[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Mark Russell, Jim Fanning
Artists: Andrew Hennessy, Brad Walker, John Loter, Paul J. Lopez
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse, Paul J. Lopez
Letters: ALW’s Troy ‘N’ D-D-Dave, Wes Abbott
Porky Pig has never felt lower. His company got hacked and fell from stock market grace. Pretty soon he’s waiting tables at the same restaurant where he used to dine. It only makes sense that he eventually sinks low enough to take a job offer from Lex Luthor. But, will the price to become Employee of the Month at LexCorp be more than just Pork’s dignity?
Plus, there’s a bonus story in the back. In Lex’s Next Appointment, Porky makes office supplies sound so appealing that Lex cancels the rest of his afternoon. Now, can Porky convince Luthor that his deals are explosive, but not the products?
Starting out with a Porky Pig who was a stock market darling riding high on the hog, and is now wallowing in the mud is a perfect introduction for Lex Luthor. By playing on his broken spirit with false praise and vague instructions, Luthor is able to twist Porky around his finger and convince him of anything. Porky’s wide-eyed adoration makes him the perfect patsy. Which sets up the next positive.
Porky’s old company — PorkyBux — collapsed when it was hacked and now Porky’s job is running LexCorp’s new social media platform. While you let that sink in Porky is trying hard to understand why he is in charge of Lexema, the new platform, and why they are friending accounts that have been kicked off other social media sites.
Who is stealing sandwiches from the break room is a time-honored storyline in comedy situations. In this case, Porky tries to maintain morale by hunting the thief. The effort is a constant failure. Finally, one employee pulls Porky aside to say that everyone knows it is Lex who is stealing the sandwiches. When Porky vigorously defends his boss, Lex walks past with a homemade sandwich in his mouth, while giving the thumbs-up sign. There are no words.
The bonus is when Porky needs a patsy and decides to fire the janitor who has been helping set traps to catch the thief.
Daffy Duck is such a troll. When Lex promotes Lexema at a presentation and begins posting live, Daffy is tagging him with snappy comebacks left and right and I don’t think I can do it justice. Just read and laugh and thank me later. But, it does lead to another great moment, when Lex can’t take any more abuse and uses a program to drop the avatar on Daffy’s phone camera to threaten him.
Professor Ivo and Dr. Sivana offer comedic interludes when they appear before Congress. Casting them as evil drug manufacturing CEOs is a delicious distraction.
The second story is classic Porky Pig. Porky is selling office supplies and LexCorp could be his biggest account. Lex thinks the “supplies” are slang for ingenious weapons. Things take a turn when Superman arrives and Lex sends out robot security that quickly put the man of steel on the ropes.
Lucky for the last son of Krypton, Porky lets a paper clip fly and it lands right in the slot marked Do Not Insert Paper Clip on the remote Lex is holding. Why did Porky do it? Partly to save Superman, and partly because Lex made the mistake of saying, “That’s All Folks!”
Walking away from the LexCorp building in the last panel, Porky makes it clear that nobody says Porky’s line, but Porky.
I get the need for a morality tale that requires Porky to take the fall as a punishment for working for Lex. What I don’t get is the need to limit Porky’s role to a storytelling device that is more of a witness than a character. Porky gets moved around like a chess piece, and the only development is a lesson in trusting the wrong people just because they claim they want to help you.
There was only one way a Porky Pig and Lex Luthor could be told in a modern setting. I mean, the former is a stuttering pig with low self-esteem and the latter is the smartest man in the world. Mark Russell avoids the safe story by including modern references that point to the ways the public sets itself up to be manipulated. It starts with a closeup on Porky and expands to include the global impact of social media platforms.
The classic story at the end shows just how much of a hero Porky can be when he faces Lex using the rules of comedy.