Superman vs. Lobo #1 – Tim Seeley/Sarah Beattie, Writers; Mirka Andolfo, Artist; Arif Prianto, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: What was DC thinking? Putting two of the most family-unfriendly creative teams in comics on a Superman book? Not only do you have the two mad geniuses behind Money Shot, but backing them up on the art end is the one-woman brand that is Mirka Andolfo (Unnatural). These three are known for VERY mature books, and even in Black Label, it’s hard to imagine them meshing with Superman. Well, surprise surprise—because this is a completely insane stroke of genius. It starts fairly standard, with Superman dealing with an ethical conflict—Lex Luthor has launched a new social media app that is censoring information and spreading propaganda against him. But Superman can’t really fight the media, can he?
Meanwhile, a mysterious cosmic being has returned from the void—and it has the nerve to disrupt Lobo’s vacation. After a bloody battle on a vacation planet, Superman arrives and takes all the glory from Lobo—which leads the main man to vow revenge. Despite the cosmic stakes, this is a rather small and petty plot, which works. I imagine the real scene stealer during this segment will be Dr. Flik, an original character who feels like she could come right from these creators’ original work. A perky scientist obsessed with studying specimens of lost species in their native habitat, she develops an unhealthy obsession with both Superman and Lobo and winds up following them to Earth.
But once we get back to Earth, it becomes clear what the point of this series really is. It’s all about how disinformation can target anyone—even Superman. As a petty but well-organized series of social media complaints hit Superman, the Man of Steel finds his reputation taking a hit from a movement that obviously seems inspired by anti-vaxxers and Q. It’s funny, but it’s also a rather disturbing look at how easy it is to wage a propaganda campaign. But it’s not long before the story turns cosmic again, with the villain showing up to make himself known—and setting into motion a series of events that leads to the funniest cliffhanger I can remember. It’s completely nuts, and maybe the most worthy use of the Black Label brand in a while.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.