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Lex Luthor: Man of Steel (Review)

March is Superman month here at the m0vie blog, what with the release of the animated adaptation of Grant Morrison’s superb All-Star Superman. We’ll be reviewing a Superman-related book/story arc every Wednesday this month, so check on back – and we might have a surprise or two along the way.

Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo worked together on Joker, the rather wonderful reinvention of the Clown Prince of Crime which happened to almost perfectly synch up with the release of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. However, the pair had worked together before on a very similar story – an attempt to offer a more in-depth look at another iconic comic book villain. Lex Luthor: Man of Steel was originally released as a six-issue miniseries, but it has now been released as a graphic novel branded only Luthor, in an attempt to cash in on the success of the pair’s stand-alone Batman novel. In the form of a lovely hardcover with the covers relegated to the extras at the end, it actually makes quite a compelling read.

He needs to Luth-less to win this...

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Joker was released over the summer of 2008, and had the great fortune to closely mirror the Oscar-winning performance of Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight. Author Brian Azzarello claims that the similarities in the character here and on the big screen are a coincidence, but there’s something uncanny in watching this version of the character, with his Glasgow smile and foul teeth, attempt to take control of Gotham’s criminal underworld in a manner that his big screen counterpart would probably approve of. Azzarello paints a grim and gritty version of the Gotham City underworld, avoiding the more obvious superhero clichés and instead offering an exploration of the madness of one of the medium’s enduring antagonists.

This Joker has his own toxins...

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