Monday, December 10, 2018

Cool cover, but looks like the "Clash of '83" would be next month.


From 1983, Superman #385, "Luthor Rises Again!" Written by Cary Bates, pencils by Curt Swan, inks by Dave Hunt. And a Gil Kane cover!

Lexor is a bit of pre-Crisis continuity that I don't think is well-remembered these days, so I'm going to try to recap it off the top of my head, without Wikipedia or anything. So, once upon a time there was a planet named duh, Lexor. Well, that might not have been its original name, but Lex Luthor came there in search of a rare element, or super-technology, or something else he could he could use in his ongoing war against Superman. While poking about, Lex helped the locals, less out of altruism than happenstance, but the locals loved him and hailed him as their hero. Lex may have even helped them recover lost technology or used his own to improve their lot, although that may have been to make more efficient use of the peasants as labor. He even married and had a son there, because Lex has needs, damnit. He could have stayed on Lexor, been their champion, and lived a long and happy life; but the idea of Superman still being out there just ate at him. This drove him to a double-life: as Lexor's hero, he used his science to stabilize its unstable tectonics; while at night he used a salvaged battlesuit to destroy and cause havoc until he could draw Superman out into a fight. I think Lexor was either in a red sun system, or red sun adjacent, so Supes wasn't at full power; but one of Lex's power-blasts ricochets off him into the planet-stabilizer-doohickey, causing a chain reaction that would destroy the planet right before Lex could reach his wife and child. This would be a tragic story, if you believed Lex gave half a crap about anyone or anything besides killing Superman and proving himself the big man. Well, since all those people on Lexor died it's still tragic, I guess.

Lex returns to earth this issue, using his battlesuit to steer a lump of what's left of Lexor to earth, which he makes into a little L-island base. Again, I don't buy for a second that Lex feels anything resembling grief, but covering his psychosis as a noble quest for righteous revenge is pure Lex. While Lex is making preparations and swearing in his hand-picked criminal underlings, Superman has Luthor on the brain; either guilt over his death (and Lexor's) or his subconscious trying to warn him. And Lois gets thrown by a horse, and is overjoyed that Superman wasn't there to save her, and she didn't expect him to; meaning she can get back in the proverbial saddle. Yeah, her parents think that's crazy, too; but looks like Lois's dad pre-Crisis was a Pa Kent-like farmer, or retired or something; as opposed to the general dick General Lane would be in recent years.


2 comments:

Dale Bagwell said...

I'm kinda surprised that haven't brough Lexor back with some alterations. Guess the idea didn't age well enough to become a hit.

H said...

Lex actually did care about Lexor. He was going to stay there in several stories but Supes kept bringing him back to Earth, or at least showing up and raising his ire.