The year was 2010. Fanboys and fangirls were living in a whole new world. Thanks to Iron Man, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, comic book movies were finally stepping away from being laughable participants in the film industry and becoming true Hollywood blockbusters. It seemed like comic book characters were suddenly being embraced by the public with open arms all over again (similar to the half-rise in comic book movies that sprung up after Tim Burton’s first Batman film).
Since the launch of Rebirth in 2016, Patrick Gleason and Peter J. Tomasi have reinvigorated the Man of Steel through a series of powerful standalone stories in the pages of SUPERMAN. They’ve featured Lex Luthor, Eradicator, Apokolips and Mister Oz, among many others, but not Bizarro. Not until today’s SUPERMAN #42.
A strong hero must always be confronted by a strong villain. Batman has the Joker, Green Lantern has Sinestro and Superman has Lex Luthor. Luthor’s comic book debut does not disappoint and features forward-looking comic storytelling that makes it seem like this is a modern comic book. So let’s put on your kevlar helmet and prepare for war as we continue our look at the ten must-read issues of Action Comics.
There’s never been a family fight quite like what we’ve been seeing in “The Oz Effect,” the pivotal Superman storyline that wrapped up this week in ACTION COMICS #991. Since its start, we’ve learned that Mr. Oz is really Jor-El, Superman’s Kryptonian father, who didn’t actually die during the destruction of Krypton, but found himself sent to Earth where he witnessed some of mankind’s brutal tendencies firsthand.
The penultimate episode of Supergirl's second season left National City in danger from the Daxamite invasion. Though I was never really worried Kara would fail at protecting her city in the finale, "Nevertheless, She Persisted," it was a close call. The DEO and Kara had to make a hard decision to win the day, and while I don't have a better option in mind for eliminating the Daxamite threat, I'm not positive I agree with their actions.
Before we jump in and discuss tonight’s episode, let’s take a minute to admire Curtis’ new costume….ahhhh, yes…it’s the comics coming to life!
You can't keep a Luthor down. Some families seem to have an unstoppable resilience written into their DNA, and that was on display in tonight’s episode, "Luthors." Lillian Luthor used Metallo to get herself out of prison and out of a trial and managed to manipulate Lena. Note the words "used" and "manipulate" in that sentence. They're methods Lillian wields like sharp weapons.
Some of Superman’s most interesting adversaries throughout the years have been ones who desire to do good, but go about it the wrong way. People call Superman “the big blue boy scout” for a reason—he doesn’t just see that justice is done, he’s also unwavering when it comes to making sure it’s done in a fair and humane way, with respect for life and civil liberties. At times, this has put him at odds with fellow heroes like Batman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman, who sometimes may take a more pragmatic approach to doing what’s right.
One of the more interesting aspects of Rebirth is that while Wally, Bruce and the rest of the DC Universe may not know who’s been messing with their reality, readers do. Or rather, they do if they’ve read Geoff Johns’ DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH.