Action Comics Special #1
Written by: Dan Jurgens, Mark Russell, Max Landis.
Art by: Will Conrad, Jill Thompson, Francis Manapul.
Colour by: Wil Quintana, Romulo Fajardo Jr
While this is a “Superman” story, this particular issue focuses on one of his greatest villains who, in a way, defined who he is and has shaped him in more ways than one. I’m talking about Lex Luthor, who’s featured in two out of three stories presented in this special, his relationship with the Man of Steel, and how he sees himself and his role in the world.
The first story is The Last Will and Testament of Lex Luthor, written by Dan Jurgens with art by Will Conrad and colour by Wil Quintana. This story makes us feel like the beginning of something bigger and spectacular, with colours and style much like we’ve seen in Action Comics, brilliant, bold and genuine, making each page the best it can be.
The Last Will and Testament of Lex Luthor presents Superman with one of his biggest fears and its ramifications, while also putting him face-to-face with an enemy who has a hate for Superman that runs deeper than both could’ve guessed.
This is a story about reflection, about bringing the past back to the present, and to question oneself about what it all means. I truly believe Jurgens still had a lot left to tell about Superman, and this story gives us a glimpse of what things could’ve been. His story is a standalone that feels like so much more.
Following it, we have Suprema est Lex, written by Mark Russell, art by Jill Thompson and colours by Romulo Fajardo Jr, three excellent people to show us a story about Lex’s inner monologue.
All of our favourite characters are present in the White House Press Correspondents Annual Dinner, how fitting, where Superman will be awarded for his humanitarian work. Something which doesn’t work well with Luthor as he sits reflecting about his life, his choices, his father, and how he became the man he is today.
It’s about Lex’s hate for Superman, that in a way relates to what the past story is about. The meaning is all the same, but told by different styles and manners. Thompson’s style feels more… close to the heart that can be both dark and light in the panels that we’re reading.
But, to finish this issue, we have the third story, Driver’s Seat, a sweet Christmas tale, written by Max Landis, with art by Francis Manapul.
This story is just about Superman on a Christmas Eve, saving Lois and showcasing the traditional crime-fighting spectacular against a mugger with stolen flight technology.
The art feels like it was crafted with watercolours, and the story is just a sweet little note of the big blue boyscout. The story serves as a reminder that his relationship with Lois is just as important as with any other character Superman interacts with in the DC mythos.
Maybe this issue won’t be remembered as one of Action Comics’ greatest ones, but all-in-all, Action Comics Special #1 earns a good ole’ 7 out of 10 in making us wait for what’s coming next.
And just to remind you, while on the cover Superman’s trunks are nowhere to be seen, they are back and are here to stay!