Lex Luthor

Lex Luthor

     I make no secret about the fact that I am a huge fan of the super hero genre. However, I also realize that the comic book industry cannot survive on the spandex scene alone. Surprisingly enough, one of the best Superman stories ever done has no super hero material whatsoever. Though it features the premier comic character’s alter ego, Clark Kent, and the villainous Lex Luthor, Lex Luthor: The Unauthorized Biography, by James Hudnall (writer) and well-known comic artist Eduardo Barreto, is much more gritty crime story than super hero prose.

     The story revolves around Peter Sands, a down-and-out writer looking to score his big break with an unauthorized "tell-all" book on Luthor. As he tracks down and interviews individuals who have "dirt" on the man most of the world considers a benevolent businessman, Sands begins to receive danger signals that he is getting too close to the truth. He receives threatening phone calls, and warnings from sources, before eventually becoming a target for assassination. Desperate, he contacts Clark Kent, and asks him to get an S.O.S. to Superman.

     Sands’ story is told as a flashback, while Kent is being grilled by the cops as the main suspect in Sands' murder, having means, motive (the police think he killed for the Luthor story) and opportunity.

     Sands' and Kent's stories are told in tandem, in a very entertaining "back-and-forth" film noir style.

     Hudnall's creative juices take readers for an exhilarating ride into seedy apartments, grimy back alleys, and dimly-lit interrogation rooms, as he weaves one of the most thrilling crime stories penned in the modern age of comics.

     Barreto has an artistic flair for bottom-feeding, street-level crime stories. His illustrations lend a morose, depressed quality, which is wholly appropriate for this story.

     Lex Luthor: The Unauthorized Biography can be acquired through comic shops or bookstores. Checking with www.dccomics.com does not seem to yield results, but there are many on-line comics dealers. Call 1-888-comic book for a comic shop near you.

     Lex Luthor:The Unauthorized Biography, D.C. Comics Inc., 48 pages, $4.95.

     Review by Mark Allen 

Lights End Audio BookLight's End Audio Series

     Michael Vance has teamed with William Windom to present an incredible collection of SF and fantasy stories. Set in the eerie town of Light’s End, Maine, these stories have been called “[a] meshing of myth and reality, [of] stack details of place, an...unromantic vision of horror...” Light’s End is a gathering place for the worst in human nature.

     Mr. Windom's impressive experience has prepared him well for the telling of these scary tales. He is well known for his TV roles on Murder, She Wrote, Star Trek, The Twilight Zone, All In The Family, and Barney Miller. He also won an Emmy for his TV series My World…and Welcome to It. His movie roles in To Kill a Mockingbird and True Crime won him additional acclaim. His stage performances as James Thurber and Ernie Pyle have entertained thousands. He's performed in eighteen Broadway plays, countless radio shows, and several books-on-tape.

     Michael Vance's work is published in numerous magazines. He has appeared as a syndicated columnist and cartoonist in over 500 newspapers. His history book, Forbidden Adventure has been called a "benchmark in comics history”. Vance, best known for his Suspended Animation columns, briefly wrote the comic strip Alley Oop and his own strip for five years, Holiday Out. He also wrote comic books including Straw Men, Angel of Death, The Adventures of Captain Nemo, and Bloodtide. His work has appeared in comics anthologies, and he is listed in the Who's Who of American Comic Books. With novelists Mel Odom and R.A. Jones, he co-wrote Global Star, a world where babies born with bowling balls in their stomachs are common, and the New York Times is “trash journalism”.

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     Suspended Animation readers will be able to order a copy of Lights End Volume 1 personally autographed by both William Windom and Michael Vance. Volume 1 contains the stories "A Change of Heart" and "Cross Purposed."

     What are you waiting for? It's just $19.95 signed or $11.95 not, plus shipping.

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Write: 1427 S. Delaware Ave., Tulsa, OK, 74104. Or email Michael Vance.