Mild Mannered Reviews – Action Comics Special #1

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Action Comics Special #1

Scheduled to arrive in stores: May 2, 2018

Cover date: July 2018

Writers: Dan Jurgens, Mark Russell, and Max Landis
Artists: Will Conrad, Jill Thompson, and Francis Manapul
Cover: Will Conrad and Ivan Nunes

Reviewed by: Mario Bennese

Click to enlarge

Much like Action Comics #1000, this issue features multiple stories. They are as follows:

The Last Will and Testament of Lex Luthor:

Superman battles Lex Luthor from 70 years in the future. The alliance between Superman and Lex comes to an end.

Suprema Est Lex:

A brief recap of Lex’s rise to power.

Driver’s Seat:

Superman stops a robbery, provides the robber with a chance for redemption, and helps Lois feel a little better about her first car being destroyed in said robbery.

3Story – 3: Overall, this is a pretty solid collection of Superman stories. I prefer the first and last stories to Suprema Est Lex. The Last Will and Testament of Lex Luthor is supposed to serve as the conclusion to Jurgens’ run. Taking up the majority of the book, this is clearly supposed to be the story the reader is supposed to focus on. I’m not sure where this takes place in the timeline as the costume change has already occurred, but this definitely felt like a Superman story. I’m interested in seeing where they take Lex beyond him returning to his evil, self-serving ways.

Suprema Est Lex was just okay. The story itself was serviceable, but its attempted Luthor/Trump comparison is thinly veiled and a trifle uninspired. Outside of weak political commentary, there just isn’t much going on in the story worth commenting on.

Driver’s Seat was a surprisingly enjoyable story. I don’t particularly care for Max Landis as a person or a writer. He comes off as if he’s the only person who has a fraction of a clue on how to write Superman properly, and when he’s given the chance, manages to botch the whole thing and tell a story so un-Superman it’s painfully difficult to attempt finishing (see Superman: American Alien). Here, however, it seems Landis has taken some time to reacquaint himself with the character and presents a version of Superman that is every bit believable and idealistic as we like him to be. I could see this little story showing up in a collection of modern Superman classics.

4Art – 4: With three different stories come three different artists. Again, Suprema Est Lex proves to be the weakest link with art looking like it came directly from the sketchbook of an amateur artist. Will Conrad and Francis Manapul turn in great work, with Manapul’s being my favorite of the two. Manapul’s work gives off a slight Superman: For All Seasons vibe that really works with the type of story that it’s paired with.

4Cover Art – 4: The cover itself is well-drawn and looks intriguing enough with Lex’s armor casting a shadow over our hero. Still not a fan of the reliance on heat vision angry eyes to sell Superman, but I don’t see that trend dying anytime soon.

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