Some of the most unexpected and unique comics crossovers in recent years haven't pitted superheroes against the rest of their kind. Instead, it's seen the bright and zany antics of the Looney Tunes brought into the DC Universe. Many of the stories have pitted members of both groups against one another or forced them to reluctantly work together.
One special however showcased the tragedy of trusting the wrong person, and that sometimes there isn't such a thing as a second chance. As ridiculous as it sounds, Lex Luthor/Porky Pig is a sharp piece of social commentary that brings the stuttering pig into the DC Universe.
WHEN LEX MET PORKY
Beginning in 2017, there were been multiple crossover titles between the DC Universe and the Looney Tunes. Warner Bros. owns both companies, and DC already publishes Looney Tunes comics, which means that the crossovers were always somewhat feasable. Each issue works as a stand-alone crossover, and features two stories: One is a short and sweet comedy about the DC heroes and villains trapped in a Looney Tunes universe. These stories are typically just played for laughs. The other story is told within the DC Universe, and creates versions of the Looney Tunes who could actually exist with other DC characters, such as Superman, Batman and Wonder woman.
These stories have been fundamentally bizarre, and seem to actually take place in the current continuity, especially given references to them in Tom King's Batman run. Batman has confronted a hitman modeled after Elmer Fudd, Martian Manhunter has been forced to contend with a destructive Marvin the Martian, and Wonder Woman was revealed to have befriended a mythological version of the Tazmanian Devil. Each of the specials has found a common ground to connect the characters from both universes, whether that's in the tone of the subjects to a shared story thread. The most surprising though might be Lex Luthor/Elmer Fudd.
Hard Knock Life
Written by Mark Russell (who similarly infused The Flintstones with comedy and commentary on modern culture) and drawn by Brad Walker with colors by Andrew Dalhouse, Lex Luthor/Porky Pig opens with a despondent Porky Pig in a dark place. He'd briefly become a major CEO with a cryptocurrency called PorkyBux, but a hacking scandal eventually forced him out of the company. Porky's status as a pig being a pig rarely raises any eyebrows, since this is already a world where talking gorillas secretly have a major African city-state.
Abandoned by his girlfriend and forced to work as a waiter to make ends meet, Porky is shocked when one of the customers turns out to be Lex Luthor. Luthor remembers Porky from the news and tells the pig that he believes a "risk-taker" such as Porky could be a strength for LexCorp. He makes Porky his new director of social media (even though he has no experience working within social media) specifically for Lex's upcoming social media platform, Lexema. Following Lex's model of accepting any person who'd otherwise been kicked off other social media platforms, Lexema and by extension, Porky quickly became a success.
That's All, Folks
Things take a turn when Porky finds out someone is stealing food from the office breakroom. Seeing a chance to actually do something instead of just sitting around while his team does all the work, Porky throws himself into the investigation. trying multiple ways to catch the thief. However, none of his plans ever work.
This completely distracts Porky, who is completely unaware that Luthor had secretly teamed up with Doctor Sivana and Doctor Ivo to use Lexema as a service to control the sale of specific cancer medication. Luthor even uses it as an opportunity to steal the passwords and personal information of every member of the website.
Eventually, Porky's workers realized that it was Lex Luthor stealing the sandwiches. Demanding Porky do something, they threatened to all quit otherwise. But Porky didn't have it in him to confront the man who'd given him a second chance. Instead, Porky laid the blame on Hector, the kindly janitor instead.Porky was disgusted with himself but somewhat appeased when Lex thanks him for all his hard work by promoting him to Vice President of Online Operations. However, it turns out he only did so, and only ever hired Porky in the first place, to serve as a fall guy when Luthor was brought to Congress to answer for all the shady dealings going through Lexema.
The story ends with Porky in prison for a crime which he didn't know he was culpable of, while Luthor escaped free and clear. The only consolation for Porky is the book deal he's received after the fact, allowing him to tell his story and warn others about what the kindness of Lex Luthor will get you.