Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics
Superman: Lex 2000Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 8, 2000
Cover date: January 2001
2001 Shield No. 2
"Triumph Over Tragedy"
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciller: Tony Harris
Inker: Ray Snyder
"One or the Other"
Writer: Greg Rucka
Penciller: Dwayne Turner
Inker: Danny Miki and Dwayne Turner
"Where Were You?"
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciller: Doug Mahnke
Inker: Walden Wong
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciller: Ed McGuinness
Inker: Cam Smith
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciller: Todd Nauck
Inker: Klaus Janson
Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reviewer's Note: Interspersed in the issue, much like back in 1992 with the Death of Superman Newstime issue, are little ads for current events in the DC Universe, like an ad for a No Man's Land Movie, and a Survivor parody entitled Survival of the Fattest. There's also a cute lead in intro by Colin Thornton, praising Luthor. And in the end, some inside jokes for watchers of the Superman movies and the Kevin Smith Jersey series await. All are very nice, and get five of five plot points with me.
Triumph Over Tragedy...
Cat Grant narrates a WGBS special on Lex Luthor's life, in front of Luthor. This is a preview of what is about to be shown to the nation...
Luthor, in his tower, seems more prepared than anyone to survey all and rule with power and prestige...
His ancestors "worked" with indian settlers to create Metropolis (scenes in the comic of burning and destruction seem to indicate a hidden cynicism). In the 1800's, Duane Luthor would enter into a battle with the working man, making millions and then losing it in the great stock market crash. His life would be satirized in the film Citizen Luthor...
Now poor, the Luthor family resided in Suicide Slum for a time, where as fate would have it, Luthor would interact with a younger Perry White. Then, Luthor's parents were killed in a tragic car accident. Despondent, Luthor travelled far and wide, learning the ways of the world. He was the "Atomic Charles Lindburgh", creating Lexcorp in the process of scientific discovery.
Later, he would be accused of attempting to destroy Metropolis, only to be exonerated by the "real" villain coming forward, an evil clone.
Later, Luthor would physically battle Brainiac 13, losing his only daughter Lena in the process.
Despite the loss of his wife, and all of the other tragedies in his life, he recreated Gotham and Metropolis in a bid for "philanthropy". His actions will soon be immortalized in the Rushmore reconstruction process, when Luthor's head is sculpted in with Washington, Lincoln, and the like.
Luthor admires the network's handiwork, then commands them to cut the part about the whole evil clone and destruction of Metropolis, despite the fact that they're thirty seconds from air time.
Luthor sits down to write his acceptance speech.
One or the Other
Batman repels into the well-lit Lexcorp main building while news reporters prattle on about Luthor's impending victory...
Mercy hears something, and investigates. Batman has created this distraction, and uses it to sneak in and talk with Luthor. Luthor moves to turn on the light, and Batman stops him. Luthor shrugs and goes back to writing his campaign speech. He tells Batman he has five minutes.
Batman commands Luthor to either concede the race or give him the Kryptonite ring that Luthor stole a good deal of time back... Luthor laughs at him. The Secret Service, the CIA, Echelon, Keyhole, DEO, NSA, and FBI are all now at his disposal. Really, Batman, he ribs, does he want all of these organizations out to give the superheroes trouble? Batman tells Luthor to guard the ring well, because he'll be back for it. Luthor tells him that he's boring him, and to go away.
When Batman is gone, Luthor pulls out the ring and gloats.
Where Were You?
Jimmy Olsen wanders the Daily Planet interviewing people as to where they were when Luthor announced his run for the presidency. Lois notes that she was with Jimmy, and Clark recalls that he was "flying" in from a recent "assignment", really coming home from a good deed as Superman.
Clark and Lois recall a kiss soon thereafter, and bitter forbearance. Perry bursts out of his office and announces that Luthor has won the election. He remarks that this is a moment much like when JFK was shot. He sends his reporters to get reactions, and slams his door.
In deep space, Superman destroys some space debris angrily, and a small moon off of Saturn. Four minutes after he finds out Luthor has won. Luthor watches from his surveillance technology and gloats.
Superman looks in on Clark, Lana's baby, and Lana enters the room. She tells him why she let Pete run despite the fact that Luthor tortured her, long ago: because she knows Pete will make a good balance to the evil of Luthor.
That... and she hints that something may happen to Luthor, and Pete may become president.
Okay. Here goes:
Cover Art - 5: Exactly what the story's about, well drawn, and just plain cool looking.
Triumph Over Tragedy...
Story - 3: A nice little compact look at Luthor and his past. One point knocked for a lack of certain pertinent details (like whatever the heck happened to the fact that this man is not even the ORIGINAL Lex Luthor? He's still Lex the Second, albeit a bald one. In the public's eye, anyhoo.) One point knocked for the Rushmore thing, which was unnecessary and dumb. There are certain things that are blasphemous to me in comics. Things that I've seen in the Superman books... Like: destroying Stonehenge, then not fixing it, and defacing national monuments with no real reason behind it. Both have occurred in Supes recently. I hope this isn't going to be frequent. If they won't put a former president from current times on Rushmore, they'd laugh at the idea of Luthor.
Art - 4: I actually liked these splashes, though I usually loathe them. They sufficiently amplify the situation necessarily, and they're nicely detailed. It's a bit dark, though.
One or the Other
Story - 5: Nothing like good characterization to a poignant end. I love seeing minds square off in a medium that's usually BIFF, BAM, and SOCK! But what do I love more, boys and girls? Batman being outwitted. Especially by a bad guy. That's why Knightfall worked, and worked oh so well. Because Bane, while on drugs and permanently walking around with a mad-on, could outwit Bats. He got his identity, his stresses, and his weaknesses in line. And Luthor in this story just hands Batman his rear without even punching him. And then he gloats about it. Mwooo haa haa! I love it...
Art - 3: ...even if Batman did look like the cursing guy who doesn't know who he is. Oh yeah. Adversary. Bleah.
Where Were You?
Story - 2: I suppose it was necessary to have a reactionary to the idea of Luthor being elected, but sheesh... who didn't know by this point in the book, and who really didn't know what Clark and Lois were doing when Luthor announced his campaign? It was less than a year ago, and the issue wasn't even that exciting. And I swear to fuzz I'll pull my little sister's ponytails if I ever see Jimmy Olsen almost say chief and hold back in the next month or two. You writers don't HATE my little sister, do you??? Spare her.
Art - 3: Nothing stood out as good, nothing bad. One thing bothered me: LOIS'S HAIR NEVER STAYS THE SAME LENGTH ANYMORE! What's with that? It's shoulder length in this piece, halfway down to her butt in some recent issues, and sometimes it looks like it's cropped to the ears. Set a length. And a bra cup size, too, dangit. One day she's Lara Croft, the next Cameron Diaz. I'M SUCH A CONFUSED PATHETIC FANBOY! SPARE ME ONE MORE EMBARASSMENT! ;)
Story - 4: This is just pure, pure gold. I love seeing the human side of Superman, and this is definitely it. This was almost as good as when Manhunter recently looked to Superman and suggested that maybe Luthor meant well, sending Supes into gales of laughter. "Ha," he told Manhunter, "Thanks. I needed that." Minus one, however, for Supes destroying a moon. That's un-Superman-y. There's a better way for him to vent, as he recently did, I can't recall where, pounding on the moon. Have him pound on this moon, not cut it in half...
Art - 5: Ed McGuinness... enough said!
Story - 4: I think that this whole issue, that of Lana's take, was missing and needed. I appreciated that. I also am extremely interested in the implications of her veiled threat to Luthor's life. I want her to make an attempt on his life. Or hire someone to. What would Supes do then? Could he jail her? Great tension. I hope to see it.
Art - 1: Bleah. Black and white is cool sometimes, but here it's just bland. And the red? Why? What's it do? Annoy me and Joe Blow reader, that's what.
Overall - 5: Little plot descrepancies and all aside, more than likely inspired by the many creators of this book, I was more than impressed, and this book was all that I could hope for in regards to the Luthor campaign. I've been looking forward to this for a while, and here it is, and it's great. Now writers, don't let this fizzle! Give Luthor some great wars with all of the heroes who deserve to be trounced, and trounced BUT GOOD! Thank you...
Other recent reviews:
-  Adventures of Superman #585 (2000)
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #107 (2000)
-  Action Comics #772 (2000)
-  Superman #164
Mild Mannered Reviews
2001Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic was on sale.
-  Superman #164
-  Lex 2000
-  Adventures of Superman #586
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #108
-  Action Comics #773
- JLA #49
- JLA: A League of One
- JLA: Act of God #1
-  Superman #165
-  Adventures of Superman #587
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #109
-  Action Comics #774
- JLA #50
- JLA: Seven Caskets
- JLA versus Predator
- Justice Leagues: JL? #1
- JLA: Act of God #2
-  Superman #166
-  Adventures of Superman #588
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #110
-  Action Comics #775
- President Luthor: Secret Files and Origins #1
- JLA: Act of God #3
- Justice Leagues: Justice League of Aliens #1
- Justice Leagues: JLA #1
-  Superman #167
-  Adventures of Superman #589
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #111
-  Action Comics #776
- JLA #51
- Legends of the DC Universe #39
- Superboy's Legion #1
-  Superman #168
-  Adventures of Superman #590
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #112
-  Action Comics #777
- Superman Adventures #55
- JLA #52
- Superboy's Legion #2
- JLA: Black Baptism #1
- Batman: Gotham Adventures #36
-  Superman #169
-  Adventures of Superman #591
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #113
-  Action Comics #778
- Superman Adventures #56
- JLA #53
-  Superman #170
-  Adventures of Superman #592
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #114
-  Action Comics #779
- Superman Adventures #57
- JLA #54
- JLA: Incarnations #1
- Super Friends! Trade Paperback
- Superman: Where Is Thy Sting?
-  Superman #171
- Green Lantern: Our Worlds At War #1
-  Adventures of Superman #593
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #115
-  Action Comics #780
- Superman: Our Worlds At War: Secret Files and Origins #1
- Superman Adventures #58
- JLA #55
- JLA: Incarnations #2
-  Superman #172
-  Adventures of Superman #594
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #116
-  Action Comics #781
- JLA: Our Worlds At War #1
- JSA: Our Worlds At War #1
- Superman Adventures #59
- JLA #56
- JLA: Incarnations #3
-  Superman #173
-  Adventures of Superman #595
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #117
-  Action Comics #782
- World's Finest: Our Worlds At War #1
- Superman Adventures #60
- JLA #57
- Superman & Batman: Generations II #1
- JLA: Incarnations #4
-  Superman #174
-  Adventures of Superman #596
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #118
-  Action Comics #783
- Superman Adventures #61
- JLA #58
- Superman & Batman: Generations II #2
- JLA: Incarnations #5
- Joker: Last Laugh #1
- Joker: Last Laugh (Secret Files & Origins) #1
- Joker: Last Laugh #2
-  Superman #175
- Joker: Last Laugh #3
-  Adventures of Superman #597
- Joker: Last Laugh #4
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #119
- Joker: Last Laugh #5
-  Action Comics #784
- Superman Adventures #62
- JLA #59
- JLA: Gatekeeper #1
- Superman & Batman: Generations II #3
- JLA: Incarnations #6
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Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2001.