Last week DC Comics released the first Action Comics Special. Of course it was one of the comics I had added to my subscription, and I had to read it as soon as I got it. The issue offers three different stories, and acts as a final farewell to the previous creative team Dan Jurgens and Will Conrad.
First of all, lets talk about the cover by Conrad. Does it look at all familar to you? It really reminds me one of the first promo images that was released for Man of Steel. The colours are very similar too and it’s really effective.
The Last Will and Testament of Lexington Luthor by Dan Jurgens, WIll Conrad and Will Quintana
Lex develops a plot which uses Lois Lane as the key to getting Superman where he wants him. The plan is to discover and test Superman’s weakness, not physically with Kryptonite (for once), but psychologically and emotionally. However things aren’t as they seem as time travel is thrown into the mix, and Superman discovers a dark truth about the true culprit and their motives.
The story shows how bitter and twisted Lex Luthor can be, especially with the plan his ‘future’ self comes up with. What we have seen so far in films, really do not show Luthor for what he truly is. The closest true portrayal we have seen so far was Jesse Eisenberg in Batman V Superman, whereas the rest have seemed almost comical. That is not Lex Luthor and this story really conveys that.
The story flows smoothly, and it makes you want to read it quickly to find out what is going on – which is a good thing. However, there were a few panels that seemed a little our of place, and because of that I missed them and had to re-read the page. The artwork in this story is fantastic, the colours are realistic and aren’t too vibrant which adds a great tone. The story really ends with a great moral – don’t let hate and anger consume you”.
Suprema Est Lex by Jill Thompson, Romulo Fajardo Jr and Mark Russell
As Metropolis celebrate Superman at the Whitehouse, Lois Lane pushes Clark to present a speech to honour all of the good he has done, and also the villains he has put away. There are some funny aspects to the story, as Clark Kent is doing a public speech whilst stood in front of a huge image of Superman – I found that hilarious!
In the story, Clark takes jibs at everyone, including the Justice League, but he really seems to be publicly humiliating Lex. And to me, I don’t think that’s in his character to do that, even for Clark Kent. The speeches almost acts as a reflection on all that Lex has done and ends with Lex thinking of becoming president. This suggests that it was this speech and this moment that influenced Lex to run for presidency.
This story is extremely easy to read, and although it is out of character, it is nice to see Clark having a bit of fun and banter with the rest of the league. The artwork is much more animated in this story, which almost makes some of the characters look goofy. But with that said, it goes with the tone of the story and you can see why they made the decision to do it that way.
Driver’s Seat by Francis Manapul, Max Landis and Steve Wands
Superman stops a homemade criminal genius as he attempts the break the law for the first time. Amidst this, Lois’ long term and sentimental car is destroyed during the take down, so Superman finds a way to cheer her up.
Although this story is very short, it is my favourite – it acts as the ‘cherry on the cake’ to the issue. This story really shows Superman for what he is, and this is why I love Superman. Although there are criminals and aliens trying to take over the world, he is still a person and he still has his own life to live, and none of that gets in the way of keeping those he cares about happy. He shows mercy and compassion for all, including the criminal and really shows his softer side in this story. It shows that small gestures can go a long way.
I absolutely adore the artwork here, its quirky and I love that you can see the brushes in the artwork too. It almost gives it a watercolour effect, especially with the colour palette used, it makes it that bit more romantic. It is a really simple story, with not much action, but the art and tone really make it come to life.
Overall, the whole book is a great read for any Superman fan. However, Superman does sometimes seem to be a sideline as a majority of the book is based around Lex Luthor. But we do, of course get to see our favourite caped crusader doing what he does best.