[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Script & Layouts: Phil Jimenez
Finishes: Matt Santorelli
Pencils and Inks pgs 14-19: Jack Herbert
Lex is still trapped and Lana is determined to free him. She believes he is the key to stopping his sister Lena. Lana, Steel and crew get some unexpected help from the shape-shifting Bizarro Superwoman. She is able to lead the team to the underground bunker where Lex is being held. As Lana attempts to free him, between verbal jabs at each other, Lex tells Lana all about him, his sister and their life growing up.
Luthor’s alcoholic dad was abusive and didn’t care much for the kids’ scientific interests. Both Lex and Lena were brilliant kids with an aptitude for science and inventing. When Lena was stricken with the illness that robbed her of the use of her legs, an impatient Lex tried to put together a cure on his own. It didn’t work. After Lex moved away, he started LexCorp as a tribute to his sister. When Lex’s parents died, Lena went to live with an aunt who eventually sent her to college. Lena came into her own as a scientist and eventually Lex brought her on board. Unfortunately, he kept her behind the scenes and made subsequent attempts to cure her. The last attempt is what sent Lena over the edge.
Lana frees Luthor by the end of his story and Bizarro Superwoman shows up with the Atomic Skull who promises to help them save Metropolis…for a price.
The back story for Lex and Lena is important to understanding what’s going on in this story. The double narrative with Bizarro Superwoman explaining her memories while we see what Lena did to her is also executed well. She’s actually Superwoman from the Crime Syndicate. We get a little bit more cryptic information on Lois’s fate. Bizarro Superwoman can see her, but no one else. Lois says it’s more complicated than simply having been killed by Bizarro Superwoman.
There’s a lot of exposition in this story. A lot of information. In a single issue it seems very weighty and burdensome. While all the reveals are integral to the story and characters, it seems like it could’ve been disseminated throughout the story arc more efficiently than dumping it all in this one issue. It almost feels like the arc was extending beyond the planned length and we are all of a sudden getting caught up so the arc can finish next issue.
This issue has a lot and it slows the arc down overall, and while the main threat is Lena, Lois’s fate is the most important aspect that we continue to get very little on. It’s a little unbalanced, but not bad.