Writer: James Tynion IV / Artist: Javier Fernandez, Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran, and Hi-Fi / DC Comics
Justice League #28 marks the end of the Apex Predator arc and sets us up for the Justice-Doom War!
But first, we gotta talk about Lex Luthor. We gotta go in on him for a sec. He’s back from the dead, but are you really surprised? This is comic books, fam. Nobody dies. But my guy is mad different after returning. Now, even though dude has been a maniacal psychopath since the beginning of time, he’s always had some likable features about him that made him pretty charming amongst other characters and the audience. He was bald, but he wore it well. Like MJ or The Rock. And he had a smile that came off as reassuring, even if he was secretly planning to throw you out of a window.
Now, my dude looks like that alien from Prometheus. A little too big, a little too pale, and a face that creates a pit in your stomach. He’s toilet seat white, with a smile that makes you fear for children you don’t have. My guy looks like he’s about to go audition for the Powder reboot.
Aside from Luthor’s transformation, this issue brought us to the obvious endpoint of the arc: a meeting between Lex and J’onn. Manhunter has always felt like he could save Lex from this dark path, but for Lex this whole thing was preordained. While justice may be a social construct enabled to control a large population for the greater good, doom is inherent chaos. It’s the urge we all have to just say “fuck it” and do whatever we want. Lex is the embodiment of that now, and there’s not a thing J’onn can do about it.
There is something Lex needs from Manhunter, though: His DNA. This has been an arc that’s leaned on the shoulders of tie-in “Year of the Villain” event, where Luthor implores the DC Universe’s villains to embrace their inner doom. Because major pieces of this story take place in other comics, Luthor’s motivations might seem a bit murky at best.
Long story short, Perpetua, mother of the multiverse, had planned to have humans and Martians combine their species to become near invincible Apex Predators; a species that would be almost undying and could be used as the strongest warriors the multiverse had ever known. So now Luthor is taking it upon himself to put that plan in motion, but instead of building an army of soldiers for war, it’s more or less for chaos, or if you’re Lex, the natural order of things.
Now, his meeting with Manhunter is looking a little fishy. If you’re watching Star Wars, this is where Admiral Ackbar would say “It’s a trap!” A few seconds too late.
Let’s do the math. Apex Predators are Human/Martian hybrids. Lex wants to become an Apex Predator. He’s already got the human part down. He just needs the Martian DNA to complete the process. And now he’s having a lengthy villain speech about how his wants and desires are somehow better for the world, and J’onn is the only member of the audience (aside from us). It’s not looking good for our quiet green friend. And it’s really not looking good for Lex. You know, if you care about appearances or whatever.
Justice League #28 closes out the Apex Predator arc providing us with a whole milk, mayonnaise infused Lex Luthor who is one step closer to his plans coming to fruition along with the destruction of the DC multiverse.
8 Light Bright Luthor’s out of 10
Reading Justice League? Find BNP’s other reviews here.
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