Lazarus Planet: Alpha #1 Review

Writer: Mark Waid

Art: Riccardo Federici, Brad Anderson, Steve Wands, David Marquez, and Alejandro Sanchez

Publisher: DC Comics

Price: $4.99

Release Date: January 11th, 2023

Following the explosive events of Batman vs. Robin #4, the Lazarus Volcano has erupted, spewing dangerous and transformative chemicals into Earth’s atmosphere! As these Lazarus clouds rain down upon the planet, people across the globe begin to develop strange new abilities, watch their already-extraordinary abilities change, and witness a whole host of chaos unlike anything the DCU has experienced in this opening installment of Lazarus Planet: Alpha #1 by Mark Waid! It’s up to Damian Wayne to put out the distress call for whoever can still hear it: come to the ruins of the Hall of Justice and help save the world!

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Lazarus Planet: Alpha #1 Review.

THE DISPATCH

I normally begin a review by going over the plot, story beats, and other characterizations that are the most striking when I kick off my thoughts on a comic. However, today I found it pertinent to lead by tackling the art of Lazarus Planet: Alpha #1. Its authenticity is absolutely sensational. I wish every comic could be this realistic. The characters don’t look cartoony, the line work is smooth, and the villainous Bulls look incredibly fierce.

Additionally, the coloring in Lazarus Planet: Alpha #1 comes across as this feeling of a moving portrait. It’s flashy when it needs to be yet simultaneously dark and dreary to fit with the storm and tone of the issue. Overall, Riccardo Federici and Brad Anderson make a great team. Together, these two amp up an already stellar premise by Mark Waid sending Lazarus Planet: Alpha #1 to all new levels. Frankly, I’d read almost anything that looked this good!

THE STORY

Warning: before diving into Lazarus Planet: Alpha #1, make sure you’ve at least read Batman vs. Robin. I think this opener is doable… but the characters, understanding of the Lazarus Storm, the background of events, and who the main players are will be much more clear if you’ve taken the time to read the series before on top of Batman/ Superman World’s Finest. Moreover, this also brings up a great point that needs to be addressed. Waid has literally used a variety of comics and titles to showcase his story. It’s almost as if he’s skipping from one hero to the next and using the comics and heroes at his will. It’s actually quite impressive which is ultimately showcasing the level and respect he garners as a writer and storyteller.

As for Lazarus Planet: Alpha #1 directly, the initial story beats are rather intense. Again, piggybacking off of where I began the review, this may have more to do with the art than the actual plot itself. Nevertheless, Waid instantly gets more heroes involved, new epic villains, into the story, and gargantuan challenges to overcome before this inaugural issue concludes. Moreover, the explanation as to what’s going on and why is clear as well as why Waid is using the cast of characters at his disposal. And frankly, it’s a perfect mix. We haven’t seen Cyborg in quite some time let alone Blue Beetle, Power Girl, and Supergirl. Plus, to balance out the magical realm, we get Blue Devil who fits in nicely with this clientele on both sides. And, this isn’t to mention the dozen other characters that drop in creating a cornucopia of talent to attract any reader.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Lastly, I just want to point out the genuine “event” feeling I get from Lazarus Planet: Alpha #1 that I just didn’t have towards the end of Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths. Again, this could be the art, however, I also feel like it was the setup leading into this that gives it this large, cascading feel. Readers, this event has been building for months yet we didn’t even really know it was an event nor did we know we wanted it… but we so want it! What began as a great story has spiraled into an epic event that was slowly retconned into existence, crafted gracefully with precision, and baked to perfection like a good brick oven pizza.

Readers, this has all the makings of a spectacular story arriving at the perfect time of year when most comic stories seem stale and trivial. Waid drops Lazarus Planet on our laps and it’s $&@& good! So good in fact, that I think you need to head out immediately, ask your LCS for Batman vs. Robin, read up, and snag this issue. If you don’t believe me, just look at the last two pages of the issue and I have no doubt you’ll be hooked. If you have any questions on the review or are ever interested in tackling a comic review of your own, feel free to email me directly at dispatchdcu@gmail.com. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!

9.5/10

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