The Apex Predator Retreats In Year Of The Villain: Hell Arisen #2

by Josh Davison

Mild Spoilers Ahead

The Infected have cornered Apex Predator Lex Luthor and just revealed that his powers granted by Perpetua have no affect on them. That does not mean that Luthor is helpless and he manages to fend off the Infected with his intellect, weapons, and contingency plans. Luthor escapes and we see a surprising prisoner of the Batman Who Laughs. Later, Luthor finds his former employee, Mercy. She isn’t happy to see Lex, but he coaxes her into helping him with a massive paycheck. Afterwards, Lex Luthor infiltrates the Hall of Justice.

Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #2 cover by Steve Epting
Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #2 cover by Steve Epting

Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #2 finds Lex Luthor narrowly escaping the Infected and enacting counteraction against the Batman Who Laughs. Much of this comic focuses upon Lex and we are reminded why he was a worthy adversary of Superman even before he was granted his Apex Predator abilities.

The overall story is almost clinical in presentation. There is no narration; we are plainly presented the actions of Lex and the Batman Who Laughs. It serves the book well, as it lines up with the modus operandi of Lex Luthor. He has a clear and coherent thought process, even if it is often clouded by rage at Superman. It’s compelling to watch these two malignant forces move against one another, even if their goals of apocalypse and domination technically align.

Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #2 art by Steve Epting, Javier Fernandez, Nick Filardi, and letterer Travis Lanham
Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #2 art by Steve Epting, Javier Fernandez, Nick Filardi, and letterer Travis Lanham

Steve Epting is joined by Javier Fernandez in this issue and the two make this a gorgeous and grabbing issue. Epting’s style is well-detailed and expertly-shadowed. Fernandez compliments it with a heavily-shadowed and elaborate visual style suited work with Epting’s. Nick Filardi brings an unnerving and almost sickly color palette fitting for Year of the Villain.

Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #2 is another grabbing issue from this mini-series. We watch Lex Luthor improvise and adapt to the attack from the Infected while the Batman Who Laughs reveals how far his infiltration of our universe has come. This one definitely gets a recommendation. Feel free to give it a read.

Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #2 comes to us from writer James Tynion IV, artists Steve Epting and Javier Fernandez, color artist Nick Filardi, letterer Travis Lanham, cover artist Steve Epting, and variant cover artist Riccardo Federici.

Final Score: 8/10

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