Metropolis’ two protectors try to get on the same page, but the history between the two leads to some trouble of Apokaliptian proportions in the latest issue of Superman.

Superman 33
Written by Patrick Gleason and Peter J. TomasiĀ 
Art by Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza and Wil Quintana

With Lex Luthor flying around Metropolis in his own blue exosuit with a big S Shield on his chest, we were bound to get either a team-up or a brawl between the two Men of Steel currently protecting Metropolis. While Superman doesn’t necessarily trust – or even like – Luthor yet, in this issue he’s making an attempt to get along with his former arch-nemesis, teaming up to take down a carful of criminals running from an attempted job.

They must be new in town.

While the pair are cordial as they put away the small-time crooks, the two Men of Steel aren’t going to be going out for post-battle drinks any time soon. They it seems as though Luthor is starting to enjoy his partnership with Superman, as Clark notes to Lois that he frequently uses a sonic alarm to get Superman to LexCorp tower to just show off his stuff. So when Luthor hits the sonic alarm again for some actual help – because he’s being abducted to Apokolips – Superman decides to ignore the whole thing and go to dinner with his wife and son.

Things escalate from there, as Luthor has a failsafe programmed to come after Superman if he ignores a distress call and teleport him to Luthor. Unfortunately, this also picks up Jon and Lois, sending the Kent family to one of the most miserable places in the multiverse.

So, WHY does Apokolips want Luthor? Well, that goes back to Geoff Johns’ New 52 run on Justice League and his Darkseid War epic, where Luthor was elevated to the new Lord of Apokolips while Darkseid is a baby (which is being dealt with in James Robinson’s current run on Wonder Woman). The evil New Gods of the planet are a needy lot and want their leader on-planet to lead them, which makes sense.

This should be a fairly epic story from Tomasi and Gleason, who’ve just had four issues off the book, and the first issue was fun, with the opening rescue leading nicely into everything else. And the novelty of seeing Superman and Luthor not only working together but cracking jokes should keep things fresh going forward. But with Clark’s family ALSO transmitted to the dark planet – and Luthor not knowing Superman’s secrets – let’s see what kind of hoops every has to jump through to maintain the status quo.