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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Giant-sized super-villain team-up
This storyline - `The Black Ring' - runs through Action Comics #890-900, Annual #13 and Secret Six #29, and is collected in two volumes - Superman - The Black Ring v1 - which contains Action Comics #890-895, and Superman - The Black Ring (Vol. 2) which contains Action Comics #896-900, Annual #13 and Secret Six #29. Action Comics #900 also happens to be the `middle'...
Published 22 months ago by Squirr-El

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3.0 out of 5 stars Lex the Lantern
Were you reading every Superman story arc in 2010/11? How about the Blackest Night storyline? `Cos I wasn't and didn't know I had to in order to understand this book! Apparently at some point in one of those arcs, Lex Luthor became an Orange Lantern (just saying that reminds me why I'm not into Green Lantern) and then he wasn't. The Black Lanterns and their Black Rings...
Published 22 months ago by Sam Quixote


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Giant-sized super-villain team-up, 25 Jun. 2013
By 
Squirr-El (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This storyline - `The Black Ring' - runs through Action Comics #890-900, Annual #13 and Secret Six #29, and is collected in two volumes - Superman - The Black Ring v1 - which contains Action Comics #890-895, and Superman - The Black Ring (Vol. 2) which contains Action Comics #896-900, Annual #13 and Secret Six #29. Action Comics #900 also happens to be the `middle' episode of the Superman Return Of Doomsday TP / Superman: Reign of Doomsday TP storyline over in the `Superman ` comic, and is included at the beginning of the latter of the two Doomsday titles.

This story traces the rise of Lex Luthor, from billionaire industrialist super-scientific villain to godhood and beyond, as he sets off on a journey to collect a number of mysterious artefacts which represent the remaining traces of the `black energy' of the Black Lanterns from the Blackest Night event - in which Luthor became a member of the Orange Lantern Corps. Accompanied by a robot Lois Lane, built using Brainiac technology salvaged from a previous story, and some sycophantic assistants, and Deathstroke the Bodyguard, he encounters on his journey the villainous caterpillar Mr Mind (or at least numerous clones thereof); Gorilla Grodd - "Kneel before Grodd!"; Death (of the Eternals) - "Are you looking for the scythe? Or the skis? Sorry to disappoint you. Its just me". "Are you telling me Death is a teenage girl?" Remember to make a mental note of the magical singing pony for later on, by the way. The first volume ends with a boardroom meeting with Vandal Savage, who is also up to something...

This is an excellently scripted story, if somewhat confusing at times, especially with some of the flashbacks - for example, the story opens with a kidnapped Lex hanging upside down from a flagpole on the top of the Lexcorp building; and there are veiled references to a major conspiracy `behind the scenes', which becomes more overt in the second volume. The artwork is also excellent, and complements the story, and there are many humorous moments, both verbal and visual - especially in the Grodd sequence.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Lex the Lantern, 16 Jun. 2013
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Were you reading every Superman story arc in 2010/11? How about the Blackest Night storyline? `Cos I wasn't and didn't know I had to in order to understand this book! Apparently at some point in one of those arcs, Lex Luthor became an Orange Lantern (just saying that reminds me why I'm not into Green Lantern) and then he wasn't. The Black Lanterns and their Black Rings were apparently super-powerful but then went away, for some reason (I know, if I read Blackest Night, I'd probably know - maybe I will at some point).

This book opens with Superman off-world, on some quest - it's called Superman: The Black Ring, but he doesn't make a single appearance and instead Lex Luthor is the main character - while Lex plots to find a way of locating a Black Ring to become all-powerful and supplant Superman as saviour of Earth. Also, I have no idea when this happened but Lex created a Lois Lane android to be his personal assistant/girlfriend, which is just plain creepy especially as he has sex with it.

The book follows Lex's patchy quest across the planet for these large black spheres which are apparently energy residue of the Black Rings which will lead him to the Black Rings...? This is why I'm not into Green Lantern, it's too sci-fi crazy - imagine an imaginary concept, apply semi-real science to it, then add fantasy, and make it central to your story! That's modern sci-fi, and I don't get it.

On his journey he encounters some of DC's B and C-list characters like Deathstroke, Mister Mind (a psychic space caterpillar), Grodd (an intelligent, violent gorilla), Vandal Savage (an immortal), and Death (from Sandman - yeah, Neil Gaiman's cute goth chick!). Grodd had a great scene where he announces that he's brought his biggest combat spoon to eat Lex's brain with and the Death issue was quite good - it helped that I'm a big Sandman fan, so it was a pleasant surprise to see Dream's sister show up for an issue of contemplation with Lex.

Despite a few nice moments though, I was more or less baffled throughout as to what the hell was going on. Lex and Black Rings? Superman gone off somewhere? It was whacky and fun in places, and Lex is a great character so it was good to see him get the spotlight again, but if you're a Superman fan looking for a great Superman book, look elsewhere as the Man of Steel is nowhere to be found in this one. I have Volume 2 though so maybe he shows up in that book. As for Volume 1, if you're a Lex Luthor fan and enjoy a story that jumps around the globe featuring some of DC and Vertigo's lesser known characters, "The Black Ring, Volume 1" is for you. Just be sure that you know what Blackest Night was all about or you might end up flailing for the first third of the book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lex Luthor in the Spotlight - Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid..........., 13 April 2011
By 
Mr. S. W. Steel "stephensteel" (England) - See all my reviews
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This is a graphic novel that follows on from the events in the epic Blackest Night series, and although it isn't essential to read all of those books (as there is a little introduction on the inner sleeve), it would give some background to this book.
In essence, Lex Luthor has tasted the power of an Orange power ring and although he no longer has that ring to bring him the power he craves, he is desperate to get his hands on another ring and become the person he feels he should have always been.
This book deals with his thought-processes on this matter - and is an excellent insight into the mind of Lex Luthor.
There is plenty to like in this book. It has an excellent line up of characters - Vandal Savage, Gorilla Grodd, Deathstroke, Neil Gaiman's Death and even a robot Lois Lane! All of them have good coverage and are handled well within the main storyline, though it has to be said, that Lex is the star of the show!
The main omission from this book is Superman himself. And this is where this book is quite similar to Luthor. So, if you liked that book and it's premise, then you will definitely enjoy this graphic novel! This book takes it one step further though. Whereas Luthor, by Azzarello at least shows the Man of Steel, this book doesn't show him at all! I liked that concept a lot, and it definitely gives you a greater insight into Luthor's character. When Superman and Lex clash in other books, Luthor doesn't really have the depth he deserves and this book rectifies that well.
The one thing i would say about this book that makes me give it a high score, is the fact that it is actually enjoyable to read. In many ways it is quite an 'old-school' kind of book - that takes the best of the previous ages of comics, without taking the cheesy and tacky elements. There is action, character, depth, humour and a good direction to the story.
Also, i liked this portayal of Luthor - some people go down the bonkers scientist line. Others portray him as a ruthless businessman, whilst some go for the power mad genius. But this book gets the balance just right, with elements of all these facets to his character, without going over the top.
All in all, this is a book i would highly recommend to any Superman fan (even though he isn't in it!) - i read it in one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed it. Roll on Superman: The Black Ring Vol. 2 later in the year - i will be queuing up to get my hands on the rest of the story!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cool, 24 Mar. 2013
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A Superman title not featuring Superman you say? Yes and it is quite a refreshing tale that Paul Cornell weaves featuring Lex Luthor in the lead role. Been quite a fan of Pete Woods dynamic artwork for some time and it really shines here. Only minor gripe is that the cover work throughout is done by David Liefeld, sorry, Finch
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Superman The Black Ring TP Vol 01 (Superman (DC Comics))
Superman The Black Ring TP Vol 01 (Superman (DC Comics)) by Paul Cornell (Paperback - 8 Feb. 2012)
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