I read Superman # 15 based on Trekker's
recommendation and...amazingly enough found myself liking it. The art work as usually with Kenneth Bocafort is simply stunning. I love this man's work. The writing is typical Scott Lobdell, only he seems to be actually writing an actual arc here which is surprising, and his characterization of Superman is bang on, same with Superboy, and Luthor. I absolutely love New 52 Lex Luthor. Trekker was right as, the issue implied that there has obviously been additional major conflicts between Lex and Superman and even one where Clark was I assume close to killing Lex since he has scars.
I also notice that we may have an explanation for Superman and Superboy's presence on Krypton as Clark mentions H'el wants to go back in time. The only thing I didn't like was the monologue about Clark's feelings about Diana. They've not spent that much time together, I'd hardly call her his "beloved". I did like the mention that only Batman knows about them
Rao...I might continue with this book.
The going theory I've been seeing is that Lex managed to push Supes to the very brink of his moral limits where he shot at Lex with a blast of heat vision, possibly with the intent to kill him, and Lex survived with the heavy scars. So Lex now represents to Superman how far he's gone against his own moral code of not killing. Superman's visit to Lex wasn't so much about getting information but seeing this side of himself again to conclude if he can go that far again should he need to kill H'El. In the start of this arc we see Superman shirtless from behind and even see he has some scars are his back/shoulder blades. Possibly also due to the encounter. (Heavy enough where they've either not healed at all due to Superman's powers, or are taking a long time to heal. Though when we see this Superman has been underground for sometime testing his limits for a Dr. Veritas (sp?) and has drained his "solar battery" so it's possible the encounter was "recent" to that event and his body was still trying to heal.
Liked the use of Superboy in this issue (if it wasn't clear, H'El almost killed Superboy since he's an abomination (clone of Superman and a human) but Superman saved his life, but Superboy is currently wearing Superman's Kryptonian Armor to "heal." Leaving Superman to his old jeans/t-shirt costume.
I've seen others take issued with the "beloved" bit from WW too, but it didn't bother me as much. The two have more of a history together than just what we've seen since their kiss in the JL book (#11?) which started their current romantic interests. It's possible, at least for her, it's been "love at first blush", the kiss sealing her feelings towards Supes.
I look forward to any future issues that does deal, directly, with the previous encounter between Superman and Lex. The art in the book does continue to be really, really, good. I didn't like it at first when this artist started but I've grown to like it. At first it seemed too rough and sketchy, sort of like story boards or costume/wardrobe sketches. But I've grow to really like the quality it has.
But, man, the highlight of this book is clearly the use of Lex and how he comes across. I mean, wow. This is the best version of Lex Luthor I think I've seen (including print AND film/TV) in a very, very long time.