Wow, was this a busy week for Charles Soule or what? He has 3 Villain’s Month books out, and luckily, all of them were pretty damn good. Whilst his upcoming Superman/Wonder Woman series has been getting a lot of advanced criticism for being sexist (or something), I’m actually quietly excited for it, firstly because Soule wrote an excellent Superman guest-appearance in the pages of Swamp Thing, and now because of this really good one-shot focusing on Supes’ arch-nemesis. Now, whilst we haven’t seen him tackle anything Wonder Woman yet, I’m confident that Soule has at least one half of the book’s dynamic down.
This issue does a very good job at filling in the gaps between Trinity War and Forever Evil, which, despite having the same writer, went from having Lex in Prison to being free with no explanation. We see Lex be released from prison, and from then on, he’s generally just a glorious dickhead to everyone, and Soule does an excellent job at getting inside his head. I loved the scenes where Lex wonders about where Superman is on his release (unaware that Big Blue has been ‘killed’ by the Crime Syndicate), and how Lex believes that Superman is obsessed with him, and it’s definitely not the other way around, oh no.
Because Superman is nowhere to be seen, Lex orchestrates a space-ship crash to try and get him to reveal himself, but when he doesn’t, he makes sure the ship crash-lands into a business rival’s house, which was some pretty great plotting on Soule’s part, and shows just how vindictive Lex Luthor is. It was also fun to see Lex push his assistant off of a building, even though he looks like being the de facto hero of Forever Evil, it’s worth remembering how much of a dick he is.
The issue ends with Lex getting on the Helicopter for the meeting with Kord he had in Forever Evil #1, and overall, that’s what this issue was, a great set-up for Lex’s role in this crossover. He has been surprisingly absent for a lot of the New 52 Superman stories, so it’s great to have him back in a large role, and to have his obsessions detailed by a good writer like Soule, I certainly hope that Lex plays a large role in Superman/Wonder Woman.
The art here comes from Raymund Bermudez, and he’s an artist I’m not familiar with at all, but his work here was very good, solid superhero work, reminding me of Mahmud Asrar or Ron Garney in some ways, I reckon he has a future at DC.