In the latest issue of Superman: Red and Blue, one of the Man of Steel’s greatest enemies officially retires the deadliest weapon in his arsenal.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for “Patience…” from Superman: Red and Blue #2 written and illustrated by Dan Panosian, on sale now.
Many villains have tried to destroy Superman with an array of weapons over the years. Doomsday, himself, is a walking weapon of mass destruction; Darksied used the forces of Apokolips; Mongul has used his War World; and Brainiac has tried a variety of schemes to rid reality of the Man of Steel. However, Kal-El of Krypton always finds a way to overcome, whether it’s relying on his inner strength or his teammates in the Justice League.
And in a story in Superman: Red and Blue #2, the Man of Steel’s greatest enemy, Lex Luthor, becomes so frustrated with trying to kill Kal-El that he retires the deadliest weapon he has in his arsenal and goes back to the drawing board.
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“Patience…” focuses on Lex Luthor’s continuous efforts to harness red kryptonite as a weapon. Famous for its truly unpredictable results on Kryptonian physiology. red kryptonite has been part of Superman’s world since Otto Binder and George Papp introduced in in 1958. His lab knows the effects can be unpredictable so they’ve refined it to take Kal-El’s powers away, thinking for sure they’ve got it figured out. Lex first imbues a robot with the deadly weapon in an effort to stop Superman, but the hero improvises and uses heat vision to fry Lex’s war machine from a safe distance.
Lex later tries to use the red kryptonite against Superman by was of a hand-gun that corrects the previous issue. The further away Kal-El is, the more penetrative the blast, but once more the quick-thinking Man of Steel shows he can outwit and outthink Lex. He uses super-speed during the villain’s speech, jams the gun up close with his finger and blows it up.
Finally, Lex challenges Kal-El to a boxing match, and while the villain’s red kryptonite gloves do take away the hero’s powers, he still retains his experience, which proves to be enough to knock the tyrant out. Lex is stunned, having no clue that Superman would pose such a significant challenge without the benefit of his powers.
Ultimately, Lex sends the red kryptonite back to the storage outside Metropolis. He’s learned the hard way that Superman doesn’t just depend on his physical prowess; he’s just as much brains as he is brawn.
All these losses take their toll on Lex’s ego and he retires the weapon, choosing to go back to the drawing board and contemplate an all-new strategy. Although the villain will never admit it, this is a testament to Kal-El’s resilience and how much more capable he is than his lifelong nemesis with or without his powers.
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