Review: Lazarus Planet: Next Evolution

Lazarus Planet: Next Evolution
Writers: Ram V, Brandon T. Snider, Chuck Brown, Delilah S. Dawson
Artists: Lalit Kumar Sharma, Laura Braga, Alitha Martinez, Mark Morales, Brandt & Stein
Colour Artists: Rain Beredo, Matt Herms, Alex Guimarães, Brandt & Stein
Letterers: Dave Sharpe, Troy Peteri
Review by Davydh Tidey

Lazarus Planet: Next Evolution marks the fifth part of the Lazarus Planet event. Most of the other one-shots have focused on established characters, but this time we’re focused on the newer stars of the DCU.

The Vigil (looking to be the main antagonists of a new Red Hood book), Flatline, Deadeye and Red Canary (and Sideways, heck yeah!) are the subjects of these stories, setting up their new status quo and acting as an introduction to the wider DC audience.

Vigilance

How the hell did I get myself into this?

– Red Hood

Starting off the classic *record-scratch* trope, Red Hood tracks down a rogue cache of Lazarus Resin in the hands of a smuggling gang, but what he finds at the end of the trail isn’t remotely what he, or the reader, were expecting. 

With writing by Ram V, and art by Lalit Kumar Sharma and Rain Beredo, we simultaneously get a neat, well-written introduction to new characters The Vigil, and a quick update to Red Hood’s new mission after Task Force Z. The art team are a perfect follow-up to the brilliant Eddie Barrows, Eber Ferreira and Adriano Lucas art of TFZ, delivering the same dark colour choices and heavy line-work. It’s the perfect contrast to the Nightwing title, in a lot of ways, giving a darker look at the Bat-family. 

If we get a new Red Hood book written by Ram V out of this, sign me up immediately. 

Destiny

I’m a K-Pop stan, don’t talk to me about devotion!
– Flatline

Boy goes to death tournament. Boy meets girl. Girl can talk to the dead and rip peoples hearts out. Ah… the classic love stories!

After Lazarus Island, Flatline has a new purpose. A voice calls her to an oddly placed house in the middle of an industrial park in Tokyo, and she’s compelled to follow it. Not because she loves the mystery or anything, but because she’s just irritated by the voice and would like to sleep now, please, thank you. 

Flatline is a fairly new character to me, as I didn’t read more than a few issues of the 2021 Robin title, so I never saw her introduction during the Lazarus Island storyline. After this entry, though, I’m intrigued. She represents a not very well explored corner of the DCU, something that’s actually fairly-well represented in the Lazarus Planet event (more on that to come). She represents the spirit world/paranormal side of things. Obviously we have titles like Dead Boy Detectives and other Sandman tie-ins for that currently, but not a lot that’s part of the main DCU. 

Whether it’s Brandon T. Snider, Laura Braga and Matt Herms taking her forward or not, I’ll be looking out for Flatline in the future.

Skill

They’re my powers, and I’ll do whatever the hell I like with them.
– Deadeye

Amanda Waller can be a tricky woman, but given what she does for a living, that isn’t that surprising. Imagine what it’s like the be related to her. This is the reality for this story’s protagonist, Deadeye. Drawing them both to the astral plain, The assassin asks his Auntie for advice on how to beat his current adversary, Everyman. Shocking absolutely no one, her advice is less than helpful. 

Chuck Brown, Alitha Martinez, Mark Morales and Alex Guimarães tell a very tight story here. The actual events of it are over in seconds, but the conversation is the main focus. We’re given an insight into the way Waller thinks, and what her potential plans may be moving forward. She clearly has plans for Deadeye, but he has none for her. I’m curious to see this play out between the two. 

Uncertainty

All I really wanna do is play guitar. And fight bad guys.
– Red Canary

Same, girl. Same. 

Juggling college and superhero life, Red Canary struggles to work out what she really wants from life. She’s disorganized, late for almost everything, and unable to reconcile who she is and who she wants to be. Despite being late for a chemistry test, she takes it on herself to stop an invasion of Seattle by… its own statues. Okay, get ready for a weird one. 

Featuring a guest appearance from Sideways (YES!), this story’s about growing up. Not everyone has their destiny laid out for them, some people just have to go out and find it. This Canary needs to fly the coop, and find herself among all the noise.

Delilah S. Dawson with Brandt & Stein give her that chance, and foster a promising new character for DC. We need a Red Canary/Red Arrow team up immediately, by the way.

Conclusion

Lazarus Planet: Next Evolution fully lives up to its title. These characters will play a big part in the next phase of DC Comics, potentially, and being spotlighted in this book gives readers the chance to get to know them before following any books they feature in. Lazarus Planet so far has been all about legacy and evolution, bringing in new ways for us to love comics, and I’m definitely here for it. 

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment


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