Review – Lazarus Planet: Next Evolution #1 – Vigilantes at War

Comic Books DC This Week
Lazarus Planet: Next Evolution variant cover, via DC Comics.

Lazarus Planet: Next Evolution #1 – Ram V, Brandon T. Snider, Chuck Brown, Delilah S. Dawson, Writers; Lalit Kumar Sharma, Laura Braga, Alitha Martinez/Mark Morales, Brandt & Stein, Artists; Rain Beredo, Matt Herms, Alex Guimaraes, Colorists

Ray – 9/10

Ray: The latest Lazarus Planet anthology takes us into some unexpected quarters, with four new stories focusing on heroes both new and iconic.

First up are Ram V. and Lalit Kumar Sharma on a Red Hood tale, as Jason Todd is on the trail of a shipment of Lazarus Resin that has wound up in the wrong hands. But as he infiltrates the ship, he finds not an army of goons but a pile of corpses—and a mysterious, shape-shifting assassin who seems to be one step ahead of him at all times. This is a fast-moving story that leads to the introduction of a mysterious new team known as The Vigil, which seems to take on international threats with extreme prejudice. Curious to see where they show up in V’s work next.

Red Hood in action. Via DC Comics.

Flatline, the breakout character from Josh Williamson’s Robin, makes her return in “Elevation” by Snider and Braga. While the heroes are fighting to contain the rains, the morally ambiguous death-obsessed teenager heads to Tokyo to follow a mysterious voice. There, she encounters Ubu, the disgraced former bodyguard of Ra’s who is looking to take his failure out on anyone he can. Flatline is such a fun, engaging character that it didn’t bother me that the plot seems to be thin for most of the issue—but the last-page twist promises major follow-up down the line.

Chuck Brown and Alitha Martinez introduce a new power player in “The Abyss of the Dead Eye”—Deadeye, a mysterious new assassin who has an unexpected tie to Amanda Waller. Targeted by the sadistic shape-shifting assassin known as Everyman in his home in Lesotho, Deadeye seems capable of holding him off—until the Lazarus rains give the killer a massive and disgusting upgrade. While the character is kind of kept in the shadows so far, this promises a major new development for future Waller stories and possibly a new Suicide Squad run.

Finally, Delilah Dawson and the art team of Brandt and Stein return to the character of Red Canary in the self-titled story that finally sheds more light on the mysterious new vigilante. She played a key role in Dark Crisis, but we basically know nothing about her. This story reveals her name, Sienna, and shows her struggling to balance her college life with her vigilante moonlighting. I think everyone was expecting there to be some big twist about her identity, but she seems to be an ordinary girl—who in this issue teams up with Sideways on a bizarre caper involving Seattle public art coming to life. It’s a great story for how old-school it is.

Overall, all four of these stories have a lot of promise and do their characters justice despite having wildly different tones.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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