Last issue we began a new story arc for the Kent family that would take them to Apokolips. Lex Luthor had the brilliant idea of convincing the Apokoliptians that he was the replacement for their recently fallen leader Darkseid. As one would suspect, this plan backfired. Lex then ordered his Lexbots to kidnap the whole family to come save him. The danger to the Kent family could have been avoided if Superman decided to actually listen to Lex’s calls of distress, but he chooses to ignore them, leading us to this issue.
Character inconsistencies and very unnatural expressions dragged down the beginning of this arc. Now that the family has made it to Apokolips, we might finally see some action to save Lex from his captors.
With the Kent family separated on Apokolips, each member will seem to get more of the spotlight as the storyline goes on. The first member is Lois Lane who finds herself captured by Granny Goodness and the Female Furies. She ends up proving her worth and stands alongside the Furies over the span of a few hours. Meanwhile, Lex admits to his captors that he truly isn’t the heir to Darkseid’s throne. He convinces the group that the heir is actually Superman, but this doesn’t stop them from turning on their false god.
It might just be me, but I still can’t get into this story due to the actions of the characters. Lex is the most intelligent being from Earth, and yet he thinks that admitting his lie to a crowd of ravenous followers is the best idea. The Furies just accept Lois after a single battle where they drag dozens of slaves who are actually born of Apokolips. The characters break their archetypes to allow the plot to progress.
This issue doesn’t have much in terms of story depth, but it makes up for it in epic action. The battle that Lois gets dragged into shows that she isn’t a damsel in distress anymore. Seeing her surviving alongside the mightiest warriors of Apokolips is actually pretty damn cool. It’s action sequences like this that makes me think that this trip might leave more of an impression than expected. I hope it will leave an impression by the end, but as of right now, it still feels lacking.
I am glad to see that the art has improved since the last issue. Ed Benes and Jack Herbert join Doug Mahnke in drawing out the horrors of Apokolips. The designs of the characters look as good as the last issue, with the awkward faces being fixed for more natural ones. The closest unnatural faces made are those of certain Apokoliptians, which makes sense considering they come from a monster-filled world.
The color work continues to help characters pop off the page but in a different way. Where the colors of the previous issue are more vibrant, the colors here are more subdued. It makes the characters look more realistic and could step off the page any moment.
While a step up from last week, the storyline continues to struggle to find footing. The characters don’t act like themselves and it breaks the immersion, despite the epic action. The art does shine, removing the unnatural expressions that plagued the first part. We still have two parts to go, but this story shows very little signs of improvement.