Justice League The Darkseid War: Lex Luthor #1
Written by: Francis Manapul
Art by: Bong Dazo
Color by: Hi-Fi
Geoff Johns Justice League The Darkseid War has recently really shaken things up in the DC universe with multiple characters getting new, powerful status quos. One major change that came from the battle between Darkseid and The Anti-Monitor was the death of Darkseid and the release of the Omega power.
Enter Lex Luthor and slave of Apokolips Ardora. As Darkseid’s power leaves his lifeless body and returns to Apokolips, Ardora prepares Lex for what she describes as his destiny; to receive the Omega Power, become the new Darkseid and free the people of Apok0lips. Most of what I just describes takes place in Geoff Johns Justice League books. When we find Lex Luthor in Justice League The Darkseid War: Lex Luthor #1 he is struggling to come to terms with his powers in a pseudo origin story for this new Darkseid.
Francis Manapul begins Lex’s origin as the new ruler of Apokolips in familiar fashion. Lex must face he fear’s and overcome his weaknesses to release the Omega Power within. Manapul isn’t breaking new ground with this story and I feel like he is missing the mark entirely. While I did enjoy seeing Lex’s past effect his decisions in the present, it all felt like well worn territory. Manapul writes Lex well and understand the character but I really hope Manapul expands on this story. Lex has essentially become the Superman of Apokolips and I think it would be much more interesting to explore his inner battle with realizing that fact, that he is now the alien savior. This is only issue 1 so Manapul still has time to pull the story in this direction but their were no signs of that inner battle or realization here.
Manapul’s story has room to grow and improve but unfortunately the art of Bong Dazo does little to entice the reader. I really enjoyed Dazo’s art in the flash back scenes as they were clean, well drawn and more visually appealing. Something happens when we go back to the present though, as the art because more cartoonish with a slight Anime feel.For me it wasn’t the right fit for this story or world for me as it was often to bright, colorful and over the top for a story about the origin of ultimate evil.
Justice League The Darkseid War: Lex Luthor #1 starts with a great idea introduced by Geoff Johns but does little to make that premise unique and memorable. Manapul has a lot of potential with this character and his new position of power, lets hope he explores those ideas in later issues.