Review: Lazarus Planet: Dark Fate

Lazarus Planet: Dark Fate
Writers: Tim Seeley, Dennis Culver, A.L. Kaplan, Alyssa Wong
Artists: Baldemar Rivas, Chris Burnham, A.L. Kaplan, Haining
Color Artists: Ivan Plascencia, Brian Reber, A.L. Kaplan, Sebastian Cheng
Letterers: Carlos M. Mangual, Steve Wands, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, Janice Chiang
Review by Davydh Tidey

Lazarus Planet: Dark Fate. Oh boy, the event’s almost done! We’ve reached part six of Lazarus Planet, and are getting a look at the weird side of DC now. This book deals with rampaging Arkham patients, a fungus-controlling metahuman, and restless Chinese spirits. 

Strap in, guys… it’s gonna be a bumpy ride. 

Hunted

First the rain fell from the heavens. Then I did.
– Huntress

The hunt is on, as the Huntress discreetly infiltrates Arkham tower to see the damage caused during the Lazarus storms. She doesn’t stay discreet for long, however, as a mysterious voice commands all the criminals to unleash their worst selves.

Helena Bertinelli has always intrigued me. The idea of a deep-cover agent of the Bat Family blending in with the criminal element, donning the guise of the Huntress only when necessary, was always interesting to my younger self, and she’s only gotten more interesting in recent years.

Her morally-gray MO, while at times bordering on the criminal, feels deeply necessary in Batman’s world. That’s why Matches Malone exists. Helena is just doing it over a much longer timeframe. She lives the criminal life while doing everything in her power to counter it. 

That’s why we love her, and her Earth-2 counterpart. We love all the Huntresses (Huntressi?)

Tim Seeley, Baldemar Rivas, and Ivan Plascencia give us a look into Huntress’ reality in this short story, which is just as haunting as it is thrilling. If Lazarus Planet is giving us full previews for what’s to come in the Dawn of DC, please, please let it mean we’re getting a Huntress book!

Bemused

Aw, what the #@$%?
– Robotman

THE DOOM PATROL’S BACK, BABY! 

The Strangest Heroes have a new leader, and a new purpose; help the weirdos. The metahumans cast aside by society for their strange powers and their odd behavior. As you can imagine, with the effect the Lazarus storms have been having on the planet, there’s plenty of work for them to do! 

Okay, storytime. My teenage years were a steady feed of Monster energy drinks, questionable hair choices, and My Chemical Romance. Gerard Way was an inspiration to me growing up, and, frankly, still is. The first two titles I ever subscribed to in a comic store were the 2016 Flash title (written by Joshua Williamson with art by Carmine Di Giandomenico and Ivan Plascencia, HIGHLY recommend) and Way’s Doom Patrol. Way’s weird but accessible writing, paired with Nick Derington and Tamra Bonvillain’s gorgeous, fun art had me hooked immediately. 

Dennis Culver, Chris Burnham, and Brian Reber are picking up that baton beautifully. The art, while vastly different from Derington’s, absolutely runs with the strange atmosphere and block coloring memo. Art doesn’t have to be dark to be bizarre and interesting, it just has to encapsulate the idea of “What’s even happening right now?!” and refine it down to a visual, tangible thing. This book achieves that wonderfully. 

Culver is clearly a fan of the characters. They all have their own unique personality, and plenty of time to show you that, which immediately gels with the previous versions of the characters. This seamlessly picks up where Doom Patrol Weight of the Worlds left off. This short preview gives me so much hope for the Unstoppable Doom Patrol mini-series coming this year. GIVE IT TO ME!

Admired

Welcome to the disillusionment of my childhood.
– Circuit Breaker

Recounting the story of the Flash saving their town from the Turtle as a stage play daily, Jules Jourdain has a theatrical life. However, when the time for them to step up and save the day themselves, with some handy new powers from the Lazarus storm, they don’t hesitate. On this fateful day, Circuit Breaker is born.

A.L. Kaplan single-handedly delivers an interesting, introspective story. What happens to the little towns that superheroes were constantly saving in the Golden/Silver Age? How do their victories and defeats affect the small-town folk, and how does all this influence their minds moving forward? Well, as it turns out, very localized hero worship is what happens. Kaplan does a wonderful job capturing that, and the art really fits the tone of the story. 

This brand new character, Circuit Breaker, looks to be an interesting addition to the Flash Family moving forward if that is indeed the way they choose to go. It looks like, even with powers rooted in a… less than savory source, they’ll be choosing the hero’s path, and I’ll look forward to seeing them in the pages of The Flash!

Spirited

It’s nothing a little fire can’t fix.
– Xanthe

Don’t you hate it when you just got to the graveyard to pay your respects to the dead, and the dead start rising up and coming at you? I’m sure you can relate. Well, that’s the issue for Xanthe, as they cut their way through hordes of the undead, with a little help from two unlikely allies.

Monkey Prince kicked off a bit of a thing for DC, with Chinese mystical culture being quite deeply explored recently. We have a new angle to that here, with another new character, Xanthe, being the focus. They seem to have a fair bit of experience with artifacts and creatures of a mystical nature, and they waste no time in showing that off! 

Alyssa Wong, Haining, and Sebastian Cheng debut this character in an impressive fashion, throwing them straight into the action with very little in the way of an introduction before it’s zombie time. This almost works to their advantage, though, as that’s sort of the point of the character; they’re all action, no talk. 

Seriously, those cameos are just so great.

Conclusion

As mentioned, Lazarus Planet: Dark Fate marks the penultimate part of the Lazarus Planet event. It’s all drawing to a close now. You can feel it all settling in, you can feel the Lazarus effects starting to take hold. Lazarus Planet: Omega next week will be the end, and I cannot wait to see how it finishes up.

We have an absolute plethora of new characters, new stories, and new creators to follow after this event, and it’s got me excited for DC’s future. I’ve said it multiple times now, but Dawn of DC is shaping up to be one of the best moves the company has made in years. 

It’s always darkest, just before the Dawn. 

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment


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