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Superman: The Black Ring Vol. 1 (The Black Ring #1)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  905 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews

When Lex Luthor finally regained control of LexCorp, he thought he had everything he wanted. But in BLACKEST NIGHT, he briefly became an Orange Lantern and got a taste of true power. Now he'll do anything - anything - to get that power back. Buckle in for a greatest hits tour of the DCU's most wanted as Lex Luthor begins an epic quest for power, all brought to you by new o

Paperback, 160 pages
Published February 14th 2012 by DC Comics (first published April 5th 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jesse A
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
Well that was pretty dull. Also maybe don't call it Superman: Black Ring if Superman isn't even in the damned book.
Sam Quixote
Were you reading every Superman story arc in 2010/11? How about the Blackest Night storyline? ‘Cos I wasn’t and didn’t know I had to in order to understand this book! Apparently at some point in one of those arcs, Lex Luthor became an Orange Lantern (just saying that reminds me why I’m not into Green Lantern) and then he wasn’t. The Black Lanterns and their Black Rings were apparently super-powerful but then went away, for some reason (I know, if I read Blackest Night, I’d probably know - maybe ...more
Hmmmm. I thought it was a bit weird, but I'm not always aware of the goings-on in Superman's world.

Luthor is still feeling the effects of his time as an Orange Lantern, and has set out on a mission to find it's power source.
And for some reason (I must be missing a chunk of the storyline) he has an Lois Lane android as his BFF/sidekick.
Um, I'm gonna let that one go for now...

Anyhoo, he runs all over the globe doing very Insane Genius-like stuff that went waaaay over my head. I had to force myse
Oct 12, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dc
After reading Johns Green Lantern and Blackest Night where Lex Luther becomes an Orange Lantern I ran across this story that takes place after the event with Lex trying to find a way to get the power he had back. Decent premise very focused on Lex rather than Superman.
John Yelverton
Decent story, despite the fact that Superman is nowhere to be seen in his own book.
Sep 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars just for the part where Lex Luthor has a conversation with Death of the Endless. Girl, we've missed you!
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the individual issues of this incredible run (Lex Luthor: Action Comics #890-899) by Paul Cornell/Pete Woods, and still to this day, it's one of my favorite runs of all time. I'm one of those folks who truly believes that a superhero is only as good as their villains (this belief can be disputed, but at some point, heroes fade out with the fans if they're not tested) and Lex is THE villain. He's narcissistic, calculated, petty, funny, brilliant, and most importantly, he BELIEVES in what h ...more
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
I didn't love this. My favourite part was definitely the section where Lex interacts with Death the Goth Teen Girl. Otherwise, it's kind of ho-hum. What is nice is to actually have all that Luthor with no Superman, but apparently the other 'villains' he runs into are just ridiculous. Guess I have to re-examine the DC baddies. Deathstroke was good, Gorilla Grodd was ridiculous. Lex having a Lois Lane sidekick was odd but explained very well. On the whole, I think this is a little weak to have as ...more
Aug 22, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lex Luther as protagonist and default hero on a quest to garner the energy of the black power rings ( from Green Lantern storyline). The portrayal and development of Luther's character is very interesting and the 'villians' that try to derail his quest are rare characters from other story arcs-Mister Mind, Gorilla Grodd, Vandal Savage-even an appearance by Neil Gaiman's Death (from the Sandman series)!

A fun read, but I felt that I was missing some background data that kept me from fully investin
John Carter McKnight
Dr. Who screenwriter Paul Cornell delivers a near-perfect comic book arc in this tale of Lex Luthor's quest for power, with Robot Lois Lane at his side. Luthor's written as she should be, as Shakepearean king,only mad "north by northwest," and otherwise sane, brilliant, and in a way heroic. Robot Lois, of course, is pure awesome. Cornell blends humor, pathos, action, drama and mystery flawlessly. Can't wait for the second and final volume.
I really enjoyed this.
Mar 21, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel, dc
Lex Luthor goes on a quest to find the illusive Black Lantern ring and along the way he talks a lot about nothing particularly interesting.
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Well...not much happened, that's for sure. Definitely a read I could've done without!
The art is good, but it's pretty dull, and it's not a Superman book because he's not even in it. This book wastes a lot of time when Lex is "dead" and when the psychic caterpillar takes over. I'm talking pages and pages of stuff that we could've done without!
Sep 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dcu
I love when a story shows us the POV of a super-villain; a villain is the hero of their own story. And Lex Luthor is one of the greatest super-villains of all time. Following the events of Blackest Night and New Krypton and War of the Supermen, Luthor is obsessed with understanding and harnessing the power of the Black Lantern Rings. Apparently, his short-lived stint as an Orange Lantern has amplified Luthor's avaricious tendencies, and now he will stop at nothing until the secrets of the rings ...more
Apr 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: old
This is a pretty solid comic book story. The plot itself is tenuous, but the strength of the book is its great villain chemistry. Lex Luthor is finally the star of his own story, and gets pitted against a host of some of the greatest villains in the DC Universe. He even gets to meet Death of The Endless from Neil Gaiman's much-beloved Sandman series.

One of the things I love about DC comics is their use of the iconic, the way it is not only the authority and magnetism of personality but the idea
Jul 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dr. Who scribe Paul Cornell does for Lex Luthor what Warren Ellis did for Victor Von Doom in Doom 2099. Make a pretty boring one-note villain into an interesting anti-hero. I don't think Cornell did this quite as well as Ellis, but he certainly made Lex creepier. I mean the whole Lois robot thing was a tad creepy no matter how you put it. In the wake of the (hopefully) DC Comics last crisis Lex is seeking more power and has determined if he can't have the power of the orange power ring, he'll sh ...more
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
A surprisingly fun examination/deconstruction of Lex Luthor and other DC super villains. Luthor is urbane, witty, extremely intelligent, and so consumed in his narrow grasp for power (backed by his huge self ego)that you feel a tug of "if only he...," before the robot Lois Lane is introduced. How much unmined Freudian issues reside there? Mr. Mind, Captain Marvel's Venusian psychic worm villain shows up, adorable and pithily evil, and some fun jabs are taken at the overblown pomposity of comic v ...more
Mike McDevitt
Sep 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great stuff here. Lex Luthor, addicted to the rush of greed energy from the Orange Lantern Ring, has decided to put a rush on ruling the world. Along with his android girlfriend in the image of Lois Lane (eep!), he's out to locate the deadly power of the Black Lantern Rings, which have left 10 pustules on the Earth. He will confront super-villains from swordsman Deathstroke to alien caterpillar Mister Mind to immortal Vandal Savage.
There's a particularly outlandish battle with Gorilla Grodd. Th
TJ Shelby
Apr 23, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dc
The Black Ring is about a post-Blackest-Night Lex Luthor. Superman is absent in this story arc. Add in an android Lois Lane, which is somehow creepily acceptable. In their hunt for trace elements of "black ring" energy, which Luthor hopes will allow him to create his own power source and ring they run across Mister Mind, Gorilla Grodd, Vandal Savage, Death (from Neil Gaiman's Sandman) and Deathstroke.

Great scene: Gorilla Grodd tries to eat Lois Lane

James Bowman
Aug 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
(This review applies to both Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.)

A fun follow-up to Blackest Night (even though it ultimately has little to do with it), featuring Lex Luthor. The author pits Lex against many of the other big bads of the DCU, and makes him an interesting protagonist, yet he remains utterly villainous and despicable throughout. The story does lose some momentum in the second half, and I'm not sure Lex needed Darkseid or Ra's al Ghul in his backstory, but it's still a very satisfying read. (A-)
Fraser Sherman
The handling of Luthor here probably rates four stars. The story itself is so-so, a rather murky plot involving the Black Lantern rings, a robot Lois Lane and ending on a cliffhanger. And I was much less impressed with the handling of Vandal Savage and Grodd--Cornell seems to subscribe to the same view as Geoff Johns that a gorilla villain should naturally be more savage than a human, and that just ain't so.
Feather Mista
Jan 12, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Muchos
Recommended to Feather by: Autor y premisa
Muy bueno. Creo que desde All Star Superman que no me divertía tanto con Lex Luthor. La aparición de Muerte (que es la que me trajo al tomo, como supongo que habrá pasado con muchos) la verdad que es un poco gratuita pero su capítulo está tan bien escrito que no sólo no molesta, sino que da la sensación de reencontrarse con la misma Muerte que Gaiman nos hizo querer. Cuando pueda, me leo el tomo 2.
Aug 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Really enjoyed this book, a fine meshing of top quality art and writing.Paul Cornell writes the perfect Lex Luthor, capturing his insecurities, arrogance, misguided ness, hatred of Superman etc very well. Truth be told, the story itself is light, but the premise is fantastic and carries you along. In many ways, it's a valentine to the Silver Age. I love that Death appears as well, and Cornell writes her perfectly too!!
***Dave Hill
Feb 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lex Luthor can, in the right hands, be a heck of a protagonist: witty, clever, and unpredictable. That, and the guest cast of super-villains he's going up against, make this a grand story, even if it stems from the wretched ring-slinging excess of Blackest Night. Not even Death can stop Lex -- though she doesn't really try very hard ...

Some of Cornell's best work, and if Pete Woods' art is sometimes a bit stiff, it still works very well.
A fun tour around DC's super villains with Luthor. Best part of this comic is how right it gets Luthor's 'voice'. It also embraces the inherent ridiculous nature of this sort of thing, which not enough comics do.

Only thing I didn't really like was David Finch's art - he draws like he's never seen a human face - BUT he's only on the covers and Pete Woods' interior art is great.
Jan 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
I like Paul Cornell's writing and I like the idea of Lex Luthor as the star character and main focus of an ongoing Superman book like Action. But in the end, there seems to be a little something missing here. Maybe I'll feel differently after I read the second half of the storyline, which never should have been split into two TPBs really.
Jakub Rabyniuk
Jun 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shannon Appelcline
Sep 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, comics-dc
A fun book reminiscent of the super-villain team-ups of the ‘70s. Cornell offfers up a great vision of Luthor and fun interactions with other villains, all while playing joyfully with DC continuity.

I was a little less thrilled by the villain-of-the-month aspect when I read it through for the second time, but still enjoyed the book and am curious where the arc is headed.
Thomas Maluck
Nov 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dc
Really 3.5 stars, but watching Lex Luthor match (exceed) wits with DC's villains as he pursues the near-extinct black lantern rings is entertaining to a degree DC's heroes generally were not at the time.
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Paul Cornell is a British writer of science fiction and fantasy prose, comics and television. He's been Hugo Award-nominated for all three media, and has won the BSFA Award for his short fiction, and the Eagle Award for his comics. He's the writer of Saucer Country for Vertigo, Demon Knights for DC, and has written for the Doctor Who TV series. His new urban fantasy novel is London Falling, out fr ...more
More about Paul Cornell...

Other Books in the Series

The Black Ring (2 books)
  • Superman: The Black Ring Vol. 2

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