After five tie-in issues including 20 Lazarus Planet-adjacent stories, we’re finally back to the main event. Will the combined forces of the DC Universe be able to stop King Fire Bull from absorbing all of the world’s magical power? Will Batman be able to shake control of his mind from the Devil Nehza? What will the new status quo of the DC Universe be after the Lazarus Storms have turned the worlds of magic and science topsy-turvy? Some of these questions and more are answered in this 48-page extra sized issue.
SPOILERS AHEAD for Lazarus Planet: Omega #1!
There are two main locations in this issue: Robin, Monkey Prince and Black Alice battling King Fire Bull at the Hall of Justice and Zatanna, Mary Marvel, Cyborg, Blue Beetle along with the Earth’s powerless sorcerers at the Tower of Fate. King Fire Bull’s goal is to use Black Alice to absorb all of the world’s magic. When Zatanna attempts to summon her to the Tower of Fate, Alice gets caught in a violent tug-of-war with King Fire Bull. Luckily for Alice, Monkey Prince thinks quickly and distracts King Fire Bull with an aerial kick. When the cavalry finally arrives at the Hall it includes Superman and son, two Green Lanterns, Martian Manhunter and more heroes. It looks like they’ve got Fire Bull handled, but the tables quickly turn when he manipulates the Lazarus Storm and jumbles all of the heroes’ powers – Robin gets Superman’s heat vision, Superman gets Martian Manhunter’s telepathy, and so on.
Meanwhile back at the Tower of Fate, Black Alice has managed to teleport there and begins restoring all of the magic users’ powers, beginning with The Spectre. Though Zatanna tries to get her to slow down, Alice takes matters into her own hands and is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to stop King Fire Bull. The action is interspersed with a flashback to a conversation Black Alice had with Monkey Prince about doing just this. It was great to see Black Alice finally taking control of her destiny, and in a final push, she disappears in a smoking crater. This huge discharge of energy catches the attention of Devil Nehza, who is currently inhabiting Batman’s body. It would have been nice to see how Batman/Nehza defeated Supergirl, Ivy, Swamp thing and the rest, but we’re just given one half-page panel showing the aftermath of the battle. Nehza senses that the tables have turned, and there’s a new power structure. He manipulates the Lazarus Storm to transport all of the Earth’s magic users to the Hall of Justice in order to do battle with King Fire Bull. Fire Bull is no match for the combined power of the magic users – friend and foe are joined in a single purpose: to defeat him. Eventually the Spectre is able to encase him in a snow globe sized orb and he is no longer a threat.
Though the main story thrust is over, there are still a lot of unanswered questions at the end of the issue. What will Dreamer do with Dr. Fate’s helmet? Where is Black Alice and what’s next for her? And finally, unbeknownst to Damian and the rest of the super heroes, the Devil Nehza is still inhabiting Batman’s body. That storyline, at least, will conclude in Batman vs. Robin #5 out next week.
The backup story by Gene Luen Yang and Billy Tan once again features Monkey Prince and gives more background on the relationship between The Devil Nehza and King Fire Bull. With an appearance by Darkseid, it’s a fitting epilogue and reveals that Devil Nehza was responsible for Darkseid conquering the Heavenly Realm and killing King Fire Bull’s parents, which led to their disastrous falling out.
The art and colors of this book are what truly sets it apart. The ethereal, painterly style of Riccardo Federici is beautiful, and suits the stormy environments perfectly. Interestingly, when Alice starts taking control, the artwork also changes. Instead of Federici’s painterly style we’ve been used to, the art gets more stylized, almost like we’re now seeing the world through Alice’s eyes. Mike Perkins was also credited as an artist on the book, so perhaps this was his work. Either way, it’s an interesting effect that gives depth to the story. Brad Anderson’s colors are phenomenal, especially when there are all different sorts of magic beams being fired off at King Fire Bull. It helps convey the different magic users and their powers.
Similar to Lazarus Planet: Alpha, there’s tons of great action in this issue, but not a lot really happens. Though King Fire Bull has been defeated, what will the lasting effects of the Lazarus Storms truly be? We’ve seen in previous one-shot issues that effects from the storm seem to be permanent, but perhaps we’ll have to read the upcoming Lazarus Planet: Revenge of the Gods four-issue miniseries in March to know for sure what the greater ramifications are. Even though this comic is called “Omega” and should finish the story, it feels like a lot of important plotlines aren’t tied up by the end.
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