Review: Future State: Superman vs. Imperious Lex #2

by Carl Bryan
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Review: Future State: Superman vs. Imperious Lex #2

[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  



“People don’t look for leaders for truth.  They look to them for flattery.  The weaker and more powerless they are, the more they mistake your strength for their own. ” – Lex Luthor

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

It’s really happening: Lexor has joined the United Planets! While surveying, Lois Lane and Superman discover that the planet is rich in minerals, causing Lex Luthor to try and exit the federation to make a pretty penny!

Realizing he can’t leave without agreement from Earth, he imprisons Lois Lane, then whips up the propaganda machine against Superman.

Now the power couple must work together to break free and stop Luthor’s plans! But how can they fight a whole planet that’s designed to hate them?


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 Superman vs. Imperious Lex #2 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.  

Russell writes a very altruistic  but arguably a misguided 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 writing that causes a reader to think if not become politicized and weary at our own world.

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.


I feel for the people of Lexor.  Lex is so misguided and after wealth and the ultimate defeat of Superman that he is oppressing an entire planet.  But Superman is overstepping some boundaries in this one as well.

I think one of the major themes for his son, Jonathan, is that he is the Superman for Metropolis.  Clark is so used to now interloping into other planet’s business that he doesn’t see the ramifications of his actions.

Good intentions pave a road to Hell, and this comic shows that.




Superman vs. Imperious Lex #2 – 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, Superman destroys the factory on Lexor that is the main industry for the people.

This is a deep political book that if you examine it, there is wrong on both sides.  Capitalism versus Socialism seems to be the theme.  Comics are sometimes supposed to take you away and be “bubble gum for the brain”.  In this case, this was a political comic that provided nothing but conflict and the constant “in your face” we have endured in politics for some time.  


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