Review: Action Comics #985

[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writer: Rob Williams

Artist: Guillem March

 

Summary

“ONLY HUMAN” part one! Superman finds himself side by side with Lex Luthor once more, but is his former foe truly committed to being a hero, or is it just a ruse to gain the Man of Steel’s trust? As world events point to something dark on the horizon, the mysterious Mr. Oz makes his final move against the Man of Tomorrow.

Positives

With all that’s being going on in Superman’s life, Lex Luthor wearing his symbol has been a dangling plot-thread that’s been ignored too long, and I am hoping that this team-up of the two will answer some of the questions that the Superman Reborn arc has left hanging: In the new version of Superman continuity, what motivated Lex to start wearing Superman’s symbol? Did he still serve as a member of the Justice League? And how much of his villainous past is canon now?

It’s clear that Lex is vain and arrogant, but he has been maintaining his role as a hero for a while now, despite Superman’s suspicions. Given the assistance Lex provided against Zod and the Revenge Squad, could Superman gradually come to believe Lex is being genuine? Is it possible Lex is genuine? I find Lex trying to find redemption an interesting angle and I hope DC explores it fully before his almost certainly inevitable return to villainy.

Negatives

I was somewhat disappointed that despite the solicitation’s promises of Mr. Oz’s involvement in the story, that he seems to be entirely absent from the issue. Although, it’s only a slight annoyance, seeing that the big Oz storyline is starting in a few weeks.

One thing I found in the story was Superman’s statement to Lex, “I believed in you.” I can’t think of an instance that shows Clark showing any belief in Lex’s reformation. He has seemed suspicious of Lex all along. If he gained any trust in Lex, then it had to be the short period between last issue and this one.

Plus the fact that Superman immediately jumps to the conclusion that Lex is behind the machinist just because he was using Lexcorp technology. Superman has seen technology stolen for use by supervillains enough times to know better. It seems less likely that Superman believes in Lex’s turnaround and more likely that he had been waiting for Lex to slip up and reveal what he’s really up to.

 

Verdict

All in all a fun issue. I hope we get to see more of these team-ups of Superman and Lex Luthor. It adds a fascinating level of complexity to the relationship between Superman and his one time arch-foe.

 

 

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Derek McNeil

I have been an avid reader of DC Comics since the early 70s. My earliest exposure was to Batman and Superman comics, Batman (Adam West) reruns, and watching the Super-Friends every Saturday morning.