Writer: Various (See Below)
Art: Various (See Below)
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: January 24th, 2023
As the Lazarus rain beats down upon planet Earth, human beings are only a fraction of those affected by this transformative upheaval. This series of vignettes explores Lazarus Planet’s effects across the many extraordinary locations and creatures in the DC Universe, and like their human counterparts, these beings are in for some big changes. Can Themyscira survive the resurrection of every invading army that ever graced its shores? Will Martian Manhunter survive a psychic link to a Doomsday nest? What happens when the monsters from the Trench gain the ability to breathe air? Let’s dive into Lazarus Planet: We Once Were Gods #1 and find out!
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: We Once Were Gods #1 Review.
Writer: Francis Manapul
Art: Francis Manapul, AndWorld Design, David Marquez, and Alejandro Sanchez
Vampires, aliens, metahumans, and zombie guys are found on the shore by some humans and somehow seem to be great ancestors of … Aquaman. Really? That’s how Lazarus Planet: We Once Were Gods #1 begins? I thought we were talking about Shazam? Oh… it was just a multi-page teaser for what’s to come with Aquaman after this event with the Dawn of DC. Well, I kid a bit. Shazam does show up later AND the Aquaman angle does make more sense after the third story. Nevertheless, it did come across as a bad way to start off this issue with a little flair and nothing “gods” related.
Writer: Dan Watters
Art: Max Dunbar, Romulo Fajardo Jr., and Troy Peteri
This was quite fascinating. The concept of someone using empathy, memory, and pain from the past related to Doomsday to somehow reconstitute Doomsday was crazy. This was a wild idea that I wouldn’t mind seeing flushed out a bit more as well as this new character. Nevertheless, the solution to the problem by Martian Manhunter seemed a bit far-fetched and unrealistic considering the circumstances. Yet, Watters ultimately wraps this story up quickly with very little possibility of reexamination. I hope someone runs with the idea and power set a bit more in the future. The capabilities are almost unless of what a person with this ability could accomplish.
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Art: Jack Herbert and Alex Guimarães, and Pat Brosseau
This story involves Wonder Woman and seems to possibly tie back into the first story with the Zombies, Vampires, and ocean people. However, we do get a name: the Armies of Herakles. Now, I know what you think… it kind of looks like Hercules. Well, that’s because it is. Our spelling isn’t normally that way but they are one and the same. Yet in DC Comics, Hercules has quite the twisted origin and with this new Dawn of DC, I wonder what direction this story goes. There were Heracles and Hercules at one point. Heracles was pretty vile and at one point even raped Queen Hippolyta while Hercules also existed. Meaning, there were Greek and Roman versions separately. Eventually, they merged into one, and the last we saw of the merged Hercules, Darkseid’s daughter Grail killed him to help restore her father.
Now, the best part of this story within Lazarus Planet: We Once Were Gods #1 is again that we get a better explanation as to what happened in the first story with Aquaman as well as right now. Somehow, the Lazarus Storm has opened Doom’s Doorway and is letting out the dead. So, it looks like zombies are the dead that are being unleashed on the planet, especially from the sea. Keep in mind, the clarity was a nice touch. Readers finally get an answer as to what the Lazarus Storm is capable of within the issue. Prior, it gave people abilities. Now, we see it also raises the dead. Therefore, I can give this story some brownie points, however, it really didn’t have much energy or excitement even with the battle transpiring between the Armies of Herakles.
Writer: Josie Campbell
Art: Caitlin Yarsky, Jordie Bellaire, and Clayton Cowles
We work our way to Mary Marvel and a team up with Malik, the heir to Black Adam. Ultimately, they’re trying to find Billy Batson who’s trapped within the Rock of Eternity. And as much as people are getting new abilities, as well as the dead rising, people with magical abilities are also having difficulty with their connection to their current abilities as well. Long story short, Lazarus Planet: We Once Were Gods #1 wraps this Shazam story up quickly. Somehow, things are restored by a simple thought and everyone is happy. Yet the point of this story was to showcase the new villain for the Shazam family. The perk with this story was that it absolutely had the best art of the issue.
The stories in Lazarus Planet: We Once Were Gods #1 were just too dang quick with not enough detail. Very little was explained with a focus on merely attracting readers to a future book. It was almost like a small advertisement for future stories with these characters just like a Free Comic Book Day special. And frankly, so was the last tie-in. I was legitimately hoping for an actual story through each of these Lazarus Planet issues. However, that appears to be wrong. The last two issues were skippable and could be summarized by simply saying the Lazarus Storm is affecting magic, giving people powers, and raising the dead.
Ultimately, these oversized Lazarus Planet issues are just launching points for future storylines with the characters involved. So, if you’re not an Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman, or Shazam fan, I’d skip Lazarus Planet: We Once Were Gods #1. And even if you ARE a fan, the stories are so small and their purpose so obvious, it could be spelled out on a summary page or within the actual pages of the future series itself. If this trend continues with these Lazarus Planet issues, I’m out! I want an actual story and not these mini vignettes that don’t amount to much other than setup and advertisements for the future. 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 email@example.com. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!