Superman #34 Review

What is this all about?

This issue picks up where Superman #33 left off. Lex Luthor has been captured and transported to Apokolips. Clark, Lois, and Jonathan fought and defeated a team of Lexbots, however, they too were captured and transported to Apokolips. In this issue, Lex Luthor confronts the citizens of Apokolips who have high expectations of him based on an ancient prophecy. The deity, Granny, from the New Gods, captures Lois. Jonathan is left alone; however, his would-be capturers get more than they bargained. This story is about courage that pays off for one character and backfires on another.

The Review

The story begins with Lex Luthor facing an anxious, yet loyal, group of citizens insistent on making him the new ruler of Apokolips. A citizen, Ardora, informs Lex of the specifics of a prophecy, which names Lex as their ruler. The prophecy states that “A human would walk through the ashes of Apokolips.” And, “This human was a great hero from a place called Metropolis.” Ardora addresses Lex as, “Lord Luthor”, and emphasizes her point by stating that she would die for Lex. The citizen states that on their planet, “Chaos rules, your iron will is needed.” Lex tells the people that they have the wrong person. Lex’s response makes this exchange interesting. He shows his humanity by cutting his hand with a sword causing it to bleed. The prophet, who is standing in the crowd close to Lex, confirms that the ruler would be impervious to a sword showing that Lex is not the fulfillment of the prophecy. The citizens threaten to kill Lex, causing his courageous attempt at honesty, to fail. Superman arrives, however, to save his life.

The story transitions to show Granny and the Female Furies capturing Lois. A quick history lesson: Granny is one of the evil new gods of Apokolips. She was trained to be one of Darkseid’s elite soldiers but was originally a member of the lowly peasant class of Apokolips. Granny ran the training facility of the elite soldiers for Darkseid. In addition, she ran the orphanage on Apokolips and on earth looking for good soldiers. Granny is also the leader of the Female Furies, a group that is loyal to Darkseid. What’s interesting about this is that Granny also raised Scott Free, Mister Miracle. Readers who are following Tom King’s Mister Miracle will question the timeline due to Granny’s demise in issue #3. Is there a tie between what’s happening in the Mister Miracle book and Superman? It interests me to see if this proves to be the case.

Meanwhile, Lois shows courage while in captivity along with another group of rebels. The Female Furies mistreat their prisoners, beating them with whips and threatening to eat them. However, a large monster appears which causes the Furies to divide their attention between the monster and the prisoners. Lois differentiates herself from the other prisoners by fighting against the monsters. I was excited to see Lois free herself; However, it was difficult to suspend disbelief as Lois was a better fighter than the Female Furies who are trained warriors and indigenous to Apokolips.

Granny takes note. When the monster is defeated, Granny offers Lois a position in her group of Female Furies! She also instills in Lois that the Female Furies are family. What makes this interesting is Lois’s courage and it maintains the continuity of her character in recent storylines, with Deathstroke, and with the gunman in Action Comics #989. It’s easy to believe that Lois would act valiantly especially when her family is concerned. Jonathan is still lost somewhere on Apokolips. I am interested to see to what extent Lois’ loyalty to Granny will extend and what will happen when Lois demonstrates to Granny that her true family is Jonathan and Clark.

Final Words

The story ends with Jonathan surrounded by a group of dog-wielding armored men who threaten to capture and eat him. Jonathan easily smashes his way through the group; however, the story ends with the group of men chasing him toward the edge of a cliff. As he flies off the cliff, the villains yell, “There’s nowhere to run on Apokolips.” Perhaps a play on words as Jonathan was flying off the cliff? The interesting part of this exchange is that Jonathan cannot fly. Has Jonathan demonstrated a different power set on Apokolips then he did on earth? Or, is he demonstrating a permanent sign of maturity gaining the power to fly at a very opportune moment? I can hardly wait to see how thisstory advances Superman as “Imperius”, Jonathan and his new powers, and Lois as the newest member of the Female Furies.

More Info

Reviewed by Tom Zimm Superman #34 Imerius Lex Part 2 Fire and Furies Written by Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason Art by: Ed Benes, Doug Mahnke & Jack Herbert; Colors by, Dinei Ribeiro; Letters by, Rob Leigh Published by DC Release Date: 11/1/2017

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