Crisis in Infinite Titles, Part 1

If you’re a comic book fan today, chances are you’re really into Infinite Crisis. It’s the biggest and best thing going in superhero comics right now. If you’re not reading it, you should be. The thing is, there’s so much going on right now that’s seemingly unrelated. That’s where this series of articles comes in.

First things first: Supergirl is evil. Darkseid is behind everything. That may make no sense right now, but trust me; it’ll make perfect sense when I’m done with these articles. So let’s get started. And what better place to begin than the story where Lex Luthor first uttered the words, “There will be a reckoning?”

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies

Superman Batman Vol 1The plot of the first Superman/Batman arc involves an asteroid on a collision course with Earth. The asteroid is actually a chunk of Krypton, heading for Earth because Superman is there. At least that’s what President Lex Luthor thinks. In a press conference before he issues a bounty of one billion dollars on Superman’s head, Luthor says that, “As incredible as it seems, we can only conclude that [the asteroid] is coming here because he is here.”

So is Luthor just crazy, or does he have inside info from somewhere? When Amanda Waller, one of his confidantes, questions Luthor, he tells her, “I wouldn’t argue with the source.” Wait a minute, there’s someone Lex Luthor wouldn’t argue with? That’s got to be one bad dude. Luthor’s words also bring another question to mind: does he mean the source of the information, or the source of the asteroid?

Later, after Luthor’s plan to have the metahumans of Earth destroy his arch-nemesis falls apart, he decides to don a massive suit of armor and take on the Man of Steel himself. Much is revealed during the standard, “now that victory is within my grasp, I’ll reveal everything” supervillain banter:

Lex Luthor ArmorThis armor is my cape. Tailored for me expressly. From the firepits of Apokolips.”
“Who do you think first alerted me to the presence of the asteroid? Who made me aware of its origins?and why it is drawn towards you!
“Darkseid has always been my ally. Technology is what moved this country leagues ahead of the rest of the world–the universe. And Darkseid offered whatever I needed as President in that regard.

Darkseid offered “whatever” Luthor needed. The asteroid was just that. To finally defeat Superman, Luthor needed people to believe that their deaths could be caused by the hero they admired above all others. “If mankind has one common emotion…it’s fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of what they cannot control. And look how ready they are to believe that you are the thing they fear the most.” And just for fun, Darkseid threw in a bonus.

Next time: Superman/Batman: Supergirl.

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies was originally published in issues 1-6 of Superman/Batman, written by Jeph Loeb with art by Ed McGuiness and Dexter Vines. It is currently available in trade paperback format.