Review: Lazarus Planet: Legends Reborn

Lazarus Planet: Legends Reborn
Writers: Alex Segura, Alex Paknadel, Greg Pak, Dennis Culver
Artists: Clayton Henry, Christopher Mitten, Minkyu Jung, Jesús Merino
Color Artists: Marcelo Maiolo, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Sunny Gho
Letterers: Pat Brosseau, Troy Peteri, Wes Abbott, Dave Sharpe
Review by Davydh Tidey

Lazarus Planet: Legends Reborn continues our march through the Lazarus Planet event, giving us more perspectives on how the events are changing the DCU.

From Hell to the skies, no corner of this world has been left untouched by the Lazarus effects, and there will be some surprising consequences to Damian’s actions.

Questions

Renee Montoya is the police commissioner of Gotham. Justice is firmly in her hands and she has the power to make real change. Sometimes, however, Gotham’s finest just aren’t enough and she needs to find new ways to enact justice. It’s time for her to use everything “Charlie” taught her, and once again don the guise of The Question!

The Question is an excellent, criminally underused character. Whether it’s Vic Sage or Renee, we don’t see enough of the no-faced vigilante we all hate to love. I blame Watchmen, while I angrily wag my finger at Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ wildly popular facsimile Rorschach. Anyway, moving on!

Alex Segura, Clayton Henry and Marcelo Maiolo do a great job capturing what Renee’s all about, and her reasoning behind what she does. They don’t just show us The Question, they show us the woman behind the mask, and the difficult decisions she has to make to keep Gotham safe. I’m loving the haunted, tortured bureaucrat angle that John Ridley and Stefano Raffaele have been taking with her in GCPD: The Blue Wall, and this feels like a natural extension of that.

If this story gets you intrigued for more Question, I highly recommend the DC Black Label book The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage by Jeff Lemire and Denys Cowan. It’s not Renee, but oh boy is it good!

Family

Raven and Beast Boy walk through the chaos that the Lazarus volcano’s causing, and try to help those in need wherever they can. When a situation comes up that Raven’s uniquely qualified to deal with, she pushes through her own moral quandaries and jumps to help.

In the glitz and the glamour of the Titans and Teen Titans books, it’s very easy to forget where Raven came from, and why she’s dedicated her life to being a hero. She, and her family, have an extremely dark past that DC isn’t always quick to embrace. This story flips that on its head, putting her inner darkness front and centre. Raven is not a lady to be messed with at the best of times, and these are certainly not those…

Alex Paknadel is a writer that wasn’t on my radar a lot until recently. Between this, his other contributions to DC anthologies and his co-writing of DC Vs. Vampires: All-Out War, he’s become one to watch for me. I’m very excited for his Red Goblin series from Marvel, coming soon.

Christopher Mitten and Romulo Fajardo Jr. capture the mood beautifully. This isn’t Teen Titans GO!, and they very much want you to know that. The almost indie-comics art style fits the character and the tone amazingly well, with some genuinely haunting scenes of Beast Boy transforming thrown in for good measure.

Lost

This story introduces us to a new character, City Boy. Well, I say a new character, but he feels like the spiritual successor to Jack Hawksmoor from the Wildstorm universe. I wonder if this introduction has anything to do with the WildC.A.T.S relaunch?

City Boy comes to Gotham, and proceeds to use his powers to find lost items of value, for completely legal reasons I’m sure, but he wasn’t expecting a boost to his powers from the Lazarus volcano… cue a surprise cameo of one of our favorites! 

Greg Pak, Minkyu Jung and Sunny Gho have given us an intriguing look at this new addition to the DC Universe, and I’m interested to see where he goes next. Especially if he ends up joining the new WildC.A.T.S line-up. That book has been awesome 90s-esque nonsense so far and I’m loving it! 

Bonding

It begins with a simple argument between Ronnie Raymond and his co-pilot, Professor Martin Stein. “A little rain never hurt anybody.” exclaims Ronnie as he flies through the air. Oh, how wrong you are my good man. 

Firestorm’s another character that doesn’t get his due. He was one of the leads of two wildly successful TV shows, a main character in Doomsday Clock (albeit briefly), and yet still doesn’t have his own book. It looks like the Dawn of DC aims to change that, though. These titles cannot come soon enough, I’m telling you. 

Dennis Culver, Jesús Merino and Romulo Fajardo Jr. deliver a story that questions the very nature of Firestorm’s being, and addresses the delicate balance that the Firestorm matrix holds. One little tip, and it could be deadly to its hosts.

Conclusion

Lazarus Planet: Legends Reborn throws a lot at you at once. The event as a whole has thrown a lot at readers, but this chapter highlights the return of underused characters in a big way. DC’s renewed focus on more intimate stories that aren’t necessarily about world-ending conflicts, and are more about character-driven narratives is an extremely refreshing change to see.

I was already excited for the Dawn of DC line (Action Comics, Shazam! and Unstoppable Doom Patrol alone did that), but this event has given me faith in the label as a whole. 

Roll on the Dawn! 

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment


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