In this corner, we have Doomsday, and the other corner, we have Superman! Who will win? And will fans feel like they are experiencing deja vu? Only this review of Superman Doomed #1 can determine that!
Written by Greg Pak, Charles Soule, and Scott Lobdell
Illustrated by Ken Lashley
Publisher: DC Comics
Previously on Superman Doomed: over 20 years ago a big grey monster behemoth punched Superman so hard that he died. Cut to today, and it looks like we’re getting ready to have a repeat of that same exact fight.
BURN BABY BURN
Any creator that would dare to take on one of comic book history’s most important stories should be a little apprehensive. Any attempt at a new take could be viewed by fans as derisive or repetitive. Thankfully, Superman Doomed #1 has enough elements to make it feel like a truly different story.
There’s a new Doomsday in town, and this one is way more powerful than any other incarnation we have ever seen. Things burn just by being near him! Why? Well, that’s never quite explained along with a long list of plot points in this issue. In fact, if you haven’t read every single issue of every Superman title that’s being published right now, you will be very lost. Like how can Doomsday just teleport at will? Why are all the citizens of Smallville in comas? Lois’s eyes can glow? With unexplained elements like these, one could make the leap that this issue is a mess, but that’s actually not the case at all.
With three different writers helming this first chapter of Superman Doomed, it could have been a train wreck. Their styles and dialogue ticks blend together in a pretty smooth way. Making it hard to tell who wrote what in this issue. Each writer does get a representation of his title though: Diana from Superman/Wonder Woman, Lois from Superman, and Lana from Action Comics. Another strength of the writing is how much this issue touches on the larger New 52 universe as a whole. The outcome of Forever Evil is revealed, Green Lantern Uprising is acknowledged, and previous issues of Batman/Superman are name dropped. It’s a nice nod to a connected continuity that has been missing from the general New 52 universe as a whole.
The issue climaxes with Superman finally taking on the elusive beast. And how does he do it? BY PUNCHING HIM TO DEATH. No joke. Doomsday disintegrates. Of course, this is going to stir up the whole Man of Steel ending argument again, by questioning the validity of having Superman kill. In this instance, I would have preferred him to find another way. He is Superman, after all. He should be the shining example of always finding the best solution.
TOO MANY LINES
Ken Lashley does a serviceable job with the art. He has some great splashes of Superman and Doomsday that provide some great dynamic angles of the hero and villain. But there are other times where the art is purely unreadable. Like Lashley was rushing and starting peppering the page with lines. These pages make the action almost impossible to follow, and that’s a bad thing as a lot of these pages are during the climactic fight.
THE BOTTOM LINE: NOT QUITE DOOMED, NOT QUITE SOARING
Superman Doomed #1 does a fine job of introducing us into this new Superman event. But too many elements are not explained or introduced in a satisfactory way. This issue definitely has its moments including the first meeting of Lana Lang and Lois Lane in the New 52. It’s definitely a different take on the whole Superman vs Doomsday storyline which is a plus. Whether this storyline is able to stick its landing or not, is a review for another day.