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BOOK REVIEW – BRIAN AZZARELLO & LEE BERMEJO – LEX LUTHOR – MAN OF STEEL 2005 D C Comics.

 

A very good re-evaluation of Superman’s chief nemesis, Lex Luthor, re-evaluating the motives behind his pathological hatred for Superman.

 

Lex is a millionaire businessman, creating a science tower, Babel like construction serving as a monument to human achievements. To Lex, Superman, as an alien saviour, capable of anything, robs humanity of its own ability to achieve greatness.  All too often, we will look upon him as a rescuer instead of creating our own salvations.  Lex sets out to undermine, destroy and discredit the messianic cult-surrounding Superman.

 

Negotiating business dealings with Bruce (Batman) Wayne in Gotham, Lex is secretly planning the destruction of his own museum tower, at the hands of a child molesting murderer. Lex has built a cybernetic robot woman called Hope, a being capable of flight and having great strength of her own, but who leaves no doubt that she is a machine created by man.  When a building collapses, killing children, she is there to initiate the rescue and her final destructive fight with superman kills her and destroys the tower, creating a potential for some at least to see Superman as the alien he really is.

 

A powerful, philosophical story, with a brooding, existential angst-troubled Luthor, though it isn’t clear what period in his struggles with superman the story is set. Lex offers Bruce Wayne a lump of Kryptonite, an insurance against the day Superman turns evil – a means to kill the alien or bring him under human control. Darkly drawn, and capturing the red eyed sense of Superman as a distant, silent figure, putting the villain centre stage and giving Lex tremendous sympathy.

 

Arthur Chappell

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