Lazarus Island has erupted, covering the planet in catastrophic storms and raining down Lazarus Resin, granting powers to normal civilians as well as impacting the powers of superheroes. This is the setup for this one-shot issue that includes four 10 page vignettes featuring Dreamer, Superman, Mercy Graves and Power Girl, who are especially susceptible to the magic effects of the Lazarus Resin. The “Assault on Krypton” moniker comes from a similar natural disaster in the history of Krypton where a volcano erupted causing mass destruction.
SPOILERS AHEAD for Lazarus Planet: Assault on Krypton #1!
In the first vignette, Dreamer has joined Damian, Batman and Supergirl in the Hall of Justice by traveling through Batman’s dreams. They determine that Dreamer needs to seek out the Helmet of Fate in the dreams of its most recent owner, Khalid Nassour. With the help of a disembodied voice, Dreamer is able to find the helmet, but we’re left on a cliffhanger if she can actually escape this dreamworld she has entered. The artwork is this section is quite good, conveying the surreal quality of the dream world that she has entered. There’s a nice effect on one of the panel borders where you can notice it just starting to crack and transform before the next page where the effect is even more exaggerated and noticeable. Even before entering the dream world, all of the facial expressions of the heroes as they deliberate their next moves are spot-on.
In the second vignette, John Kent is in the middle of apprehending a shoplifter when the Lazarus storm begins. He explodes in a ball of electricity and the shoplifter gains some lava powers in the process as well. The rest of the tale involves Superman and his new frenemy helping people throughout the city in pretty small stakes incidents: muggings, looting and a car accident. This was probably my least favorite of the four stories. It had the lowest stakes and the least to do with the overall Lazarus Planet event.
In the third vignette Lex Luthor’s bodyguard, Mercy Graves is struck by lighting from the Lazarus storm and thrown against a power suit. She seems to be fine at first, but while fighting some overgrown lab experiments that have escaped from a Lexcorp Lab, she discovers she has some strange new powers. Mercy has somehow merged with the power suit and is able to change her form at will, even transforming into complex machines like guns. The character design and artwork are great in this story – the giant wolf-like monsters are frightening and the story is more on the horror side of things. It was a nice change of pace after the slower Superman story. Mercy extending her fingers into claws like a Lady Deathstrike/T-1000 terminator to defeat one of the monsters was quite the sequence.
The final vignette stars Power Girl and has some of the most stunning art of the book. Power Girl is falling, her life flashing before her eyes in psychedelic pinks and blues. She thinks she’s dying, but finally lands in a snowy landscape. She tries to fly away, but there’s some kind of smoky pink barrier blocking her path. She hears screams and tries to help but she’s too late. The scenery adapts and changes a couple more times and Power Girl starts hearing voices, taunting her and disparaging her. This is the last straw and she manages to break through whatever barrier was holding her back and meets Echo. She learns from Echo that she now has psychic abilities – a side effect from the Lazarus Storms – and the two fly off together.
If you’re fully invested in the Lazarus Planet event and looking for more background stories, Lazarus Planet: Assault on Krypton #1 is the perfect fix. The artwork is great, and the characters they focus on are interesting and the ways their powers are changing/manifesting will probably prove to be important in the coming issues.
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