Thursday, January 2, 2014

Alas Poor Lena ...

A couple of months ago I wrote about Forever Evil and how it was hinted that Lena Thorul was once again back in continuity.

Alas, while she might be back into the history books, this page from Forever Evil #4 reveals that she has died. And she died because Lex was too afraid to try to save her, too afraid to fail. This is such an interesting page.

It is a shame because Lena has played a role in Supergirl's life in prior incarnations and she could have been an interesting foil for the current Kara as well. Imagine the two of them, dealing with older family members with huge reputations (albeit on opposite sides of the ethical fence), trying to figure out who they are without being defined by their family name, trying to figure out the balance between nature and nurture.

I was hoping ...

I suppose her death could have been faked so she could live life as a Thorul, away from Lex. We'll see.

I also found this issue a bit too over-the-top in its handling of Lex. It felt like Geoff Johns was trying a little too hard to make 'evil relative' and to make Luthor relatable.

There is this moment where a tired Lex pauses to tell this story of personal defeat and tragedy, a time when he failed to act. It almost looks in that last row of panels that Lex might be close to tears! And then he 'inspires' Bizarro to try to overcome fear and there is a shocked look in Lex's eyes.

Also in the issue, there is a Luthor internal monologue where he talks about an aspect of him which is ... wait for it ... humble. HUMBLE? Luthor?

I only need to go back to his Villains' Month issues to think differently. Defiantly looking at Metropolis as something he should control. Tossing his assistant off the skyscraper roof. Sending a satellite down onto a competitor's house. Using and ultimately killing humans in his Bizarro experiments. All the while talking about how he is better than everyone.

This New 52 universe is a twisted place. We are forced to feel compassion and root for the villains. In the meantime we are dealing with heroes who seem to loathe being heroes and act awfully.

Again though, I am disappointed that Lena won't be around.


silver age boy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
silver age boy said...

This is the only part of "Forever Evil" I liked. As for Luther humbleness, do you the expect egotistical maniac to admit even to him self that he my be less than superior in something?

Gear said...

I haven't been following Forever Evil so I wasn't aware they had fridged Lena to make Lex sad and angsty. Too bad, fridging is a cheap writing shortcut to provide character motivation.

In previous versions the Luthor family changed their name to Thorul so they wouldn't be tied to Lex, maybe in this universe her death was faked as well.

Anonymous said...

She is better off out of current continuity, one can only imagine the sad sick things they'd inflict on Lex's alleged sister.

Martin Gray said...

I'm sad that Lena seems to be dead - and hope Lex doesn't revive her as a Bizarro.

And this relative business is indeed bunk - Lex is a murdering scumbag, If there's a difference between him and the CSA, it's simply that they kill more openly, and on a bigger scale.

Jay said...

I actually get the impression New 52 Superman enjoys being Superman a lot more than he did pre-Flashpoint.

Back on topic though, I don't think this necessarily has to make fans of Lena completely throw in the towel. I mean, if I recall the old stories had a fake death scenario involved, so someone could always come around and do a new spin on that.

Anj said...

Thanks for comments!

Gear/Jay - I agree (I think I said it in the post) that it could be a fake out. That might be how she becomes a Thorul.

Mart - It is hard to think of Luthor as anything but an egotistical sadist. Even if he misses his sister.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. Are you saying that evil is not relative. If someone maliciously burns my books I would call it evil, if someone maliciously burns my family I would also call it evil but if any of these has to happen I would infinitely prefer the first over the second. So I fail to see how evil is not relative or how at the very least the consequences of evil acts are not relative.


Martin Gray said...

I'd say burning books is bad. Murdering is evil and in this case we're talking murdering Lex vs murderong CS members. Evil vs more evil. I wouldn't trust Lex to fight my corner for an instant.

Anj said...


I should never be rooting for Lex who has been a psychopathic murderer during his time in the New 52.

So making him sad over his sister's demise doesn't change the fact that he has killed people for things as simple as asking him questions.

I would much rather be rooting for heroes.

Anonymous said...

My point wasn't about Lex but the very concept "Evil is relative".


Dave Mullen said...

I also found this issue a bit too over-the-top in its handling of Lex. It felt like Geoff Johns was trying a little too hard to make 'evil relative' and to make Luthor relatable.

Surely there is no one out there who finds Lex Luthor relatable?!

Forever Evil is readable, but it does mark the passing of Geoff Johns' talent for me. More and more his writing is showing its exhaustion and disinterest. I've been a #1 fan since his JSA debut and yet his decline these last two years has been progressive. It does seem to me the reboot two years ago had an effect on him, the spark just isn't there in his work anymore, Aquaman perhaps being the notable exception.

Incidentally, for Lex's sister here Johns is recycling a plot he used in Adventure Comics a few years back during the New Krypton storyline. I think its Adventure #6, he sends Superboy on a time travel trip to help cure Lena... it was a really good story!