Superman #34 Review
Written by Peter J Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Art by Ed Benes, Doug Mahnke and Jack Herbert
Colors by Dinei Ribeiro
Cover by Patrick Gleason and Dean White
A pair of Apokoliptian fanatics have kidnapped Lex Luthor and asked him to rule Apokolips with the iron hand that it needs. On Earth, Lexbots responding to a failsafe find Superman to send him to Luthors aid. They accidentally send Superman, Lois Lane, and Superboy all to Apokolips, and all in different places!
What Happened: Lex Luthor finds himself in the throne room of Darkseid’s Castle, insisting that he has not forsaken the people of Apokolips. They plead with him to restore a semblance of order to their hellish life, quoting a prophecy about the chosen one, an impervious man who was capable of defeating Darkseid. Luthor has them describe the prophecy more, and it become abundantly clear that the Chosen One that it speaks of is Superman, not Lex Luthor. Luthor uses a Boom Tube to summon Superman to Darkseid’s Castle, who angrily demands that Luthor explain what he has gotten him caught in the middle of.
Meanwhile, Lois has been captured by Granny Goodness and the Female Furies, the elite special forces team of Apokolips, and some of the most dangerous people in the Multiverse. One of the furies known as Mad Harriet taunts Lois, and in doing so also explains that she is being taken along with a group of prisoners who are being punished for failing to find the missing Darkseid. After some more berating and some punishment from Lashina, another Fury, the prison caravan is attacked by a giant Dredge Worm. Granny orders her Furies to attack it, and in the confusion Lois grabs a weapon and lends her assistance. The Fury who owns the gun yanks it out of Lois’ hands and begins to berate her, but doesn’t get far before getting killed by the worm. Impressed by Lois’ attitude in the face of danger, Granny has her take the fallen Fury’s armor and join the ranks of the Female Furies.
Before wrapping up the issue we check in briefly with Superboy, who is frantically running away from Apokoliptian forces who want to see him in the firepits of Apokolips!
Thoughts on the issue: When Jack Kirby took us to Apokolips, it always had a paradoxical feel of fun and high adventure mixed with fear and a hellish horror landscape. Tomasi and Gleason’s depiction definitely lives up to that legacy. With Lex and Superman you find yourself worried about the Apokoliptians’ anger, but also intrigued about the supposed prophecy about Superman being the Lord of Apokolips. Then we shift focus onto Lois, who is a captive of the terrifying Furies, but is also fighting off Dredge Worms like a badass. Granny drafts her to be a Fury and Lois’ story suddenly turns from a survival story to a spy story, changing yet maintaining the tension. Then for a quick finale we feel fear for Jon and excitement as he flies away from his pursuers. This high energy storytelling mixed with the impressive pencils of Benes, Mahnke and Herbert make for an issue worthy of Kirby’s Legacy.
One last thing: Stompa looks like she’s less than five feet wide in this book, which is mildly disappointing, but at least she’s in a book again!
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