Art by: Tom Grummett, Danny Miki, Mark Morales, Scott Hanna, Gabe Eltaeb and Carlos M.
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: June 22, 2016
Justice League has been plagued with delays for a while and while Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok squeezed out the Darkseid War just as the buzzer sounded, these last two issues have suffered because of it. Last week's #51 was more of a prelude to the New 52 Titans Hunt book than the Titans Rebirth it claimed and this week's #52 takes place before Action Comics #957...which came out two weeks ago. Talk about thing that make you go hmmm. That being said, I liked last week's Justice League book for a fun trip down (a not so remembered) memory lane and as for this issue, the more I get Lex in that kick ass Superman Battle Suit, the better. Seriously, just getting him in that suit gives the book a 4 or 5 out of 10 to start and then we just go up or down from there. Well, not exactly, but I do love the suit. So, where do we end up by the end of this issue? Let's find out...
The issue starts with Lex checking out the Daily Planet's memorial to Superman and especially, the Man of Steel's cape being displayed. I love how Dan Jurgens writes Lex as you are never sure why he is upset...is it because he doesn't think that Superman deserves this memorial? Is he offended that the Daily Planet is doing it? Is it a combination of both or something entirely different? We never get the full story because the Justice League show up unannounced. So much for the poor security workers who were trying to close everything down and get home to their families.
I like that the League takes umbrage to Lex wearing the House of El Shield, but I like the scene more because it puts everything in perspective. Lex doesn't know the particulars about Superman's death, and the League doesn't tell him about Pre Flashpoint Superman flying around their Universe. This all leads to Lex declaring himself Metropolis' new Superman.
Before that, though, we find out the main source of his power (Mother Box, baby!) and watch him stop a gun heist as he boasts more than the late Muhammad Ali. Like the Champ, Lex backs up his words and then things take a turn and it's as if he is talking to each and every one of us reading the issue. He addresses what most people see as his flaws and as he stops more criminals, we realize who he is actually talking to...his sister.
The scene continues with Lex going well above and beyond what Superman would do, but it's actually pretty tame and heroic for Lex. It ends with Lex possibly having an epiphany about what it is to wear the "S" on his chest and then the harsh realization of what it can't do.
Of course, Lex doesn't react well to being told he can't do something and here it results in a game changing purchase. It's all a means to an end and again shows that there is almost nothing Lex won't do to get his way. The issue ends with a proud statement by Lex and me wishing this issue came out three weeks earlier.
While this issue came out too late in the game, I will tell everyone who is reading the Rebirth Action Comics series to go out and buy it right now. Sure, you can get by without it, but if you want to see exactly why Lex has come back to Earth and assumed the Superman mantle, you will get it here. You will also respect him more and will suddenly become very angry at Pre-Flashpoint Superman for interfering. I'm sure that he will screw it up sooner than later, but right now, Lex Luthor is my Superman!
Tom Grummett does a really good job on the art here and even with three inkers, the issue looks pretty great. Gabe Eltaeb's colors are great as well and I really love the backlit "S" on Lex's suit so much.
Bits and Pieces:
Don't let the fact that this issue is coming out a couple week's late deter you from grabbing it because if you are reading the Rebirth Action Comics series, you need to read this. I thought one of the major flaws of that book was not giving us enough of Lex's motivation to become the new Superman and that's what you get here...in spades. Dan Jurgens just nails the complexities that make up Lex Luthor and while he is still a guy who will screw over everyone to get his way, after this issue, he is now my Superman. How messed up is that?!?