Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

President Luthor: Secret Files & Origins #1

President Luthor: Secret Files and Origins #1

Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 24, 2001

Cover date: March 2001

Reviewed by: Nick Newman (

"The Why"

Writer: Greg Rucka
Penciller: Matthew Clark
Inker: Ray Snyder

Luthor leaves his office and walks through the city. Along the way he sees how the people love Superman. He spots magazine covers, tattoos, menu items, and T-shirts. He finally spots a newspaper commenting on the presidential race. He picks up his cell phone and dials his office, and tells them that he is running for President.

"The Most Suitable Person"

Writer: Greg Rucka
Penciller: Dale Eaglesham
Inker: Ray Kryssing

Luthor parks in front of an apartment and heads up alone. Ringing a doorbell, the accompanying door opens to reveal Talia. She lets him in and tells him not to call her Talia Al Ghul. Her name is Head, pronounced Heed. Luthor tells Talia that he wants her to head LexCorp. She doesn't understand why, but Luthor explains that she has experience running huge corporations. She tells him to leave, but Luthor counters. He tells Talia that there is no way that Ra's will let her live a life, knowing what she does about the League of Assassins. She refuses to believe him and opens the door. Before he leaves, Luthor promises her that he can protect her.

That night, Talia awakens to hear noises in the adjacent room. She kicks the door open and more then a dozen ninjas attack her. She defends herself well, but the numbers are overwhelming. The window behind her shatters and she finds Hope hanging outside of it. Talia narrowly escapes her home. Mercy and Hope take her to Luthor. Talia doesn't believe for a moment that her father sent the attackers, and accuses Luthor of sending them. Luthor tells her that he would not orchestrate the death of seventeen of his own men. Talia looks down, and then starts to listen to Luthor's offer.

"The Great Debate"

Writer: Peter David
Penciller: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Wade Von Grawbadger

Luthor participates in a debate with unseen opponents. They repeatedly answer questions wrong, but the audience agrees with them. Luthor is suddenly panicked when he realizes that he is debating with Joker and Two-Face. They tie him up and prepare to shoot him when he suddenly wakes up.

"Rockets' Red Glare"

Writer: Karl Kesel
Penciller: Paul Pelletier
Inker: Cam Smith

Luthor talks with a woman at a party about the unknown whereabouts of the Contessa. He admits that he is technically still married to her. At the same time, a number of rockets bombard the Agenda's base, killing the Contessa. Luthor answers his cell phone and smiles, and then tells the woman that his divorce has just become final.

"Power Couple"

Writer: Phil Jimenez
Penciller: Yuel Guichet
Inker: Wayne Faucher

Luthor is in his oval office when suddenly he is interrupted by Circe. She tells him that they should ally themselves and rule the world. Luthor tells her that he doesn't know who she is, and dismisses her from his presence. Outside, Circe meets a shadowed man, who offers her an alliance to rule the world.

"He's Coming Mr. Luthor"

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciller: Mike Wieringo
Inker: Marlo Alquiza

A bumbling man walks into the White House and bumps into Mercy. She doesn't understand why Luthor would employ him, Nathaniel Mackelvany, as his personal assistant. Summoned by Luthor, he heads into the oval office, tripping on a power cord on the way there. The End?

Plus character pages of Talia, Luthor, Pete and Lana, and Luthor's Cabinet written by Frank Pittarese and illustrated by various artists.

4Story - 4: Overall I give the whole issue a four. I enjoyed it much more than the previous Secret Files issues, mainly because this had more new material. The earlier issues always focused on one story and then an over-abundance of character bios and a tour of some unimportant location. This issue had six new stories. The first, about Luthor's motivation was very simple but very well done. Talia's introduction to LexCorp was an average but needed story. The debate story was clever, but it was just used to take up space. It was very nice to see the Contessa finally done away with. The Circe story was pointless and easily the worst in the issue, but it was short and not enough to ruin anything. Loeb's story about Luthor's aide didn't seem to have a point, but with Loeb I'm sure there is something coming from this. It was good, even if the issue as a whole should only have cost three or four dollars.

3Art - 3: Pretty average art in this. Pelletier's art is always great, but I get the feeling that he is copying McGuinness and that he has lost his own style. He did great work in Superboy and the Ravers, and I would like to see the style he employed there used again. I wish Guice would finally vanish, but the guy just keeps coming back. His art is far too dark for Superman. Plus Immonen makes a brief and unwelcome return. His art is not defined enough and too blurry to be good. The rest of the art was average.

3Cover Art - 3: The cover's art was decent, but I am getting sick of the image of Superman being enraged by Luthor's victory. It just doesn't fit Superman to be flying off frying things with his heat vision just because Luthor is President. Nothing that could catch your eye, and it could have been much better.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic was on sale.

January 2001

February 2001 March 2001 April 2001 May 2001 June 2001 July 2001 August 2001 September 2001 October 2001 November 2001 December 2001 Annuals

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