DC announces Lazarus Planet, its first major event of 2023

Lazarus Planet
(Image credit: DC)

During its "Explore the Universe Panel" at New York Comic Con on Thursday, DC announced its first 2023 event: Lazarus Planet.

DC first teased Lazarus Planet in September, when it released an ominous image of the Lazarus Volcano exploding, its green lava forming Superman's iconic symbol. The explosion will take place in Batman vs. Robin #4, the penultimate issue in the limited series written by Mark Waid and drawn by Mahmud Asrar.

On Wednesday, the publisher released the same image, with the following text added: "Heroes transformed. Secrets revealed. Powers unleashed." Newsarama also received images showing a terrifying Doomsday monster wearing Martian Manhunter's costume, and the Devil Nezha holding Monkey Prince by the neck of his suit while he seemingly laughs at the demon.

Plus, Billy Batson will apparently be released from the Rock of Eternity, where he's been trapped since the events of Titans Academy. Lazarus Planet will seemingly establish new status quos for everyone in the DC Universe, just as DC shifts into the new editorial era known as the Dawn of the DCU - which spins out of the currently ongoing event, Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Waid will be the architect for Lazarus Planet, and he'll be teaming up with Riccardo Federici, Gene Luen Yang, Billy Tan, Nicole Maines, Skylar Patridge, Francis Manapul, Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Josie Campbell, Dan Watters, and more. Creative teams for the event will be announced alongside solicit text and covers for DC's January comics in its October solicitations.

What we know for sure is that Lazarus Planet will see DC's superheroes and supervillains transformed for the event, and everything spins out of the Lazarus Volcano exploding in Batman vs. Robin #4 in December. It will spew transformative chemicals into the atmosphere, creating chaos all over the DC Universe as Earth-0/Prime's citizens begin to develop strange new abilities or see their current abilities altered.

Promotional images give some hint as to what we can expect: Superman Blue, Batman in the Helmet of Fate, Martian Manhunter turning into a beast, Monkey Prince going face-to-face with the Devil Nezha... See for yourself below.

In the announcement accompanying its "Explore the Universe" panel, DC presents the following questions:

  • Can Power Girl free herself from the out-of-control Omen?
  • Who are the mysterious trio claiming to be resurrected siblings of Raven?
  • Will Dreamer's visions guide our heroes to the path of victory?
  • Can Mercy Graves survive the transformation she's undergone?
  • Will Martian Manhunter survive a psychic link to a Doomsday nest?
  • Can new hero City Boy hope to commune with Gotham in time to save it?
  • How far would the Question go to chase a lead across a transformed Gotham City?
  • Will the flame of Firestorm burn out yet another horrific host?
  • And what does DC's Monkey Prince have to do with all of this?

According to the release, Monkey Prince joins the fray after Damian Wayne puts out a distress call for whatever heroes are left in their original, heroic states to go to the Hall of Justice and help save the world. Monkey Prince answers the call alongside heroes like Blue Beetle, Power Girl, Cyborg, Batman, and more - but as we can see from the teaser images, not all of them will remain untransformed by Lazarus Volcano's dangerous emissions for long.

DC teases, "But why could the fate of all life as we know it rest in the hands of... Monkey Prince?"

Our guess? He's somehow immune to the effects of the volcano.

Lazarus Planet will follow a weekly release schedule in January and February, as follows:

  • Lazarus Planet: Alpha (1/10)
  • Lazarus Planet: Assault on Krypton (1/17)
  • Lazarus Planet: We Once Were Gods (1/24)
  • Lazarus Planet: Legends Reborn (1/31)
  • Lazarus Planet: Next Evolution (2/7)
  • Lazarus Planet: Dark Fate (2/14)
  • Lazarus Planet: Omega (2/21)

How this fits into the new DC editorial era known as the Dawn of the DCU remains to be seen, though we suspect more hints will be provided in DC's full January solicitations, coming October 14.

Stay tuned for more information about Lazarus Planet and DC's other NYCC announcements here at Newsarama, as well as its first 2023 solicitations.

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Samantha Puc
Editor, Newsarama

Samantha Puc (she/they) is an editor at Newsarama and an avid comics fan. Their writing has been featured on Refinery29, Bitch Media, them., The Beat, The Mary Sue, and elsewhere. She is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative nonfiction at The New School.