The GeeksverseAction Comics Annual #13

Action Comics Annual #13
Published on Sunday, December 5, 2010 by

Published by: DC Comics
Written by: Paul Cornell
Cover: Ethan Van Sciver
Associate Editor: Wil Moss
Editor: Matt Idelson

First Story:
Art by: Marco Rudy
Colored by: Val Staples
Lettered by: John J. Hill

The first of two stories spotlighting Lex’s past and his encounters with two of the DCU’s big guns and how it altered and shaped Lex’s life.

This one involves Lex running into Darkseid and being tested. This story spotlights Lex’s inability to acknowledge anyone superior to himself and his unwillingness to back down. It shows his first day in Metropolis and an encounter with a (at the time) reporter named Perry White.

Cornell does a great job showing how Lex’s pride pushs him in a direction that leads towards where he is now. It shows how he can’t see anyone but himself in a superior position. Which has always been a driving point for Lex. This is a man that wants to be in control and thinks he should always be. This story highlights that and using Darkseid as a foil is a good way of showing it.

Rudy’s art is great and really helps set the alienness of Apokolips well at the same time showing the early 80s in a fitting style. His page layouts are unique and very interesting, giving the story a different feel.

Second Story:
Art by: Ed Benes
Colored by: Jason Wright
Lettered by: John J. Hill

This story takes place years after the first and finds Lex working alongside with Ra’s Al Ghul. Suprisingly this story adds more stuff to Lex’s history and the history of the DCU proper. Lex is shown as being chosen as Al Ghul’s apprentice, something that was what Al Ghul always wanted Bruce Wayne to be. Lex is also shown to be chosen to mate with Talia to produce a son.

The other surprising thing is that Lex was killed by Al Ghul and thrown into a Lazarus Pit to be brought back to life. I’m not that up on DC lore but that seems like a big thing to me.

What causes Al Ghul to be disappointed in his apprentice and kill the man was Lex’s own failures causing his downfall again. In this story it was Lex’s curiousity and desire to know all. He was told to leave a box alone and he couldn’t.

This story leads us to wonder what would have happened if Lex could have done if he was told, and left the box alone. What would the DCU be like with Lex Luthor has Ra’s Al Ghul’s apprentice?

Cornell tells this story like a tale being read. It has a fable-like feel to it and is a nice contrast to the first story.

Benes art is straight forward. No different page layouts like the first story, which helps provide the same contrast as the writing style.

Both stories work very well on fleshing out the history of Lex Luthor. Like the recent issue of Action Comics, Cornell does a good job of retconning Lex into the wider DCU.

Action Comics Annual #13 receives
4 out of 5

Cornell is proving himself to be the best at writing Lex Luthor.

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