Apokolips: Under New Management (Superman 36 Review)

Superman #36

 

Written by Peter J Tomasi and Patrick Gleason

Pencils by Doug Mahnke

Inks by Jaime Mendoza

Colors by Wil Quintana

Cover by Patrick Gleason and Dean White

Previously:

Lex Luthor, Superman, Superboy and Lois Lane are all on Apokolips! Lois Lane was drafted into the Female Furies, and Kalibak captured Superman and Lex while trying to find his father, Darkseid. Kalibak decided to fire a super weapon into the firepits of Apokolips, causing the core of the planet to become cold! As Granny and her Furies prepared to attack Kalibak and his forces, Superboy came riding in with a pack of giant Hunger Dogs!

 

What Happened:

On what is now the cold, dark planet of Apokolips, chaos has erupted.Granny’s followers, Kalibak’s followers, and Superboy’s freed Hunger Dogs created a convoluted melee that works out well for the Superfamily. The three group up in the chaos and attempt to protect the unconscious body of Lex Luthor, who was knocked out by Kalibak in the previous issue. Kalibak and Granny duke it out as they get angrier and angrier, but neither gets closer to victory. Frustrated, Kalibak grabs Lex, whom he believes is prophesied savior that the people of Apokolips have been hoping for. Just as Kalibak is about to throw Lex into empty firepit below, the cultish followers of the prophecy arrive in time to save him, throwing Kalibak off-balance and sinding him down into the pit instead.

Having stopped the various doomsday plots of Granny and Kalibak, the now triumphant people look to Superman to pass judgement. While the people ask for Kalibak’s death and Granny begs for her own, Superman refuses. The Furies and their leader are taken to Apokoliptian prison, stripped of their strange sense of dignity. One last time, the people make a plea to Superman to be the leader they need, and not to leave them with more tyranny and civil war. Understanding their needs, Superman finally accepts, as he is simply unable to force these people to live without hope. They give Superman a Boom Cube which will allow him to Boom Tube to and from Apokolips when he is need, and send the Superfamily and Lex back to Metropolis. Back home, Lex recovers and is met by Superman, who is furious about what just happened. Lex forced Superman and his whole family to go to the most dangerous planet in the Universe without their consent in order to manipulate him into becoming a dictator, and that’s not something Superman can allow from someone wearing an S on their chest. Lex rips the S off his suit and grins and Superman flies away, disappointed.

 

Thoughts on the issue:

The Imperious Lex storyline came to a frantic and kind of abrupt close. After a few issues of a separated family all finding their new roles on Apokolips, those roles immediately fell to the wayside when they conveniently found each other and the fighting all just kind of ended. Kalibak basically trips to take himself out, and it’s not quite clear why Granny and The Furies stopped fighting while they were still drawing breath. This arc felt like its own story, but the conclusion makes it feel like it’s more about setting up a new status quo than anything else. Superman is kind of in charge of Apokolips now, and Lex Luthor is abandoning the S, which is symbolic of villainous things to come. The chaos helps the book when it comes to art, with Doug Mahnke drawing the epic slugfest in the first half with stellar energy and a truly terrifying Granny Goodness.

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Summary
With Granny and Kalibak in jail and Darkseid gone, what the hell are Desaad, Steppenwolf, Vermin Vundabar, and the other evil New Gods doing? You’d think they’d have something to say about King Superman
Good
  • Doug Manhke's art is great for Apokolips
  • Granny Goodness and The Furies
  • Good new direction for Lex
Bad
  • Abrupt conclusion
  • Comic serves the next issue more than it serves itself
7.3
Good
Writing - 6
Artwork - 8.5

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