Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Superman: The Last Days of Lex Luthor #1 Review



Written by: Mark Waid
Art by: Bryan Hitch
Colors by: Kevin Nowlan
Cover art by: Bryan Hitch
Cover price: $6.99
Release date: July 25, 2023

Superman: The Last Days of Lex Luthor #1 begins a thoughtful tale that puts Superman's moral and ethical compass to the test when his most hated enemy turns to Superman for help.
Is It Good?

I will criticize Mark Waid for this comic, but not in the way you might expect. I've read it, pondered it, mused over it, and come to one inescapable conclusion - Superman: The Last Days of Lex Luthor #1 should not have been made. I'll explain, but let's get the particulars out of the way.

Mark Waid's story, as the title suggests, revolves around Lex Luthor seeking our Superman's help when an ill-advised experiment with kryptonite results in a lab explosion that bombards Lex with a mix of known and unknown radiations and chemicals. Lex is dying, and there's nothing he can do about it. Betting on Superman's infinite well of compassion, Lex makes a destructive gesture to get Big Blue's attention, lays out the scenario, and calls on Superman to live up to his ethics by doing everything he can to save Lex's life. What follows is a journey from Kandor to the Phantom Zone and the past to save the world's most hated villain.

In terms of all the technical particulars, Superman: The Last Days of Lex Luthor #1 is an overlong issue (44 pages) to justify the cover price, but the narration, dialog, and Bryan Hitch's magnificent character acting grab your attention from page one.

Waid's story is thought-provoking, emotionally poignant, morally complicated, and all the ways it needs to be for a story of this sort, are tragic. This is the type of mature thoughtful writing most Big 2 writers should aspire to achieve.

Now, for the criticism. Superman: The Last Days of Lex Luthor #1 is an excellent comic, but it shouldn't be a comic. The nature of this story, particularly the thoughts and feelings expressed, would be better served in prose. In short, this should have been a novel ala Miracle Monday. The brevity of the comics format doesn't do this story justice, and if Mark Waid is up for it, he should novelize this story to capture the depth that can only be hinted at here.

Superman: The Last Days of Lex Luthor #1 is not just good. It's great. But the story Mark Waid is attempting to tell can't be done justice in comic form.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Superman: The Last Days of Lex Luthor #1 is a rich, mature, thoughtful story that puts the Man of Steel's convictions to the test. Mark Waid's ideas are thought-provoking, and Bryan Hitch's art is immaculate, but it becomes apparent very quickly that this story is under-served in this format.


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