Comic Review – “Superman: President Lex”

Lex Luthor became President of the United States in the DC
Universe. Would you like to know how?

General Information

Title: Superman: President Lex

Creators: There are about 40 names on the list. It’s a series
filled
out with a rotating creative team as it was spread across all the
Superman titles.

Original Publication Date: 2003 reprint of material first published
in 2000 and 2001

ISBN: 1-56389-974-4

Cover Price: $17.95 US, $29.95 Can

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Premise

Lex Luthor decides to run for President.

High Point

Batman offers Lex Luthor a choice.

I keep picking Batman moments as the high points of Superman
collections. Perhaps I should start reading Batman…

Low Point

One of the issues seems to be printed out of order. Superman
congratulates Lex Luthor, calling him President Luthor, well
before
the election actually takes place. It’s distracting editing, and led
to minor confusion.

The Scores

In the comics I’ve read, the President of the United States is
usually
treated as a man with impeccable credentials and the purest of
intentions. Maybe I’m just sheltered, but this is the first evil
President I’ve seen. I’ll give the originality 4 out of 6
for that.

The artwork is always good, but wildly different due to
the
rotating art team. Ed McGuinnes gives a very cartoony feel,
while
others do some incredibly realistic work. It’s disorienting to have
this perpetually rotating team come through in the course of a
single
story. The overall page, then, suffers from this. I give it 4 out of
6.

The story is a bit odd. There are a lot of interesting
events, but there’s very little structure. I can almost convince
myself that there’s a two-act structure here, but even that feels
weak. It really feels like a single act, with no building action, no
climax, and no denoument. It’s just a bunch of stuff that
happened.
As I said, much of it is interesting, but it’s really more of a
chronicle than a story. I give it 3 out of 6.



The characterization is pretty good. I haven’t read
much
Superman, and this is the first time I’ve seen him shown with a
sense
of humour (which came through in particular in the Christmas
issue.)
It also shows a bit of Jimmy, Perry, Lois, and others, but it mainly
shows Luthor’s ability to manipulate the general populace. We
don’t
get very deeply into any of the characters, which may help
contribute
to the chronicle feel I mentioned above. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response this produced was pretty
weak. With
no build-up, there was nothing to really pull me along. It’s just a
bunch of stuff that happens, some of which make great moments,
but
which don’t have a common emotional thread that ties them all
together. If you didn’t already know how evil Lex was, I don’t
think
this would have really given you the same sense of dread the
lead
characters experience. I give it 3 out of 6.

The flow was hampered by the rotating creative
team and the
use of the bits and pieces of complete issues that tell portions of
the grander story. (Why was the appearance of Lori Lemaris
included
at all? Because they couldn’t edit out those bits of the page for
this collection. She has no bearing on anything else in this set,
and
is in about three panels.) It’s these editorial challenges that
make
the collections hard to assemble, and uneven to read. I give it 3
out
of 6.

Overall, it’s a pretty lackluster set. Pick it up only if
you want to see this particular piece of DC history. I doubt it’ll
make you a fan if you aren’t one already. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Superman: President Lex receives 25 out of
42.

Additional Notes and Comments

I picked this up because it sounds like it’ll serve as an effective
prologue to the upcoming Superman / Batman series
by Jeph
Loeb and Ed McGuinness. It launches in August, and I’ll be
reviewing
each issue here.

4 replies on “Comic Review – “Superman: President Lex””

  1. y42 says:

    I remember the ad campaign for that
    Those “Vote Lex” posters during an election year were pretty neat : )

  2. Dave says:

    Comics shops?
    I presume you got this at a local comic shop, because I clicked through to
    Amazon and they say it’s not actually available for sale yet.

    Weird.

    • fiziko says:

      Re: Comics shops?

      I presume you got this at a local comic shop, because I clicked through
      to
      Amazon
      and they say it’s not actually available for sale yet.

      Weird.

      Yeah, I buy very few of my comics through bookstores. Diamond
      distributes to comic shops only, so Marvel and DC have to use
      alternate routes that cause delays. I’m buying Exiles Vol. 4:
      Legacy
      through a bookstore, and it’ll take until August for me to
      get it, even though it was out in comic shops on June 11. (It’s not a big
      deal, since I won’t have volume 3 until July, or volume 5 until
      September.)

  3. brain says:

    Evil Presidents
    “Maybe I’m just sheltered, but this is the first evil President I’ve seen.”

    I guess you must have been born after 1976 and not read the news then, because President Nixon was pretty darn evil, and our current president is moreso. A lot of the hijinks that President Lex is up to are references to real-life events perpetrated by the Bush Administration.

    Seriously. Read Michael Moore‘s book and see if you don’t notice similarities between how Bush siphoned insane amounts of money into Halliburton and how Lex Luthor uses the Presidency for personal gain.

    Alternately you can surf Democracy Now or MoveOn and see what you’ve been missing in the mainstream news.

    The comics writers are not making a lot of this stuff up; evil is real, and it’s not just a bunch of guys flying planes into buildings. We don’t have a Superman to save us- it’s up to us.

Comments are closed.