Superman #33 review

Saturday night at the movies, who knows what picture you’ll see? For the Kents, it’s a classic spaghetti western. 

Earlier, Clark was determined to have a quiet family night, so ignored a request from Lex Luthor, probationary member of the Superman Family. 

The Mad Scientist Who Cried Wolf, eh? And he was sounding a tad imperious. But still, Superman and Luthor were getting on so well earlier in the day, when a bunch of bank robbers received a sudden start. 

Why anyone would try to commit a crime in Metropolis without super powers is beyond me. Still, it makes for a fun scene as we see old rivalries don’t impede the new working relationship. 

The most intense part of The Super Man Who Would Be King, the opening chapter of the Imperious Lex arc, is the opening, which reintroduces the woman who would be Mrs Lex, Ardora. 

As the book progresses we see that when it comes to getting her man, she won’t take no for an answer. 

Ardora, now there’s a name to stir my Silver Age soul. The original was a decent, if deluded, lady from Lexor, the world that hailed Luthor as a hero and condemned Superman as a villain. This new gal seems your typical Apokoliptian nasty, cold and brutal. I can’t see Lex Luthor, who’s definitely softened of late, falling for her anytime soon. 

Convincing me that he’s changed has been an uphill struggle for writers Peter J Tomasi and Patrick Gleason, but just look at him in the aftermath of his mini-team-up with Superman. 

He’s in private, but not gleeful at pulling the wool over Metropolis’ collective eyes; neither is he selfless. He’s not a saint, but there certainly seems more good in him than bad. It’s nice writing, but as ever with this series, the highlights are the Kent family scenes. They’re a unit, a benevolent conspiracy against the world. Before he married Lois, before Jon came along, Clark would have answered Lex’s call in a flash, because there’s always the chance he really does need him. But now he has a family, and with no major crisis anticipated, they get priority. Superman is as liable to self-interest as Lex, without being anywhere near a bad person. I like that. 

I also like the art of penciller Doug Mahnke, inker Jaime Mendoza and colourist Will Quintana. Mahnke’s careful, intelligent compositions are beautifully finished by Mendoza and brought to blazing life by Quintana. Whether we’re talking that Saturday night at the movies in Metropolis or Saturday night’s alright (for fighting) on Apokolips, everything looks convincing and compelling.  

Ryan Sook looks to be thinking trade paperback with his terrific movie poster-style cover, while Jonboy Meyers provides the scrappier variant. To be honest, energetic as the variant is, I can’t imagine many people passing over Sook’s handsome confection for its Nineties-style rival.  

I’ve not said where everyone winds up by close of play, let’s just say Lois, Jon and Clark all get something to occupy their attention. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how our heroes cope with the world that’s coming…

7 thoughts on “Superman #33 review

  1. Great review.
    That Lex moment is compelling. He isn't twirling mustache. He wants to be the hero; he always has. But he is trying to replace Superman rather than eliminate him. Interesting.

    But I got vibes that Lex is a bit enamored of Superman too. That early scene with the robbers … it's like he is trying to hard to impress. And the 'can you read my mind' line is heavy with nostalgia.


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