Review: Future State: Superman vs. Imperious Lex #1

by Carl Bryan
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Review: Future State: Superman vs. Imperious Lex #1

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

Writer: Mark Russell

Artist: Steve Pugh

Letters: Carlos M. Mangual

Colors: Romulo Farjardo Jr.

Reviewed by: Carl Bryan



“Once they are used to fear, you can no longer distract them with it.  Once they’re more afraid of living under you than opposing you…you’re through! ” – Lex Luthor

Welcome to Lexor, home of the greatest businessman in the Multiverse: Lex Luthor!

After years of prosperity, Lex’s utopia is at last ready to join the ranks of the United Planets and promote peace among worlds.

However, Lex has never done anything unless he had something to gain from it. What could he be up to this time?

Sounds like a job for Superman and his wife Lois Lane, the Earth representative to the U.P.! It’s time the Man of Steel shut down this former Metropolis magnate once and for all!  


Writer Mark Russell hits us in the face with a strong story line full of politics, a dictator’s thoughts, and an altruistic Superman who would risk his life for a people who think him an enemy.

There are so many intellectual tracks to attack this book from it’s amazing.  First, what person whose ego would allow them to go to another planet under the power of a Red Sun just to get away from Superman?  Then subsequently build “Reticulents” (robots that literally destroy and pilfer other planets) to fuel the economy of Lexor.   Then to literally feed the inhabitants through his own news network the truth as he wants it to be.

Russell has studied dictators and communism at some point.  While the United Planets might as well be the macro-version of a United Nations, he pokes fun at an organization that literally wants to dismiss Lex’s application to the United Planets based on the aggregate emotions of almost all of the planets…particularly Lois Lane as Earth’s representative.

I thought it was a bit of a reach taking a top notch journalist and now she is the United Planets representative for the entire Earth.  However, it works in Future State: Superman vs. Imperious Lex #1.

Russell writes a very altruistic Superman.  He literally has the wisdom of a King Solomon. He not only places himself in peril traveling to Lexor which is fueled by a Red Sun, but he does his best to appeal to a population that has been fed lies for their entire existence.  Of course, they do not believe him, but just the straws at which Clark is grasping speaks loads for him doing what is right.  Or is it?

The inhabitants do not think nicely of Superman destroying a factory that they are dependent upon for jobs.  Russell gives us a moment to pause as the inhabitants of Lexor did not ask for Superman to come there.  It’s some really deep stuff!

Positives 2.0

Steve Pugh provides the pencils on this one, and his lines are pretty solid.  From futuristic battle grounds to renderings of Superman, his artistic talents are well displayed here with color splashes from Romulo Farjardo Jr.


It’s hard to read Future State stories as I am used to the connection that the prior The Batman Who Laughs story lines provided us.  I realize that DC did something in Future State to show us what could be or what will be.  

Future State: Superman vs. Imperious Lex #1 reads like a pre-cursor to a Legion of Super Heroes event.  It’s a solid read on its own, but it got deep real quick with an examination of dictators and the people that live in countries like that.



Imperious Lex – I get it and I can see it.  But I am a traditionalist in that this series is reaching a bit…it’s trying to be a little too much like Black Adam in that Lex breaks out his traditional Green and Purple super suit to do battle with Supes in front of people.  However, as I have indicated, it borders on some heavy philosophy so deep readers will enjoy it!  4outof5 DC Comics News


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