Overview

Lex Luthor: Man of Steel #1

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Lex Luthor: Man of Steel #1

Credits

  • Words: Brian Azzarello
  • Art: Lee Bermejo
  • Inks: N/A
  • Colors: Dave Stewart
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Mar 2, 2005

A glimpse into the mind of Lex Luthor shows us why one of DC’s most formidable villains feels Superman is actually a menace and curse to mankind.

Brian Azzarello currently wrapping up his much maligned yet highly underrated run on Superman as well as penning arguably the best comic being published right now in 100 Bullets re-teams with artist Lee Bermejo to bring us a mini-series that delves deep into the mind of one of D.C.’s most iconic villains. Lex Luthor Man of Steel is a five-part mini-series told from Luthor’s point of view explaining not only why he chooses to pit himself against Superman, but also why he feels that it is Superman who is actually the villain. The series begins in Luthor’s office as he gazes upon the soon to be finished Lex Towers, while a janitor cleans up his office at the end of the day. The two men with seemingly nothing in common begin to talk and we are exposed to Luthor’s softer very humane side. This quickly comes to an end as a beautiful blonde bombshell enters the office with the latest surveillance footage of the man of steel leaving Luthor to ponder this strange alien’s place in society for a few moments until he is interrupted by a phone call from a Mr. Orr.

I’m one of the few Superman fans that feel Azzarello has been writing the best Superman run in years. What seems to be the vast majority of people who feel his run has been slow and pointless may not enjoy this new mini-series. Like his Superman run, Azzarello provides a wonderful esoteric tale that is not loaded with pointless fights and typical superhero tomfoolery. Similar to what he has done with Superman, he strips Luthor down to his essence showing that Luthor genuinely cares for people and wants nothing more than to help his fellow man while leaving his mark on the world. He cannot understand how and why this alien, this strange being, who is not even human can be trusted and embraced by mankind and offer salvation without asking for anything in return.

Lee Bermejo’s art is simply fantastic, mixing a wonderful blend of Tony Harris crossed with Sean Phillips. Bermejo’s faces are phenomenal particularly Luthor’s. He renders Luthor at times as a kind and gentle man who you can tell feels the weight of the world is on his shoulders, which is a refreshing approach to this over-the-top villain. This story is a pure character piece so the backgrounds are often simple while the detail is concentrated on the characters. Dave Stewart, who in my opinion is the best colorist in the business, provides his usual tremendous job in utilizing the colors to accentuate the mood that the words dictate.

In this first issue, Azzarello merely explores what we already know of Luthor. While not blazing any new trails with the character, it’s still an interesting look into the psyche of one of comics’ most prolific villains. However, in a market so over-flooded with mini-series these days, Lex Luthor Man of Steel is a story that would probably read much better all at once, collected in the inevitable trade format with little incentive to pick up each issue individually except for the die-hard Superman fanatic.

- Glen Siegal

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