This article was updated on November 16, 2023.
The current limited series Superman: The Last Days of Lex Luthor is one of the best Superman storylines in recent memory - but memory is something we'll need if we want to appreciate the ending.
On November 10, DC announced that the second issue of the series originally scheduled for September, then rescheduled for December, isn't coming anytime soon. The publisher informed retailers that all orders for the second issue have been canceled, and that they don't want to commit to a new release date (it's third) for the time being.
"Superman: The Last Days of Lex Luthor #2 will be re-solicited for release at a future date," reads DC's statement to retailers.
On November 17 however, DC had a new Superman: The Last Days of Lex Luthor #2 release date for retailers: March 12, 2024.
As a reminder, Superman: The Last Days of Lex Luthor #1 came out on July 25, 2023.
Superman: The Last Days of Lex Luthor #1 was well received - so much that DC ran short on copies and announced plans for a second printing. That second printing has also been canceled.
So what's going on? Back when issue #2's first delay was announced in September, artist Bryan Hitch said DC's announced schedule wasn't realistic and it set him him and his collaborators as fall guys.
"I was certainly surprised it was solicited, let alone published as, then, Kevin was maybe 4 pages into a 48 page issue 2 and I hadn't done more than about 20 pages of it myself and couldn't for months still."
At the time, Hitch said he believed it was unrealistically scheduled for it to "fall into some financial quarter/year or period," and that the schedule made him and the other artists on the book "look a bit lagging behind when it's really nobody's fault."
Hitch's concerns are well-founded. His highly detailed artwork doesn't easily fit into the monthly release schedule most comic publishers like, leading to numerous occasions where highly popular series he's drawn such as The Authority, The Ultimates, and JLA were delayed or employed replacement artists that couldn't live up to the adoration we have for Hitch's signature style.
At the time of these quotes however (September 30), Hitch estimated he'd be finished drawing all three issues of Superman: The Last Days of Lex Luthor by now (early November), but that the inking, coloring, lettering, and editing would mean #2 an #3 wouldn't come out until 2024.
"I really appreciate it never looks good when books are delayed but the delays here look worse because issue one came out too soon really, from our p.o.v. It's been sitting with me since early 2021 and I'm glad I'm getting to finish it the way we want to."
Popverse has reached out to DC for comment.
Superman: The Last Days of Lex Luthor #2 is now on schedule for a March 12, 2024 release.
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