Action Special #1
Action #1000 was a celebration of Superman, his history, his character, and what he represents as a iconic superhero. This issue is also a celebration of Lex Luthor.
Story #1 Lex Luthor’s “Dark Secret Revealed”
Written by, Dan Jurgens
Art by, Will Conrad
Colors by, Will Quintana
Letters by, Rob Leigh
This story is about Lex’s obsession with Superman’s superhero status, and the fame he obtained from being the Man of Steel. The story begins with future Lex investigating and stealing from the Fortress of Solitude. It transitions to a present-day story, which involves a character who is equally obsessed with destroying Superman. The character, whose identity remains a mystery until the end, fires missiles at an airplane to kill Lois, which Superman blocks but draws him into the crosshairs of a man operating an armored suit with Lexcorp/Krypton technology. What makes this interesting is not the technology the character uses to attack Superman but a line Superman says to Lois prior to her entering the airplane to fly to Paris: My greatest fear is that they would target you.
In the end, (spoilers) we learn that the character from the future is Lex Luthor, 70 years in the future. Superman is alarmed with Lex’s continued obsession with his fame and notoriety gained from being a superhero. The future Luthor dies in his armor after it explodes. The present-day Lex asks Superman who that was? Superman refuses to tell him. This intrigues me because in a way Superman is protecting Lex. Perhaps he didn’t want Lex to give up on trying to be a different person thinking that the future was inevitable. The art and colors were great, Superman is muscular and strong. Lex is sultry and evil, even in how his face holds emotions.
Overall = 8.5/10
Story #2 “Last Will and Testament of Lex Luthor”
Written by Mark Russell
Art by, Jill Thompson
Colors by, Romalo Fajardo
Letters by, Rob Leigh
The story begins: Lex is in a limousine on his way to an awards dinner. While he rides, he thinks about his childhood and how hard he had to work to achieve what he has in life. At the awards dinner, Lois Lane is the initial speaker. She roasts a member of the audience with good-natured jokes. When she finishes, she reassures Clark that he can do the same by saying, “Only a psychopath is incapable of laughing at themselves.” The statement is made with Lex in mind and a foreshadowing of his inevitable response. Clark makes several jokes about Lex’s failure to ever defeat Superman and his status as a “second-rate” villain. However, the most cutting statement has to do with Lex’s privileged status, his upbringing void of struggles, leading to an adult life as an accomplished billionaire. These jokes cut to the heart of Lex’s perception of himself as an overcomer and an underdog. The psychological nature of this story is spot on and biting! This story is better than any included in the Action #1000 special, with the exception of “The Car”, by Geoff Johns.
Overall = 10/10
Story #3 “Drivers Seat”
This story is another gem, more enjoyable then most of the stories in the Action #1000. The art is amazing. It’s a cross between Nicola Scott (Black Magic) and Mitch Gerads (Mister Miracle). The colors are bright with a chalky tone. The outlines capture the stature of individuals, the faces are a combination of sharp lines and lines that are smudged creating incredibly sharp sense of proximity.
Lois is in a car accident. Clark Kent arrives to support her. They ride home together in relative silence. Lois mourns the loss of her car. Clark makes it up to her by wearing an elf’s hat and taking her on a flight as Superman – in a car seat removed from Lois’ totaled car.
The story is romantic – not because of the ending as much as by the tone – Lois and Clark are depicted as average citizens, slogging through what average people have to deal with. The loneliness and grief, mixed with relief, is felt. The relief at the end has to do with Clark’s empathy and compassion not by his ability to fly. I highly recommend this special edition. The stories were of the highest quality.
Overall = 10/10