[Editor’s Note: Below is a spoiler-filled synopsis designed to catch readers up to the events just prior to this title.]
For those of you who read comics, it is no surprise that to fully grasp what is going on, you need to understand a little about a few character plots that happened in other titles. I’m going to try to catch you up, but it sort of all blends in for me as the details span the last 6 years.
The original Superman died in the 90’s and was resurrected. Barry Allen created the Flashpoint, then all the DC multiverses converged, merging elements of the pre and post Flashpoint. So as a result of this, back in early 2016, we find out that the pre and post Flashpoint Supermen are now both in the same universe. The pre-Flashpoint Superman married Lois Lane, had a son, Jonathan, and has been trying to keep his head down, while the post-Flashpoint Superman flies around and saves the world.
However, towards the end of the third series of Superman, a man is struck by a sentient bolt of energy containing Superman’s genetics and develops energy powers. He decides he is Superman (now there are three) and that the post-Flashpoint Superman is an imposter. If this sounds like a daytime soap opera, hang in there, because you know what is coming.
Energy-Superman ends up fighting both the pre and post-Flashpoint Supermen along with a few of their closest friends. Energy-Superman starts to become unstable and explodes. Post-Flashpoint Superman absorbs the energy, but it taxes his already kryptonite damaged system to the maximum and he dies. So now there is just the pre-Flashpoint Superman.
Enter Lex Luthor who once assumed the mantle of Darkseid, the ruler of Apokolips (a city planet located in a realm between Earth and Hell). He returns to Earth, with some interesting Apokolips’ technology. Upon the announcement of the death of Superman, he develops armor with the tech and assumes the mantle of Superman. Superman is confused as his Lex Luthor had always been a villain, but takes a chance and Lex proves that he is a hero. However, in the “Men of Steel” story arc, aliens come to Earth to kill Lex Luthor in order to prevent him from becoming Darkseid again. Superman prevents them from passing sentence for something Lex has not done yet.
In the previous issue, Superman encounters increased civil unrest across the globe and discovers mind-ticks are controlling both the men and animals, causing trouble. A more detailed look reveals that the technology is from Lex Corp. He confronts Lex who once again claims his innocence agreeing to team up with Superman to find the Machinist. The repurposed Lex tech has a signal emitter in it and Lex tracks the signal to its source, where Lex falls into the Machinist’s trap and is injected with a master mind-tick forcing him to turn against Superman.
In Issue 986, we find Superman fighting against his mind controlled old foe. Lex tries to fight the control but may have to rely on his old villainous ways to free himself from the Machinist’s control. Can Lex rise above the limits of his humanity? And who hired the Machinist to control Lex; check out this issue to find out.
Issue 986 of Action Comics is due out Wednesday, August 23rd.
E.Angel is an engineer and holds a BS in electrical engineering from North Carolina A&T State University. She’s a real nerd who loves all things Star Wars and Star Trek and is an avid gamer. E.Angel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on either game platform as Bunnehs Sister.