thanekos: Yoshikage Kira as Kosaku Kawajiri, after the second arrow. (Default)
[personal profile] thanekos posting in [community profile] scans_daily
So this week gives us the 13th Action Comics Annual, and it's just as much about Lex Luthor as the rest of Action Comics is right now.

Rather than serving as an elaboration on The Black Ring, it's what Paul Cornell calls "kind of a Secret Origin continued", showing us Young Lex out of Smallville with a full head of hair.

There're two stories, one drawn by Marco Rudy and one by Ed Benes, chronicling his life and time before prominence and LexCorp; both pit him against some real movers and shakers.

Lex's arrival in that city is heralded by rain and recession-driven suicide; with nothing but one night at the best hotel in town, he hits up a bar and starts knocking up water.

There, he's accosted by a regular named Petey, who figures he's casing the joint.

Which is true; however, such is the scope of Lex's Birthright-esque deductive ability that he's also worked out a few things about Petey:

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"I read the papers", indeed!

But what was Lex casing the joint for, you ask?

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Perry, who's playing the undercover reporter, is decidedly plussed by Lex:

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How an undercover Perry White got an in with Bruno Mannheim is a story waiting to be told, somewhere and somewhen.

But Mannheim's not the menace of this story; no, it's his connection, who comes through a door that only Bruno (and, for this story, Lex) can see.

When Lex opens that door, he's greeted by the only one it can be:

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What follows is a confrontation worth buying this for; Cornell and Rudy really wasted no space in this telling.

By the end of it, Lex has a new job:

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(funnily enough, the 52 novel had Intergang trying to get Lex to run Oolong Island. Didn't really work out.)

But do you know what happens when you put Lex in a subordinate position on Apokolips, and it isn't Superman: The Dark Side?

A chain of events that lead to this:

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And so this story ends as it must, with Darkseid savoring his favorite flavor of defeat and Lex's star in the arc canon and prophecy dictate it must take.

Speaking of stars, there's the second story with Benes on art, with the familiar foe at the start:

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They're talking about Algol; clever, huh?

But what's Lex doing with Ra's, you ask?

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And why does Ra's trust Lex? Well..

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What Lex brings to the table is never actually specified; perhaps his cunning in matters not related to his overlookable failings?

Sadly for both Ra's and Lex, the apprenticeship comes to an end when Lex's cunning leads him to look at something he shouldn't:

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And so we head off to this one's conclusion, with the same respect to foreshadowing and canon the last one had.

As stories about Lex Luthor go, these two were definitely great; the Darkseid/Lex stuff that's not shown here is worth a read, though you might chuckle at some of his lines.

The Ra's/Lex is a bit more paint-by-numbers, but the poetic prose might explain why it's so constrained.

Still, though, they're both Luthor-centric stories focusing on both his wits and his personal flaws, and that alone was worth it for me.

Plus, they're not TOO hard to fit into canon.

Date: 2010-12-03 11:04 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Meh, I'm just not digging this much, Lex meeting Darkseid this early on is just... not right IMHO. Darkseid is a relatively recent arrival on Earth, only really after Mr Miracle and the other New Gods started appearing.

I still like the Man of Steel ear "Self made arrogant bastard" Lex.

After meeting DARKSEID this early in his life, would Superman be seen as that much of a big deal?

Date: 2010-12-03 11:07 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Also, there was a nice little bit in the "President Lex" arc where Luthor meets Talia for the first time, and notes that he has heard of Ra's al Ghul, but what impresses him most about him is that despite all his resources and research "heard of" is as far as he's got in finding out more about him, and that implies he is SERIOUSLY powerful.

Works better for me than "I was a summer intern for the League of Assassins"

Date: 2010-12-03 11:28 pm (UTC)
jaybee3: Nguyen Lil Cass (Default)
From: [personal profile] jaybee3
I was about to point that out myself. I like the idea better that Lex had never met Ra's himself when he asked Talia to become CEO of LexCorp (because if Lex had been intimately acquainted with the Al Ghuls he would have known better to leave Talia at the head of his beloved company while he played President).

Date: 2010-12-04 05:05 am (UTC)
aaron_bourque: default (Default)
From: [personal profile] aaron_bourque
only really after Mr Miracle and the other New Gods started appearing.

Didn't Mr. Miracle appear on Earth in the 1800s?

Or am I mixing up Burns with reality again?

Date: 2010-12-04 09:50 am (UTC)
arbre_rieur: (DC Nation)
From: [personal profile] arbre_rieur
That was a Byrne invention, yes, though he claims it doesn't violate anything Kirby established. It's possible he's right.

Date: 2010-12-04 09:53 am (UTC)
arbre_rieur: (Default)
From: [personal profile] arbre_rieur
Well, in Lex's eyes, Superman *isn't* much of a big deal, and that's part of what infuriates him: That to everyone else, Superman is.

Date: 2010-12-04 05:22 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Which doesn't explain why he's not focussing on the bigger guys instead of Superman.

Date: 2010-12-05 03:47 am (UTC)
arbre_rieur: (DC Nation)
From: [personal profile] arbre_rieur
Superman was the one who stole the hearts of the people of Metropolis from him.

Date: 2010-12-03 11:39 pm (UTC)
bradhanon: (Serious editor)
From: [personal profile] bradhanon
It takes a particular kind of nerd to have this be the thing one takes away from those pages, but: that is one BEAUTIFUL sword in that last panel. I want one.

Date: 2010-12-04 12:04 am (UTC)
badficwriter: Photoshopped Superman (Superman bathing)
From: [personal profile] badficwriter
Poor Lex. He had such pretty hair!

Date: 2010-12-04 12:15 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Though it does make one wonder if he ever had a dalliance with a young Mrs Olsen....

Which would make Kon and Jimmy half-brothers, which is really kind of appealling as a concept.

Date: 2010-12-04 12:28 am (UTC)
superfangirl1: (Default)
From: [personal profile] superfangirl1
Lex had very nice hair I admit. :D

Date: 2010-12-04 05:05 am (UTC)
aaron_bourque: default (Default)
From: [personal profile] aaron_bourque
Algol, you say?

Date: 2010-12-04 05:16 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
I'm not sure I like this. Part of the appeal of Post-Crisis Lex is that he is, when you get right down to it, an ordinary person - he's really really good at what he does, and a genius when it comes to business and science and a bunch of other things, but he doesn't have an unusual background to explain his motivations - he's just a magnificent bastard who will not accept competition from superhumans. Giving him an extra-special whoopty-doo origin involving Darkseid and Ras al Ghul would seem to negate all that, which takes away his status as the unofficial 'representative' of regular humanity.

Date: 2010-12-04 09:59 am (UTC)
arbre_rieur: (DC Nation)
From: [personal profile] arbre_rieur
I don't mind because I don't view this stuff as part of his origin. It's all happening after he's moved to Metropolis, attempting to build power, so in my eyes this young guy is already THE Lex Luthor, supervillain extraordinaire.

Date: 2010-12-04 11:38 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
I guess - but part of his appeal to me is that he has ALWAYS been 'Lex Luthor, supervillain extraordinaire'. There wasn't any specific thing that made him the way he is - it's just his nature. He was always a power-hungry bastard, and the closest thing he has to an 'origin' is when Superman turned down his job offer and got him arrested. Anything before that dilutes his power, in my opinion.


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