Mild Mannered Reviews – Superman #12

Superman #12

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Superman #12

Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 19, 2024
Cover date: May 2024

Chapter Twelve: “Lex’s Truth”

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: David Baldeon & Norm Rapmund
Cover: Jamal Campbell
Variant Covers: Lee Bermejo; Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund & Alejandro Sanchez; Clayton Henry & Marcelo Maiolo
1:25: Alan Quah

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Leticia Luthor, now revealed as the secret member of the Revenge Squad, is spraying Metropolis with a mutated version of kryptonite gas. This gas is deadly to humans and Kryptonians.

The Chained and Pharm are knocked out leaving Graft to hold Supercorp captive. Lex dons his Superman powersuit and offers to incapacitate his mother. Superman, helpless, decides to utilize Supercorp to fast track an antidote. While Lex uses his brute strength, Superman puts his intellect to use.

Supercorp’s employees work with Lena, Mercy, Lois & Superman to undo what Lex did to the synthetic kryptonite.

Lex reveals that when he first moved to Metropolis and attempted to be a vigilante he happened upon Pharm & Graft and discovered that they had been experimenting using solar radiation to alter synthetic versions of the alien rocks. He stole their research and betrayed them. Leticia overhears Lex’s confession and admits the reason she turned against her son was that Luthorcorp was the company she built, and Lex betrayed her by taking her empire as his own.

Meanwhile inside Supercorp, Superman realizes that they have all the tools they need to save the day. Using the now reformed Parasite as a siphon, and remembering research he discovered in the Old West, they discover they can drain the effect that can kill humans.

They transmit the Parasite’s energy signature to Lex’s powersuit and he is able to quickly reverse the gas effects and disperse it. Lena then realizes Supercorp’s computers power Leticia and Lex’s armor and deactivates them before they can engage in a fight.

Superman captures them and the day, it seems, is saved with the Revenge Squad captured and Lex back in prison.

When Lois and Clark finally return to normal life, Clark admits that one mystery remains unsolved. Why did the Revenge Squad stay silent for decades and pick this exact moment to reveal themselves?

To Be Continued in “House of Brainiac”, beginning in Action Comics #1064.

5Story – 5: This was a really enjoyable finale to this story arc. There are still plenty of loose threads such as Marilyn Moonlight, how Pharm and Graft are so young despite being children in the 1800s, Bizarro’s ultimate fate and those two surprise cameos (no spoilers here!). I’m keen to keep reading to find out what “House of Brainiac” will reveal!

I also enjoyed the way Superman and Lex switched their problem solving. Lex resorting to brute strength and his suit’s powers, while Superman used his knowledge to solve the problems.

Clark proved to be a great leader and influence on Supercorp, so it will be interesting to see him in that position more as he takes a more active role as the acting CEO.

I like that there is scope for more to come, and like that this storyline tried many new things.

3Art – 3: As this issue had very little action this time around, the art style did not fit the story as well as usual, at least for me. There was a great deal of effort to make the pages as dynamic as possible but there wasn’t enough going on in the story for the art to excel with.

3Cover Art (Jamal Campbell) – 3: Considering this was the story’s big finale, this cover is a big disappointment. There is nothing wrong with the art whatsoever, but the cover concept is just a little dull in execution.

4Variant Cover (Lee Bermejo) – 4: A classic Lex versus Superman moment. I’m sure this is still how Lex sees his partnership with Superman going eventually, despite his protests of reformation! This is a beautifully rendered piece of art. All of the variants in this series would look great, poster sized.

5Variant Cover (Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund & Alejandro Sanchez) – 5: This story arc has definitely embraced core elements of the Superman mythos and updated them in interesting ways. What better way to celebrate this new era than with a stunning wraparound cover? I love the video screens showing super feats and of course Superman soaring through the sky on this cover is nothing less than iconic.

4Variant Cover (Clayton Henry & Marcelo Maiolo) – 4: A confident Superman gliding high over the city looks great here. The bold linework and the rays of sunlight give this cover a real sense of optimism.

4Variant Cover (Alan Quah) – 4: Superman landing at superspeed here is epic. I love the color and explosive energy. What happens next? We need to know!

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