Review by Andrew Gaedele Superman #36 Written by: Patrick Gleason, Peter J. Tomasi Art by: Doug Mahnke, Jamie Mendoza,Will Quintana Published by: DC Comics
What is this Superman 36 is the last issue of the Imperius Lex arc. What a fun story! It’s also the first of the Superman issues to have DC’s new banner (or rather, lack of banner; The Rebirth banner is no longer present on ongoing issues).
The Review The story arc ends with Superman stopping the in-fighting of Apokolips citizens by agreeing to be their ruler. He sets up some rudimentary democratic policies before returning to earth. There’s some fun fight scenes involving Clark, Jon, and Lois. Kalibak falls into a hole and isn’t seen again (for now???). At the end of the issue, Clark and Lex get into an argument, and Lex, sporting a malicious grin, destroys his S symbol.
The whole arc was great, but I especially like the last few pages of this issue. It shows that Superman is not morally infallible. Lex has tried to show he’s a changed man, he’s carried on the legacy of Superman and fought for Metropolis. All the Apokolips business happened before he “turned good”. But Clark can’t accept that, even a little bit. I believe that Lex wanted and tried to be good, but if his effort isn’t enough for Superman, the most forgiving and merciful of all heroes, then what’s the point? It’s a really interesting look into their past and current relationship, and it offers a nice segue into the Doomsday Clock, where certain solicitations and covers have revealed that Lex goes back (to some extent) to being evil.
I’m excited for the upcoming arc/crossover, Super Sons of Tomorrow. If you don’t know, it involves alternate future versions of past teenaged heroes, like the Tim Drake Batman from the recent Detective Comics arc. Hopefully we’ll get to see Conner Kent again (the real version, not the literal abomination from the New 52 Teen Titans).
Imperius Lex get a 9/10 from me and so does this issue. My minor gripes are far outweighed by how fun and innovative this story was.