In this week’s Future State comics we get a title we all knew had to be coming, Superman V Imperious Lex 1. Of all the square offs in DC Comics, only Batman V. Joker can compare to the rivalry of Superman and Lex Luthor. The creators of this title do an amazing job of not only giving us a square off between the Metropolis power duo, but throwing in a moral dilemma that complicates the situation infinitely.

Time jumps forward a few decades. The newly formed council of the United Planets meets. Earth’s representative is none other than Lois Lane. Superman travels the galaxy and all seems well in the world. Today’s council business? A planet is petitioning to join the UP. The planet’s name? Lexor. And you guessed it. Its leader is none other than Lex Luthor. Lois Lane and the council move to deny the petition on the account of it’s Lex Luthor, but someone steps up to champion the Lexor’s membership. That Champion’s name? Superman.

Imperious Lex 1 – United in Emnity

Superman and Lex have gone round and round for decades. Why would Superman champion the cause run by Lex Luthor? That is the great dilemma of this issue. Does an entire planet suffer for one man’s evil?

Lex built robots to mine and strip other planets. It may suck for the targets, but Lexor thrives and grows with its unlimited resources. Of course a BS marketing campaign from Lex makes him look the part of the savior to the people of Lexor, so what do you do when you stop the sacking of other planets?

Superman shuts down Lex’s robots, but in the process we get an interesting complication. As Superman rips out a processor, the machine pleas for its life. Are these machines sentient? Can they be reprogrammed? Superman shuts them down and files the info away for later, but now the people of Lexor will suffer. Do the United Planets let them suffer?

Superman destroys an economy
Wrong action for the right reasons

Imperious Lex 1 – Retreating For Peace

Lex dons his green super suit and under the rays of the red sun, Superman cannot keep up with the power of Lex. He flees back to Earth even as Lex taunts him, but now the dilemma. With his robots gone, the people of Lexor will suffer. Is it their fault they were conned and led astray by a self serving conman? They would not listen as Superman tried to explain things because they had been brainwashed all this time by Lex.

So Superman, with the assistance of Lois petitions the council to let them in so the people of Lexor can discover the truth through their interactions with other planets. The United Planets can show them how evil Lex Luthor truly is. The council is swayed by their arguments and agree to let them in so long as Earth sponsors them, and who do they pick to be the ambassador to Lexor? Lois Lane of course.

I really like the moral questions this issue poses. In many ways it parallels what some have tried to do with certain governments in real life. Do we let a bad government into the world organizations and hope to change them from the inside? Or do we shut them out until they change their ways?

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