With the world’s deadliest assassin leaving Metropolis, things have returned to normal for the Man of Steel. He goes to work, saves the day, occasionally teaming up with Lex Luthor. To newcomers, back in 2014, Lex Luthor saved the world from an evil Justice League in the Forever Evil event. This has made him a hero in the eyes of the world and he has held good to that commitment. While he is still the cunning bald-billionaire we know, he has helped the Justice League several times until the start of Rebirth. Since then both he and Superman have worked to keep the world safe.
The opening to this storyline has us follow Superman and Lex Luthor teaming up to stop crime in Metropolis. They stop the bad guys, take pictures for the press and act friendly to one another. When it’s all said and done, however, the pair can’t stand each other and go their separate ways. While Clark goes home for Family Night, Lex is captured by slaves from Apokolips. They see him as their new god after he wielded the power of Darkseid during 2015’s Darkseid War event. Before he is sent to the hellish planet, Luthor sends out a distress signal and some Lexbots to get Superman for help.
While the team up of Luthor and Superman was fun, the issue falls apart from there. The reason of why Superman is dragged into Lex’s problem is by far one of the most ridiculous premises I’ve seen in comics.
After Clark hears the distress signal from Lex, he shrugs it off because the signal has been used to show off new upgrades for his Supersuit. That’s right. The reason Superman didn’t help is the equivalent of “The Boy Who Cried, Wolf.”
I know the two are supposed to be enemies, but Superman would have known something was up. In fact, most of Metropolis would know what’s up as the captors used a boom tube to get away. As the name implies, boom tubes are meant to be loud and explosive. Even if the sounds of the city were to cover it up, Superman would recognize the noise due to his history against Apokolips. Superman could also look towards Lexcorp just to make sure he’s fine with his X-ray vision.
There are several ways to have Superman learn about what happened to Lex that doesn’t put his family in danger. But since this book deals with the Kent family, they need to be roped in. It’s nonsensical, and that’s coming from the book about a Superman who flies with heat vision.
The art of this issue will be a hit or miss for readers. For this reader, it hits just below the mark.
The pencil work is phenomenal when it came to the design of the characters. With the combination of the color work, the characters felt like the could pop off the page into our world.
Despite the designs of the characters being fantastic, there is one aspect that drags the entire issue down. The pencil work doesn’t do wonders for the faces of the characters. Unless their mouths are closed, the heroes end up with creepy, unnatural expressions. In one panel, in particular, Clark looked back at his family with a creepy grin when he says he’s going to spend the night with his family. It is faces such as this that pull me out of the story entirely.
This is not the way you start a story arc. Aside from the fun team up at the beginning, the story makes Clark look like a jerk and an idiot who gets his family caught up in his troubles. While the suits and scenery look nice, there are faces the characters make that will pull a reader out from being immersed in the story. I hope that with the entrance of Apokolips that the story will improve, but stand alone, I cannot recommend it.