[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writers: Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason
Artists: Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza
“IMPERIUS LEX!” It’s a game of thrones on Apokolips as the lords of the dreaded world battle each other to claim its rule. Lex Luthor is summoned back to the warring planet, and he will need Superman to help him reclaim a crown he did not ask for. Meanwhile, Lois is confronted by the Female Furies and Jon faces the Children of the Firepits.
If the original title Superman/Adventures Of Superman had continued with its original numbering and not been reset to #1 for the New 52 reboot and then again for the Rebirth relaunch, then next issue would have been #800. So what better way to celebrate that landmark than with an epic storyline set in Jack Kirby’s Fourth World involving a power struggle for the throne of Apokolips?
This story follows up from the Darkseid War arc in the New 52 Justice League comic, which left Apokolips without a ruler. During that storyline, Lex Luthor, former enemy and current ally of Superman, got a taste of godhood and was briefly ruler of Apokolips. The chance to regain that is a temptation that might entice him to return to his villainous ways.
I like the presence of the character Ardora, who in the silver age was a love interest for Lex. She was from the planet Lexor, whose inhabitants saw Lex as a hero and Superman as a villain. Although she is from Apokolips in this story, it echoes the earlier stories in that she and some others on Apokolips see Lex as their rightful ruler.
Although it is good to see stories spotlighting one of the Kent family, my favourites feature the entire family. This issue has all three present, and next issue appears to be giving us the best of both worlds, as all three are sent to Apokolips, but are separated to different locations on the planet.
Also, it’s a strange, but strangely awesome sight to see Superman and Lex fighting crime together and acting almost as friends. Given the events of this issue, it might be the last time we see Luthor fighting on the side of good.
Plus there is the amusing idea of a gang of bank robbers wearing Justice League masks and dubbing themselves the “Justice League Of Armed Robbery.”
I do find it a bit hard to believe that Clark would completely ignore a summons from Lex. I would expect that Clark would at least attempt to phone Luthor or at least take a quick look to see what’s up.
This is even more unbelievable when Superman attempts to ignore the Lexbots that attempt to abduct him. I would expect that he would see this as either a sign that Lex needed him desperately, or an indication that Lex had backslid into villainy. In either case, Superman would certainly let the robots lead him to Luthor, so he could address the situation.
Also, we now have four different titles with Jack Kirby’s New Gods appearing in currently or very recently: Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps, Mister Miracle, Bug! The Adventures Of Forager, and this title. Each has mutually exclusive occurrences or differing interpretations of characters. Could DC’s editorial staff get together and decide on a single cohesive interpretation of the New Gods please?
This was a fun story, leading up to what promises to be an exciting anniversary issue. I can hardly wait to see what Tomasi and Gleason have for us in the 800th issue of Superman.