Hell needs its Devil, the Dutchman needs its captain and Apokolips needs its king. This book starts off with the denizens of Darkseid’s domain plotting to bring back Lex Luthor to fulfill his destiny, not matter what. But first, let’s catch up with the bromance of Kal-Lex, or is it SuperLuthor or is it Lex-El?
For as long as I have been reading comics, there is still something unnerving about seeing Lex Luthor and Superman working together. It’s not that unusual but them also being very chummy, as depicted here, is the unsettling part. I guess with the overall changes that comics have progressed to this is a bit inevitable, with both men seeking the same results: protecting humanity. There is nothing wrong with it, but it’s jarring. The two are seen here thwarting some criminals in a mostly generic chase, which ends with them cheesily sharing the credit equally for stopping them. After they separate, Lex is abducted and now needs his new buddy’s help to escape from Apokolis.
Gleason and Tomasi’s writing here, while not terrible in any sense, just didn’t bring the sizzle for this setup. Unfortunately, that is pretty much what this comic is: a setup book. There is hope that as the story progresses, more happens to get readers excited. We know that Lex is being dragged off to Apokolips and needs Superman’s help to free him but beyond that, there really is no compelling reason given within this story to care about what happens next. It’s a plot we have seen before but unless you really want to see how Lex gets out of this one, you’ll wait 4 or 5 issues to jump back aboard. Going all the way back to my earlier point of Superman and Luthor working together, you wonder how much longer they can do the buddy cop thing until Luthor decides he has had enough.
The artwork and inks provided by Mahnke and Mendoza is excellent and one of the only things I stayed on board for. There is excellent work done to bring out the mood of the story and even the one panel that we see with Lex and Kal-El posing together shows the smarminess and smugness of Luthor.
Further in the story when some fights breaks loose, one can see the kinetic energy in expressing Superman and son fighting against some Lexbots.
Overall, I hope the next few books do better at pulling readers into this story because while I can kind of see how this ends, it’s getting me to care about the end that’s needed for me to stay with this story.
2.5 Lexbots out of 5