Team Superman: writers Patrick Gleason & Peter J. Tomasi and artist Doug Mahnke were back in full force for the finale of Imperius Lex. The potential was there for this arc and they delivered with an intriguing change of the status quo. Most significantly, Superman’s team of allies might be down a member.
One of the most unique aspects of the Rebirth Superman and Lex Luthor dynamic has been Superman’s reluctance to give Luthor a fair shot. Luthor still occasionally behaves in a suspect manner, but he’s tried to walk the straight and narrow. By the end of this issue, that is very much in doubt.
Beyond the advancement of the Superman/Luthor partnership, there was the little matter of Superman, Lois and Jon being caught in the middle of a civil war on Apokolips. It was in these sequences where Mahnke seemed to truly channel Jack Kirby with wide panels filled with action and a chaotic battlefield that wasn’t so nice and pretty. It’s a gorgeous homage to ‘The King’ and well worth Mahnke taking a few issues off in between to accomplish.
The only gripe was how Tomasi and Gleason might have been a little generous in portraying Lois’ fighting skills. While it made for a surprising and cool moment, it didn’t fully ring true considering her opponents. But the writers lay an exciting foundation for the Superman Family to make more frequent trips to Apokolips in the future.
It’s great to see Superman in such capable hands and knowing as one arc comes to a close the next one stands just as good a chance to be equally enjoyable.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: DC Comics