Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Future State: Superman Vs. Imperious Lex #1 Review

My Planet, My Rules

Written By: Mark Russell
Art By: Steve Pugh, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Carlos M. Mangual
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 26, 2021

It's the year 2050 and Mark Russell has brought back Lexor, the planet ruled by Lex Luthor and in this issue, we'll see the trials and tribulations of trying to get this planet ruled by a villain into the protection of the United Planets. Now, that doesn't sound all that remarkable but don't jump to conclusions just yet because maybe Lexor has more going on for it than the premise of this story would suggest. Let's jump into this issue and check it out.

Now the idea that a bunch of representatives of the United Planets are sitting around, talking shit and just plain laughing at the idea of Lex Luthor and his planet Lexor joining the United Planets isn't the best look that you'd want from a room full of best the Universe has, it leads to an interesting story in my mind, even if it sacrifices Lex Luthor's genius and the planet Lexor to do it. You see, the idea of Lexor, a home away from home for Lex where he could go and be adored by its people while away from the threat of Superman and those that just saw him as a plain villain is something that I personally love, even if it comes off as a hokey concept of old now so seeing it brought back brings a smile to my face but the way it's presented comes off a little too jaded where instead of using his genius to provide for the people of Lexor domestically, the whole idea is that Lex has built robots to probe and then steal riches and minerals from neighboring planets to bring them back to his planet, which is bad enough but the second these robots are taken offline, Lex is immediately off to rectify the situation because he's afraid of the people of Lexor coming and killing him........ and it just feels like neither party, Lex or the people of Lexor like each other very much and that's a bit disappointing.

That's just one aspect of the story though because with that you also have Superman shutting Lex's pillaging down, which drives a wedge between him and his people, but this bit of the story feels weird because Superman can withstand Lexor's red sun throughout this entire story and still make his way off planet and back home and it seems that after all this time it's here that Superman finally has an understanding about who Lex really is and while it's a fine moment, it comes off forced because of how long these two have been going after one another. On top of all that, we have Superman being super in that he wants the United Planets to support Lexor's membership in joining them because..... Well, because it's the right thing to do.

All in all, the art in this issue is great and I enjoyed this issue more than I usually enjoy a Mark Russell story, but even with that it seemed like some aspects of this issue were forced to come to the conclusion that we did...... Not to mention that the normal Mark Russell tropes are thrown into the media and the people of Lexor to try and give you that topical flavor even if it takes away from the alien feel of the world. That being said I can forgive that because it feels like Lex has been on this planet awhile now and influenced them to a high degree...... I just wish that Lex felt smarter here and was able to help this planet through his own genius instead of robbing and pillaging other planets to do it. Also, you'll get the now overused idea that you have to show that Superman is a good guy through his narration and it just ends up feeling self-indulgent and hokey but even with that this still felt like an interesting idea that I look forward to continuing, I just wish it was executed a bit better.

Bits and Pieces:

While the idea of Lexor is something that I like and am happy to see return, there are aspects to this story that feel forced to come to the conclusions that need to happen here and some of the characterizations felt off too. That being said, there are some interesting ideas that didn't feel too overly topical like a lot of Mark Russell stories become instead of them actually telling interesting stories featuring the characters involved.



  1. I actually think Lexor is a great concept; Lex Luthor running an entire planet crafted by his vision and genius. There's so much you can do with that. Unfortunately, Mark Russell goes for the low hanging fruit and turns almost everything here into a topical joke. He frequently undercuts the book's premise and makes into a throwaway story instead of a potential seminal story for Superman & Lex Luthor in the not-too-distant future.

    1. You should check out Action Comics #544. Sadly, none of the original Lexor stuff is on the DC Universe Infinite app but if you get a chance you should check some out because they were a lot of fun.

  2. It is a good concept. Unfortunately it does not really go anywhere. We know that Lex was a bad guy on Earth but now that he has his own planet, what of it? I know in the silver age story, Lexor is ultimately destroyed and Lex is the sole survivor who blames Superman for the destruction. I wonder if this will be a carbon copy of that narrative chestnut?

    1. It does seem like that, but sadly it loses the heart that those original stories had because you cared about the people of Lexor and knew that they cared about Lex and it drove you mad that he was willing to throw it all away for his hatred for Superman.