4.99. On to the stories.

'Gone Dark' was written by Nicole Maines with art by Skylar Partridge. 

Dreamer arrives at the Hall Of Justice through Batman's dreams. Her visions have ended, the future is dark. Her vision ends with Dr. Fate's helmet. Damian, Kara, and Dreamer come up with a plan to try and find the helmet through Khalid Massour's dreams. The helmet will hopefully help the heroes fight Nezha.

I like the opening scene. Dreamer is still a new hero. Supergirl doesn't know her. People don't know her powers. You can see how Dreamer is a little bit shy and nervous in the presence of these heroes. I like that, a true new hero.

I also like that Maines has sort of continued to hold the reins on the character even though the Supergirl show has been off the air for years. 

Lastly, nice Supergirl by Partridge here.

Dreamer runs into a dead end in Khalid's dreams, But she connects presumably to Nabu. Stepping out of the vision, she recovers Fate's helmet.

Nifty visuals of the dreamscape here from the warped environment to the squiggly panels. 

I suppose Dreamer fits the mold of a Justice League Dark should a team like that ever emerge again.

'Electric' was written by C.S. Pacat with art by Scott Godlewski. 

In it, Jon stops a young man from robbing a garment store. But then the Lazarus rains fall. 

Jon goes electric and passes out. The man gets lava powers.

Instead of running off, the man brings Jon to his apartment to care for him. Maybe he isn't such a bad guy? A loveable thief?

Perhaps the best line in the story is Jon telling this guy that he doesn't like volcanoes. Nice call back.

Then, interestingly enough, the two go out on patrol. Well, Jon goes off and this new meta joins him. The two stop a number of petty crimes in Metropolis. 

I wondered if Jon might be okay with looting given the social reform he backs. Glad he doesn't.

In the end, 'Ash' turns himself in then breaks out of jail. 

We are promised we'll see more of him. I don't mind that. In this story, he has a sort of Constantine like charm.

'Breakthrough', the Mercy Graves story, was written by Frank Barbiere with art by Sami Basri. I have always been a fan of Basri. His work on Power Girl and Harley Quinn were both solid. 

As the Lazarus volcano explodes, a bolt of magic energy lashes into LexCorp, striking Mercy and blasting her into a Lex power suit. 

The power goes out. Some Lazarus-mutated lab animals break out. And Mercy goes down. She is all mission, there to protect Lex.

Lex himself is rather complimentary of Mercy. She doesn't wield the knife. She is the knife.

I suppose that Mercy is one of the few people that Lex trusts. I don't expect him to be this lavish with his words with everyone. I suppose it shows just how much she means to him. 

Her Lazarus powers kick in. She can somehow turn her body into technological weaponry, most likely because she flew into the Lex-o-suit. 

It reminds me of post-Zero Hour Guy Gardner, or maybe the original Cyborg Superman. 

I don't know where this will go, if anywhere. But Lex having a super-powered bodyguard makes sense. 

'Deus Ex Magicka' is the last story, a prologue to the Power Girl arc in Action Comics, brought to us by that arc's creative team. Leah Williams writes and Marguerite Sauvage draws the story. I have always like Sauvage's smooth art.

You might recall that in Planet Lazarus:Alpha, Power Girl flew Silver Horn King away from the Tower of Fate. 

It took a while for me to figure it out but it looks like the beginning of this story takes place within Peeg's mind. She is haunted by images of dead Teen Titans. She then hears a voice telling her she is worthless.

Power Girl has always been a confident character. I wonder if she has survivor guilt too, surviving Krypton and her dead universe. All that said, her rejection of the talk shows she is probably over it.

Within the dream, she finds Omen (I have no idea who this is, and only know the name from social media).

The two have a mental connection and fly off for adventure.

I don't think this necessarily tells me much about what the story will be about in Action Comics. But one thing I know (and knew would be true), is the art is gorgeous. 

These are all decent stories setting up the next chapter in all these characters. There isn't a clunker in them. I wouldn't put it on par with the Alpha issue. But it is pretty good. 

Overall grade: B


RicG said...

Omen is the updated identity for Lilith Clay. Not keen on the name, but nice to see her back.

William Ashley Vaughan said...

I enjoyed the Dreamer/Supergirl interaction. There is also an interview with the writer of the new Legion of Superheroes movie with Supergirl that you should read. He seems to understand the character and to have no intention of giving us another dark Supergirl.