Action Annual 13 – Luthor’s apprenticeships with Darkseid and Ra’s Al Ghul

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Luthor gets to star in both of the stories in Action Annual 13.  They both take place when Luthor is a young adult, as we see how both Darkseid and Ra’s Al Ghul helped shape the man he became.

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The first story, by Cornell and Marco Rudy, has art that is very evocative of the early 70s.  Luthor meets Perry White, who is working undercover, trying to get the lowdown on Intergang and Mannheim.  Luthor wheedles his way into the gang, but only to find who the power is behind them.

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It almost costs him his life, but his effrontery impresses Darkseid, who brings him to Apokolips.

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Luthor is put to work in the Evil Factory, alongside Simyan and Mokkari.

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There he creates a weapon he believes capable of killing Darkseid, and launches his move to unseat him and take over Apokolips.  It fails dismally, but Darkseid allows Luthor to escape back to Earth.  Luthor makes his fortune off of the tech he has learned in the Evil Factory, and Darkseid is amused at the uses he puts his knowledge to.

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The Ra’s Al Ghul story is not significantly different.  Cornell and Ed Benes have Luthor join the League of Assassins.  Ra’s trusts him, as Luthor has no interest in wealth or in winning Talia.  But there is one box that contains something Ra’s will not let Luthor see.

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So of course, that is the one thing Luthor needs to open, and succeeds using Apokolips tech.  We do not see what it in the book, but Ra’s is furious enough to kill Luthor.

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But he brings the boy back to life with the Lazarus Pit, once again allowing him to live to see what evil the man will achieve.

While both are good stories, I would have preferred more variation between them.

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