Lex Luthor/Porky Pig #1 – Mark Russell, Jim Fanning, Writers; Brad Walker, John Loter, Pencillers; Andrew Hennessy, Paul J. Lopez, Inkers; Andrew Dalhouse, Paul J. Lopez, Colorists
Ray – 7/10
Ray: Mark Russell has been one of the boldest new voices coming out of DC Comics in a while, fusing fictional characters – both DC and Hanna-Barbera, where he’s become the flagship writer – with themes of contemporary politics. Some of his works, like The Flintstones or the recently concluded The Snagglepuss Chronicles, have been nuanced and heartbreaking at times. Other attempts, like Prez, wound up being too heavy-handed to really work as a story. I think that’s the groove that Lex Luthor/Porky Pig finds itself falling into. Less a true DC/Looney-Toons team-up than a ruthless send-up of the excesses of big tech, this issue takes place in a world where the villains of the DCU all seem to have gone into internet commerce. Dr. Sivana and Professor Ivo are both running online drug sites and are jacking up the prices, while Lex is getting into the world of social media. Porky Pig, meanwhile, ran a cryptocurrency site that went bust and wound up being disgraced – until Lex Luthor took notice of him and hired him to run his up-and-coming social media empire. Yes, this is a real comic.
What ensues is a send-up of both office culture and the current political scene. While Lex continues to extend his site’s tentacles into every single area of the internet, Porky finds himself consumed with running the office – and one particular crisis of a sandwich thief stealing lunches from the company fridge. Porky’s attempts to expose the thief fail, until he identifies it as Lex himself – and then realizes he can’t do anything about it, so he finds a convenient scapegoat. All the while, Lex is pulling off the biggest scheme of his career while setting up Porky as the perfect scapegoat. Aside from a cameo by an unfortunate Daffy Duck, there’s very little of Looney Tunes’ manic energy as Russell seems more concerned with giving us his opinion on Amazon and Facebook. The same is definitely not true for the backup, which is the most pure Looney Tunes segment we’ve gotten yet. Porky is an office supplies salesman, and his pitch to Lex Luthor winds up coming right in the middle of Luthor’s latest assault on Superman. It’s fun, over-the-top, and sort of slight – exactly what a Looney Tunes comic should be.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.