The war between good and evil between Superman and Lex Luthor has so centralized the debate in the DC Universe that everyone has to side with one or the other.
Past runs of the One-Star Squadron series have seen the “heroes for hire” company Heroz4U lose Superman’s support. This was a blow to the company, as a word from the Man of Tomorrow caused the Hall of Justice to withdraw their support as well. Suddenly, the struggling hero company was a pariah and the board wanted to sell it immediately. While it looked like it would simply be sold to another interested party, the reality is much worse and shows just how polarized the DC Universe is.
Last month’s magazine revealed a heartwarming story about how serious a hero was about finding a buyer for Heroz4U. It turned out to be a lie. One-Star Squadron #5 (by Mark Russell, Steve Lieber, Dave Stewart and Dave Sharpe) revealed that the small company looking to buy, the one that praised Minute-Man, was just a front owned by Lex Luthor.
We learn that Superman had withdrawn his support and Heroz4U had been put up for sale as a result, Luthor saw an opportunity. He intended to use the innocent app to spy on DC heroes, using Minute-Man as his henchman. He almost had a number of powerful heroes in his pocket. If Minute-Man hadn’t set the world on fire, the likes of Red Tornado and Plastic Man would have been at his mercy.
Plus, from being Lex Luthor who is Lex Luthor. It’s an example of the power dynamics of the DC Universe: Superman and Lex Luthor. These two characters, and bitter enemies, have been a staple of the DCU for years. They are, for many, the essence of good versus evil. So much so, that in order to not be on one’s side, you have to be on the other’s side. This is exactly what happened here. As soon as Heroz4U no longer had the altruistic Man of Steel on his side, he was forced into the arms of the evil Luthor.
There are dark areas that heroes are forced to confront, especially those who struggle like Heroz4U. This is illustrated by Red Tornado’s difficult choice when he finds out what Minute-Man has done at the end of this issue. However, it is also shown that a world where heroes and villains clash so openly and so often is a world where there are only two options – good and evil – and absolutely no in-between.