arbre_rieur: (Default)
[personal profile] arbre_rieur posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Four pages from ACTION COMICS 900's main story, the conclusion to Lex Luthor's "Black Ring" storyline...

Using his new godly powers, Lex turns the universe into a paradise.

However, the power comes with a catch.

Yeah, doesn't take a criminal genius to guess what he picks.

Date: 2011-04-30 10:07 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
I think we have a new contender for the title of "Most awesomely, cosmically empowered, universe shattering example of supreme dickishness...."

Of course, the idea doesn't bear much examination as a plot point as I'm not sure how the "universal bliss" would work in a universe where there are those for whom bliss involves the destruction of everything.

The Joker's usual idea of bliss involves a dead Batman and an large pile of dead Robins, sorted by body part. Circe's would involve a dead Wonder Woman, so what would happen to them?

Plus, since when is entropy automatically a BAD thing? Were people who were dying in pain suddenly left with no pain, but now immortal in wrecked bodies as suggested here? Would they starve? Could they heal?

Date: 2011-04-30 10:35 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
You can snap your fingers and make it so their bodies don't have so much as a scratch.

You could, but given there's a guy lying there with a broken neck happily chatting with Death, apparently Luthor didn't.

Date: 2011-04-30 10:36 am (UTC)
blackruzsa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blackruzsa
I have a feeling Despair had a bad moment when everything turned blissful. And Death did have a day off before.... not that it ended well for anyone, that time.

I can't blame Luthor. Did he mention omniescence along with his omnipotence? Because if he didn't have that, I can excuse him for making the very human choice.

Plus, eternal bliss may be good on paper but it makes it so that life isn't life anymore. A bit screwy, really.

Date: 2011-04-30 10:58 am (UTC)
golden_orange: trust me, i'm wearing a vegetable. (Default)
From: [personal profile] golden_orange
This is, let's not forget, the same Luthor who moments later gives up the chance to make the entire universe blissful and content forever and ever and ever because he can't stand the fact that his mortal enemy will ALSO be happy and contented.

He's a bit of a cock, is what I'm saying.

(Also, he's only had that power for a few moments at this point -- he might not have figured out how or gotten around to it yet.)

Date: 2011-04-30 11:09 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
(Also, he's only had that power for a few moments at this point -- he might not have figured out how or gotten around to it yet.)

Now there's an interesting metaphysical conundrum; Can omnipotence have a learning curve? :)

Ooo... I just realized something.

Date: 2011-04-30 11:37 am (UTC)
bewareofgeek: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bewareofgeek
Remember in #894 when Death talked about "lovely bliss forever"?


Date: 2011-04-30 11:50 am (UTC)
golden_orange: trust me, i'm wearing a vegetable. (Default)
From: [personal profile] golden_orange
I can't remember if it's mentioned directly, but it does seem to be heavily implied that it's both.

And personally, since that 'very human choice' is still 'denying the entire universe eternal happiness for no other reason than to spite one man' (and for all the debate about eternal bliss versus the necessity of suffering, that's all it boils down to here), I honestly can't really see Luthor's actions here as anything laudable.

Date: 2011-04-30 11:51 am (UTC)
freezer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] freezer
Now there's an interesting metaphysical conundrum; Can omnipotence have a learning curve? :)

If the original Infinity Gauntlet is anything to go by, yes.

Date: 2011-04-30 12:24 pm (UTC)
sherkahn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sherkahn
Yes. Omnipotence does not equal omniscience.

Date: 2011-04-30 12:35 pm (UTC)
thehefner: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thehefner
It's really starting to annoy me about how nobody anywhere is talking about this amazing story, focusing instead on the whole "Superman denounces his citizenship" back-up.

This was the second greatest part of this story. I'd wanted to post the very greatest, but it would have maxed out the scan limit here. Namely, the entire section on Lex tormenting Superman, who--as an alien godlike being--couldn't possibly understand loss.

In that scene, Lex going from seeming like the most badass character in the world to the callous dickhole he always was. The heartwrenching irony is that he honestly had no idea that he's genuinely hurting Clark, and when he does learn... oh, it's so great.

That's the moment we learn that, thank to the Kents, Superman is more human than Lex could ever be or even understand. I wanted to hug the issue right there.

Date: 2011-04-30 12:45 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Sorry, I meant to type "Omniscience" :)

Date: 2011-04-30 01:06 pm (UTC)
drmcninja: (Default)
From: [personal profile] drmcninja
I still can't get over how cute Death has been recently. I think I love her.

Date: 2011-04-30 01:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yep. The Superman renouncing his citizenship thing is something everyone's complaining about without actually having read the issue. Which is a shame, because the meat of the issue is this story, which is awesome.

Throughout Lex Luthor's entire run in Action Comics, I've been fascinated by the fact that such a good story can be told without following what I always thought was a key rule of writing: have a sympathetic protagonist.

Lex Luthor has been a warped, deluded human being through this entire thing. We've seen him ordering a man murdered for hitting him (after unjustly being fired). We've learned that his sexual fantasies apparently involve doing bizarre things to his Loisbot - not Lois herself, but the robot. Lex has been just so warped in this story that it's fascinating to read. Now he makes the ultimate dick decision, knowingly throwing away eternal bliss over his grudge against Superman (driven on in no small part that he thought that Clark Kent had been laughing at him for years).

Lex has been completely unsympathetic through this entire story, but in a way that's been fascinating to read. It's a shame the tale had to end.

Date: 2011-04-30 01:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There are many questions that could in theory have been answered had Lex actually gone through with it and created a perfect universal Utopia like he was apparently able to. But because his hatred for Superman surpasses even his cake-lust, we shall never know what might have been.

Date: 2011-04-30 01:52 pm (UTC)
mullon: (The Sad Face)
From: [personal profile] mullon
I don't know, I always thought everyone being forced to be happy was a creepy idea. I'm surprised Superman went along with it.

Date: 2011-04-30 02:49 pm (UTC)
avantre: (Default)
From: [personal profile] avantre
So, if the Red Lanterns power is fueled (or focussed) by their Rage, shouldn't they have been falling in a powerless dive in their scene when the Bliss wave hit?

Date: 2011-04-30 03:46 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Careful, that's how Thanos got started...

Date: 2011-04-30 03:49 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
It's not so much forced as presented with a new universal layour which promotes it happiness.

Though I am reminded of Delirium in a passing comment in a Sandman issue, when she comments that when a girl seemed sad, she made it so the girl could see bright pretty colours... then spoils it all by adding that she would ONLY bright pretty colours... forever and ever. Which is frankly horrifying..

Date: 2011-04-30 03:50 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Not necessarily, you could achieve happiness THROUGH your anger. One does not preclude the other.

Date: 2011-04-30 04:13 pm (UTC)
blunderbuss: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blunderbuss
Could you post it over two posts so you don't hit the scan limit? Because I'm really, really interested now.

Date: 2011-04-30 04:16 pm (UTC)
blunderbuss: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blunderbuss
Holy crap this is brilliant. The best kind of villians - hell, the best kind of characters - are the people who screw themselves over through their simple human failings.

I feel sad for that dude, tho. :/

Date: 2011-04-30 04:29 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ebailey140

Didn't Jim Shooter already do this one back in Secret Wars II in the mid-80s?

Though there, the consequences were that making the Universe into Paradise, no death or confict or hunger or anything bad, was creating the ultimate entropy. Everything would be at an eternal standstill, since there was no reason for individuals, or species, to continue evolving.

Date: 2011-04-30 06:13 pm (UTC)
drmcninja: (Default)
From: [personal profile] drmcninja
But look where he ended up! Omnipotent twice, the avatar of death, and her boyfriend/manslave! I'm gonna call that a win!

Date: 2011-04-30 08:56 pm (UTC)
sir_mikael: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sir_mikael
And that's terrible.

Date: 2011-04-30 09:06 pm (UTC)
miramira: book stack (Default)
From: [personal profile] miramira
See, it might just be because I'm getting my info out of context, but the snippets I've seen and heard - this included - leave me feeling very meh. Lex being an unsympathetic, delusional jerk for whom the status quo will always revert to and revolve around the fact that he hates Superman is...not exactly newsworthy. Superman not thinking "the American way" works for him any more? Sure, that'll probably revert at some point, but there's at least potential for some development that could go new and interesting places.

Also, there's a lot of literature out there that's built around the concept of unsympathetic protagonists. If you want recommendations, I'm sure people can and will oblige.

Date: 2011-04-30 09:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
In my opinion, it really works better in context.

This story really shows Lex's delusions in a pretty fascinating manner. Of course, it also helps that he's got the Lois-bot around for most of it, since she's awesome.

Date: 2011-04-30 10:33 pm (UTC)
tsunamiwombat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tsunamiwombat
That clip of Vandal Savage is very creepy/iconoable.

"Santa claus? Santa claus!"

He's looking very Von Trapp family in that, is what i'm saying.

Date: 2011-04-30 11:34 pm (UTC)
cainofdreaming: cain's mark (pic#364829)
From: [personal profile] cainofdreaming
It's the old conundrum about infinities. Are there things bigger than infinite? I mean, numbers divisible by two are infinite, they just go on and on. But all the numbers are also infinite and encompass the aforementioned.

So it depends on how the universe in question sees this. In Marvel cosmicdom they have degrees of omniscience/-potense, and the example above has been used to describe it. It hasn't really been established how it works in DCU proper, I think.

Date: 2011-05-01 01:32 am (UTC)
big_daddy_d: (Lex Luthor)
From: [personal profile] big_daddy_d
You know something...there's something I liked about this, yet hated. What I liked, it totally summarized what I thought of Lex Luthor and hell what others like Superman said about him. How he has such potential to be beneficial to the world. To do great things, yet his obsession and hatred holds him back. He had the opportunity. Got what he wanted, literally made the world better..and once again..his obession and hatred fucked it for him.

What I hated? That Lex will never learn his lesson until he's on his death bed. Perhaps not even then. Sometimes I pity the man.

Re: Ooo... I just realized something.

Date: 2011-05-01 01:54 am (UTC)
kamino_neko: Kamino Neko's default icon... (Default)
From: [personal profile] kamino_neko
It's been mentioned several times through the storyline. The whole bit with Vandal Savage was because Savage had heard a prophecy that Luthor would give him perfect happiness.

Date: 2011-05-01 02:35 am (UTC)
ravenous_raven: Combo headshot of Cass Cain, Steph Brown, and Babs Gordon, the 3 Batgirls, "Bow to the Goddammned Batgirls" in a corner (Default)
From: [personal profile] ravenous_raven
Why pity him? He has 40 cakes for goodness sakes!

But in all seriousness, it's Lex's mortal failing. I'm not sure I hate it so much as I recognize and acknowledge it. Oh well.

Date: 2011-05-01 03:09 am (UTC)
darkblade: (Default)
From: [personal profile] darkblade
Not pictured all of the Red Lanterns falling to their deaths for not being enraged enough to power their rings.

Date: 2011-05-01 04:31 am (UTC)
silverzeo: (Default)
From: [personal profile] silverzeo
... just like Emperor Joker.... Was there more people touched by Lex's bliss? Like Krona's take over? Some muggers with an old lady and such?

Date: 2011-05-01 05:21 am (UTC)
schala_kid: Stephanie Brown as Batgirl (Default)
From: [personal profile] schala_kid
Oh yes that whole thing was fucking beautiful, and when Lex finds out that Superman=Clark and instantly make sit about him when he yells "YOU HAVE BEEN LAUGHING AT ME!" again missing the point.

Oh and I really hope when he comes back he retains the knowledge that Clark is Superman, seriously fucking brilliant stories can come out of that.

Date: 2011-05-01 06:58 am (UTC)
proteus_lives: (Default)
From: [personal profile] proteus_lives
Ha, now I'm seeing Luthor/Death.

Date: 2011-05-01 07:09 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] silicondream
Gotta say, this seems a bit out of character for Luthor. He's usually pretty good at long-term scheming and delayed gratification. Why not accept the power, send Superman on his way, and then spend a few years applying your divinely-enhanced genius to get around the "DO NOT USE THIS FOR EVIL" rule?

Jeez, he could at least threaten to renounce the power and leave the universe to misery unless Superman nobly kills himself. Worth a try.

Date: 2011-05-01 12:05 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
She can do better... a LOT better.

Date: 2011-05-01 05:30 pm (UTC)
starwolf_oakley: (Default)
From: [personal profile] starwolf_oakley
Did this story also have Lex tell Superman "You don't deserve to be Clark Kent!"?

Date: 2011-05-01 05:48 pm (UTC)
kamino_neko: Kamino Neko's default icon... (Stop it!)
From: [personal profile] kamino_neko
Yes. 'I was happy to be rid of what I had for a father! But you... You got them! You're not human! You don't deserve to be Clark Kent!'

Date: 2011-05-01 05:50 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Actively plotting evil might count in the "forbidden naughty list" the Phantom-Child built in to the power.

Date: 2011-05-01 05:52 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
What I hated? That Lex will never learn his lesson until he's on his death bed. Perhaps not even then.

"Perhaps"? Luthor will be in Hell trying to take over because "IT'S ALL SUPERMAN'S FAULT THAT I'M HERE!"

Date: 2011-05-01 06:17 pm (UTC)
espanolbot: (Default)
From: [personal profile] espanolbot
That's pretty much a point in-universe as well. I think that I read that the idea is that when people die, a cheerful, empathetic and attractive woman is meant to make the realisation that characters are dead less horrible.

For example, when the Waynes or Jonathan Kent or Stephanie Brown (before the retcon) or Lian Harper died, who do you think would be a better person for them to meant after they passed on?

Death, or a foreboding and scary figure like the Black Racer looming over you?

This also has the sideeffect of characters who are still alive suddenly getting huge crushes on her and her moral counterparts when she manifests once a century. Like that Italian soldier in her short story in Endless Nights.

Date: 2011-05-01 10:28 pm (UTC)
halloweenjack: (Default)
From: [personal profile] halloweenjack
I thought that I was looking at Tony Stark for a second. I'm sure that Vandal has been shown smiling, but I've never seen it.

Date: 2011-05-02 05:28 pm (UTC)
featheredserpent: from Amazing Spidey 653 (perverthulhu)
From: [personal profile] featheredserpent
Somewhere, out there, Lobo just nuked a planet after everyone came to and he discovered the daisy chain in his hair.

Date: 2011-05-02 05:35 pm (UTC)
featheredserpent: (Default)
From: [personal profile] featheredserpent

Date: 2011-05-03 05:43 pm (UTC)
recognitions: (Default)
From: [personal profile] recognitions
Who would one pair her with, for that matter? It'd have to be someone who a) suits her personality and b) is immune to her um, talents. Maybe Squirrel Girl?


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