Lazarus Planet Assault on Krypton #1
With the world in chaos and Lazarus raining from the skies, the Earth's protectors from Krypton are hit hard. In this collection of epic vignettes from in and around Lazarus Planet, we'll see heroes transformed, secrets revealed, and power unleashed. Can Power Girl free herself from the out-of-control Omen? Will Dreamer's visions guide our heroes to the path of victory? Can Mercy Graves survive the transformation she's undergone? And will Jonathan Kent ever be the same again?
The appeal of Lazarus Planet is seeing how the Lazarus Volcano changes characters across the DC universe. Lazarus Planet Alpha didn’t have much space to show that as it set up the event in a larger sense. Most of this more fun part of the event is going to be told in various other issues–the first of these is called Lazarus Planet: Assault on Krypton. This anthology issue, as the title suggests, focuses on Kryptonians or other characters in their orbits. Lazarus Planet: Assault on Krypton contains short stories featuring Dreamer, Jon Kent, Mercy Graves, and Power Girl.
Dreamer’s story opens as the Lazarus Volcano is erupting or shortly after. She transports herself to the Hall of Justice where Damian and Supergirl are looking over Batman. One of Dreamer’s abilities is seeing the future, but the future has “gone dark”. All Dreamer can see is the Helmet of Fate which suggests to her that whatever the future is, it runs through the magical powers within the helmet.
Jon’s story is straightforward. He catches a thief just after that thief robbed a clothes store–the ninth place the thief has hit that day. Before Jon can do anything, he and the thief are imbued with new powers. Jon gets additional electrical powers and the thief gets some kind of lava powers. The two then spend the day helping the people of Metropolis.
Meanwhile the Lexcorp Tower is under siege from transformed research animals. The security personnel are overmatched until Lex Luthor’s personal assistant receives her own powers, regroups with the security personnel, and successfully fights back against the mutated animals.
Power Girl spends most of her story flying and falling through a vague, undefined space until she comes across a telepathic woman calling herself Omen.
Lazarus Planet: Assault on Krypton’s regular cover announces “The world of Superman–Changed Forever!” This is completely misleading. The only Superman featured in the issue is Jon, and the only thing that happens to him is that he has gained some vague electrical powers and had his cape stolen. In fact, nothing of consequence seems to happen to any of the characters in this issue.
The strangest entry by far is Power Girl’s. It doesn’t really have a narrative. Power Girl is set against mostly vague and colorful backgrounds, ruminating on her own death and the significance of her life. To the extent that the story is going anywhere, Williams brushes it aside when Power Girl encounters Omen. There is a small amount of character introduction and the two women fly off. Much of this story is carried by Sauvage’s art, specifically her use of color. There are no real backgrounds here, merely different hues and shades swirling about the page. For an abstract story, this is a very effective backdrop.
Still slightly abstract but with a more concrete narrative is Dreamer’s vignette. She has a concrete goal of locating first the man who wears the Helmet of Fate and then when she fails to rouse him to the cause, the Helmet itself. This is the only story that seems to tie directly into the larger Lazarus Planet story, but it doesn’t feel like it accomplishes much before ending on a cliffhanger. But like the Power Girl story, the art carries much of the story. Patridge and Filardi steadily move the story’s visuals from a normal, real-world setting to a more disjointed one with irregular layouts.
Mercy Graves’s story is a fairly straightforward action piece notable for how well it shows a much darker side to what the Lazarus Volcano can do to ordinary people and animals. It’s a darker entry than the other stories, making it a good contrast to the rest of the issue.
The best vignette by far is Jon’s, largely because its ambitions are very low. It’s a fun story focused on the somewhat humorous interaction between Jon and the thief he ends up working with, Ash. I’m not sure if this was Pacat’s intention, but much of the dialogue reads like Ash flirting with Jon while Jon is all business and possibly oblivious. The way Godlewski draws Ash and Jon contributes to this. Ash frequently has a borderline mischievous look on his face, and it communicates a fair amount about the character.
Lazarus Planet: Assault on Krypton is unfortunately a very middle of the road issue. And the fact that Jon’s and Power Girl’s stories end with a “to be continued” for series after Lazarus Planet somewhat undermines the idea that these will have a significant impact on the larger event. Ultimately the stories are a mixed bag with weak narratives, but they do benefit from strong art that uplifts the issue overall.
Lazarus Planet Assault on Krypton #1: Looks Great, Says Little
- Writing - 6/106/10
- Storyline - 6/106/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9.5/109.5/10
- Cover Art - 8/108/10