Review by: Andrew Gaedele Superman #33 Written by: Patrick Gleason, Peter J. Tomasi Art by: Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, Wil Quintana, Ryan Sook Published by: DC Comics Released: 10/18/17
What is this After a month long wait, it’s good to have Tomasi and Gleason back on Superman. The Deathstroke arc was kind of neat, but Imperius Lex has been hotly anticipated. Touted as “Game of Thrones but in space with the New Gods,” this arc is sure to get fantastically weird.
The Review This first issue delivers on the promise of quality that has come to be associated with the creative team of Tomasi and Gleason. The first part of the issue gives us some insight into the chaos that has been reigning on Apokolips since Darkseid’s death in the Darkseid War arc. During that arc, Lex became ruler of Apokolips, took a bunch of power and technology, and then abandoned the place to return to Earth. Well, it’s starting to backfire on Lex now -- the residents of Apokolips want him back.
After a brief introduction on Apokolips, the setting changes to Metropolis. There is a robbery in progress by the JLAR (Justice League of Armed Robbery, aka some criminals with a sense of humor). The two Supermen of Metropolis swoop down to put an end to the crime in progress, and the banter between Clark and Lex couldn’t be better. Tomasi and Gleason really understand the current incarnations of these characters, and it’s so satisfying to see them back on the top of their game.
The rest of the issue involves Lex getting kidnapped to Apokolips and trying to get Superman to come help him, which Superman ignores. Lex then forcibly transports Superman (and Lois and Jon by accident) to Apokolips.
This issue is a lot of setup, as it is the first of the arc. However, this issue does not suffer from the same problems that many first issues do. There is no overly heavy exposition, no lack of action, and no boring slogfests. The issue might not have too much going on in terms of the entire arc, but each scene is entertaining, engaging, and informative. Clark and Lex make a great Super duo. I will be sad if/once they make Lex a villain again (as it seems they might based on information about the upcoming Doomsday Clock series).
Final Thoughts This issue has it where it counts, as stated above. My only criticism would be that Lex says the word “selfie” in one panel. Just kidding, this issue was all around great.
9/10 for the issue, but the arc is shaping up to be 10/10.