Lazarus Planet: Legends Reborn #1 review

As a result of the Lazarus Rain among other patent pending “Lazarus” problems, the DC Universe begins to mutate. For better or worse, Legends Reborn sires the return of characters such as The Question II, Trigon, and Firestorm. In addition, Lazarus Planet is gearing up to introduce new characters like Trilogy or City Boy.

Masks and Monsters

It’s hard adjusting to Commissioner Gordon’s retirement. Although Maggie Sawyer and others sat in the seat before, Renee Montoya felt like a suitable replacement for Gordon. In the wake of the Lazarus Planet event, Montoya leads the GCPD against macabre threats they don’t understand. Her dumbfounded officers Kessler and Cosby are not nearly the detectives she was. Luckily for them, Montoya used to be a hero in her own right! Montoya suits up as The Question II she sets out to stop a metahuman serial killer. Alex Segura’s Gotham depends on Batman and the GCPD to the point of demotivation. It brings to mind the melancholic mood of Brubaker’s Gotham Central.

The biggest highlight of this story is Clayton Henry’s line art and Marcello Maiolo’s colors. What is most striking about the colors is the seamless blends of contrasting hues. Maiolo washes the panels in grimy lighting with a scarce use of black. The green rain makes the city look like a hallucinogenic noir. Also, I really like the dramatic full page render of The Question II. Yet, something seems oddly motherly about Montoya’s sweater. It’s not quite out of place, considering her new job, but she looks far more washed up than necessary. As much as I like seeing Montoya, her presence in this book is unremarkable.


Trilogy follows Raven and Beast Boy stumbling upon a demonic hostage situation. In truth, the narrative focuses on Trigon’s attempts to possess three deeply religious siblings. Nevertheless, Alex Paknadel writes Raven as a sympathetic counsel toward the children against Trigon’s influence. However, Raven’s “bedside manner” has little effect on the boys looking for an outright exorcist. Meanwhile, Beast Boy’s behavior and vocabulary is a little out of character. Garfield serves as a passive companion to Raven’s mission. I suspect that the nonchalant pair’s look and behavior may take heavy influences from Sandman or Hellboy. Even Christopher Mitten’s artwork seems reminiscent of Sam Kieth or Mike Mignola.

The story itself isn’t very engaging, but I think Raven’s approach is fascinating. I don’t think anyone was clamoring for a new Trigon storyline, nor a new legacy character like Trilogy. As far as legacies go, I’ve consistently felt that Raven needed some new blood in her rogues gallery, but not a new brother. Sometimes these things can signal a lack of imagination, but honestly I think writers might just be nostalgic about Trigon’s storyline. Ironically, Lazarus Planet’s The Devil Nezha is DC’s current successor to Trigon.

City Boy

City Boy is a new-ish character taking up the legacy left by Wildstorm’s Jack Hawksmoor. Hawksmoor has the ability to draw power from urban spaces, and so does the scavenger “City Boy.” This first tale from Greg Pak follows the kid as he drifts into Gotham looking for a quick buck. The plot is simple enough. First, City Boy presents like “that reluctant hero who’s out for himself.” Then, the kid pretends to refuse a heroic higher calling before inevitably succumbing to noble instincts. His act catches the attention of Nightwing, who morally high road’s the kid into a lesson about having a conscience. Unfortunately, the story is only a prologue for future plans for the character later this year.

My first impression of City Boy is meh. I’m sick of the archetypical Han Solo antiheros. I’m not sure why he dresses in London streetwear with a skyline motif on his jacket. Are his clothes a costume or is this incidental? Either way, this seems to be his only outfit. I don’t mind the animated sidekick, but readers have yet to learn what’s normal for him. Lightning strikes him in one panel, but there is no telling what City Boy is familiar with. Regardless, I’d really appreciate a better understanding of the kid before I write him off completely.

Firestorm in “Rain of Terror!”

Dennis Culver resurrects Firestorm with a slightly different status quo. For those unfamiliar, Firestorm is a alchemic fusion of everyman Ronnie Raymond and physics professor Martin Stein. There have been other significant combinations over the years, but it usually always comes back to the originals. Sadly, the Lazarus Rain causes a disruption in the so-called “Firestorm Matrix,” and harms Ronnie’s partner. So, when a shadow creature begins killing scientists at the crime scene, Ronnie has to take a brand new partner in Dr. Ramirez. That’s basically all there is to this short story.

When Star Lab’s Ramirez first appears, I immediately thought of Marvel’s Tony Stark. To make matters worse, artist Jesus Merino draws up Jesus’ face halved with Firestorm straight up like Iron Man. As far as new characters go, Ramirez is a fine addition. He isn’t as smart as Stein, but he is sufficiently intelligent like a good CSI (Crime Scene Investigator). Otherwise, the artwork is clear and readable. To some it may seem a bit bland or old fashioned, but I think “old fashioned” fits a kooky character like Firestorm. I hope DC has real plans for him like joining The Titans after they supplanted the Justice League.

Recommended If…

  • You are reading Lazarus Planet and they mention something that happens in this book.
  • You’re curious about DC’s newest hero: City Boy!
  •  Excited to read a new Question feature.


Not bad. Lazarus Planet: Legends Reborn seemingly tasks these writers to put life into old and new characters. Some have potential, and others are just future loose ends waiting to happen. To truly invest in these four journeys, you have to be able to tell engaging stories. For the most part, a lot of the stories use passive protagonists in no hurry to make a difference. In other cases, the heroes can’t even dress the part. On a positive note, I really enjoyed the visuals and characters in this book. Negatively, this anthology is insignificant in the greater narrative, while trying to be coy with its own. None of these stories are big enough for the word legendary, but maybe could settle for satisfactory.

Score: 6/10

DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purposes of this review.