It’s raining magic, hallelujah! And that means changes not just for the heroes and villains of the DC Universe, but for gods and monsters too.
Remember the Trench from Aquaman, the big-fanged fish fellas who eat everything in their path? The Lazarus rain gives them a makeover in a nice-looking short written and drawn by Francis Manapul.
Elsewhere, J’onn J’onzz finds a Lazarus-sodden empath may need a Martian hand. Dan Watters and Max Dunbar tap into a famous bit of Superman lore as their intense inspirational tale turns tragic.
Wonder Woman and freshly minted Amazon Bia find that the dead will rise in Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Jack Herbert’s sharply written, lushly illustrated teaser for upcoming event epilogue Lazarus Planet: Revenge of the Gods.
And Mary Marvel meets Black Adam’s protege Bolt as she bids to release brother Billy from torment in the Rock of Eternity, courtesy of writer Josie Campbell and artist Caitlin Yarsky. There’s a big surprise at the end which will also be picked up in Revenge of the Gods.
I didn’t have high hopes for this latest event anthology, after last week’s decent, but hardly knockout, Lazarus Planet: Assault on Planet Krypton. As it turns out, there’s something to recommend each story: the Aquaman entry has superb full-colour art from former DC fixture Manapul; the J’onn J’onzz entry is blithely bonkers; Wonder Woman shows us that you don’t need to be an Amazon born to fend off fearsome foes (and there’s a bonus ballad to learn); while the Mary Marvel mini-epic gets the Shazam Family nearer to a classic status quo, and new member Malik’s reactions to the lunacy he encounters is delightful.
I’ve not mentioned colourists and letterers as I’ve gone along, but believe me, they’re doing a great job. So take a bow colour artists Jordie Bellaire, Romulo Fajardo Jr and Alex Guimarães and letterers Clayton Cowles, Troy Peteri, Pat Brosseau and Andworld Design. And a shout out, too, to editors Jillian Grant, Dave Wielgosz, Chris Rosa, Brittany Holzherr and Paul Kaminski
The comic isn’t perfect – Mary’s dress turns into tights at one point. Wonder Woman gets that annoyingly unfair clay insult thrown at her. Martian Manhunter has an ugly new costume. Aquaman isn’t nearly present enough in his strip. But overall, this is a terrific-looking, sharply drawn comic expanding the areas of chaos caused by the Lazarus Rain. The cover by David Marquez and Alejandro Sanchez is cheerily dramatic (just ignore new Wonder Girl, she’s not in here), and the comic’s subtitle makes a lot more sense than did ‘Assault on Krypton’. As with that book, I don’t think this is essential to the Lazarus Planet event, but if you have the spare cash, give it a go.