The fires of Apokolips have stopped, which seems fitting since prophecies foretold Superman would one day rule the people there. This issue is the last in the latest story arc that has had Lois, Jon, and Lex Luthor all fighting for their lives as the people of Apokolips await Superman’s agreement to lead them.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“IMPERIUS LEX” finale! Votes begin to be cast in Kryptonian blood as Apokolips’ hordes of hellish residents choose a new leader to occupy Darkseid’s throne. The Man of Steel finds himself caught in a violent democratic battle with Lex Luthor leading the race for godhood!
Why does this matter?
Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason have put together quite a fun adventure with this latest arc. Doug Mahnke’s detailed art style makes it read like a primo event even if it’s only a four part story. This issue reveals whether or not Superman is up to the task of leading the people, which will assuredly play a big part in future Superman stories.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The flame has died.
If you like fight comics this book is for you. Jon, Lois, and Superman all fight in giant battle scenes as they attempt to thwart Granny Goodness and Kalibak. As they battle Jon gets to ride a giant wolf and Lois gets to knock some sense into Granny Goodness’ soldiers who disagree with the idea of a woman loving a man. Mahnke draws a good issue here — full page spreads depict the battles with good depth of field and action happening near and far. You get the sense the battle is an all-out war, giving the action a climactic feel.
The second half of the book is all about the future politics of the planet. Superman has always been a beacon of hope and the writing team does well to lend that outlook on the people and new direction for Apokolips. It’s interesting to see these developments; it ties this once-evil planet to a source of goodness that should bring new and interesting stories to the forefront. It’s also neat to see how Superman may change because of it too.
It can’t be perfect can it?
I was perplexed as to Lex’s actions in the last two pages. The character isn’t really involved in the plot for much of the issue — he’s knocked out — so his choice to remove the symbol on his chest is confusing. We don’t know why he’s doing it unless he’s just blindly attempting to offend Superman (even though he should be happy about it). More than likely the creative team is hinting at Lex going full evil in future stories.
Though a clear explanation is necessary as far as Superman’s new role with the people of Apokolips it kills the pace of the issue. There’s an interesting speech about hope, but it drags on a bit and kills the momentum of the battle.
Is It Good?
A good conclusion to a four part story arc that changes Superman’s role as hero in a big way.