The confrontation we’ve all been waiting for is finally here. It’s been inevitable, some may say unavoidable. One things for sure, the outcome will be anything but predictable considering the participants and their history of subterfuge. Just what will the outcome be when Leviathan comes face to face with the Legion of Doom?
First up let’s take a look at the covers. Well, the main cover created by interior artist John Romita Jr unfortunately squashes any opportunity for fan theory or speculation, as the artwork depicts a united Lex Luthor and Leviathan facing down a battle weary Superman. Once again this cover feels like an interior page and on the whole just feels rather rushed. There seems to be a total absence of texture or detail on any surface whatsoever. This issue would definitely benefit from alternate cover artist, just to break it up a little.
The variant cover created by Lucio Parrillo depicts the Man Of Steel in the heart of Metropolis looking like a Greek god thanks to his ripped physique. I love the perspective this piece is ‘shot’ so to speak. It definitely captures Superman from the civilians perspective. I love this choice as it almost feels like a photograph caught on camera, and I have to say it really does resemble Tom Welling! An uncanny likeness.
Action Comics #1019 chronicles the inaugural meeting between Mark Shaw AKA Leviathan, Lex Luthor and his Legion of Doom. This meeting takes up almost the entirety of the issue. Now, for an issue that is made up predominantly of dialogue and exposition with little to no Superman, I have to say Action Comics #1019 is a very quick and entertaining read.
What I love most about this meet is that neither side ‘beat around the bush’ so to speak. Both sides are very forward regarding their goals and aspirations, not to mention the potential for an unholy alliance that could prove beneficial for both parties. Too many times I’ve seen this kind of interaction become slow paced and convoluted all thanks to the intricate machinations and one-upmanship exhibited by the characters. This is most certainly not the case as Bendis provides dialogue that really does cut to the heart of the matter, dialogue that is easily palatable.
In my opinion, DC Comics have the best villains in all of popular culture so having an issue of Action Comics feature villains predominantly is a real treat for me. Bendis allows for every character to have their moment and personality to shine through. I adore Leviathan and Luthor’s calm and collected exchange. Both these men are intricate planners who know how to play the long game.
I believe Luthor definitely admires what Leviathan has accomplished and may even respect the man. I am slightly surprised by Leviathan’s choices in this issue. Leviathan has always claimed to respect Superman and what he’s attempted to accomplish. Aligning with The Legion does seem to contradict that claim, however this certainly adds to Leviathan’s mysticism. The introduction of ‘Leviathan Island’ in this issue definitely reminds me of Bendis’ ‘Aim Island’ created for Marvel Comics.
Not only do we witness Leviathan come face to face with Lex Luthor but we also see these two masterminds confront The Red Cloud. This infamous encounter births the events that now take place inside of Shuster Park. This reverse style of storytelling really has paid off for me. This has truly been a compelling way to tell an intricate story such as this with a multitude of moving parts.
Action Comics #1019 is a riveting examination of Lex Luthor and Leviathan’s inaugural confrontation. These two pivotal antagonists who are larger than life characters really needed an issue all to themselves to meet and for that meeting to evolve naturally. Thanks to this superstar creative team, that’s what these characters got and more importantly deserved. John Romita Jr’s artwork does feel slightly rushed at times, however Brad Anderson’s expert colours work really well in tandem with Klaus Janson’s inks to make every page feel vibrant and full of energy. The creative team of Bendis and John Romita Jr have now successfully reverse engineered the battle of Shuster Park all except for how it ends. This certainly has me anticipating the next installment of Action Comics.
Haven’t picked up your issue yet? You can pick up your copy of the standard cover by John Romita Jr here (UK), or here (US). Or if you prefer the variant cover by Lucio Parrillo, you can get that here.