The most amazing aspect of Action Comics #1000 is that DC Comics stepped back and just let its most creative people create. With “The Fifth Season” by Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque, the duo understands what core elements make up Lex Luthor, and gives the reader the best aspects of Luthor’s character.
The most significant aspect of Luthor is his conversation. In the five-page story by Snyder, Luthor and Superman simply have a conversation at the Smallville Planetarium. In a static image, it is very difficult to express how smart a person is. When you add Snyder’s dialogue with Albuquerque’s style, Luthor becomes the super genius we know him to be. The conversation by Luthor reminds me of Francis Underwood’s speeches in House of Cards. You get sucked in by the performance, and you don’t realize the man just stole all of your money. Snyder’s Luthor has a captivating charisma that is pure evil.
Side note: It’s extremely scary how similar Snyder’s Luthor and Batman are, with their calm demeanor.
Albuquerque is a great change of pace artist compared to Superman’s traditional look. Albuquerque demonstrates how far the medium has evolved and potential boundaries that need to be pushed. The opening panel sets the stage for the story and gives the reader the main focus. The action in this short story is non-existent but the panels still have movement and the planetarium backdrop gives the story epic scope.
The first thought that shot through my brain after reading “The Fifth Season” was Elijah Price’s description of villains in M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable.
In a comic, you know how you can tell who the arch-villain’s going to be? He’s the exact opposite of the hero. And most times they’re friends, like you and me! – Mr. Glass
When you’re reading a comic book and you have Samuel L. Jackson to help narrate the book, you know that you’ve made a connection with the story.
Overall, the tone of “The Fifth Season” is what makes the story stand out. It’s dark and optimistic all at the same time as you feel compassion for Superman’s nemesis.
What did you think of Action Comics #1000? Comment below.