Superman: Doomed - A New Superman Versus Doomsday Event

One of the things I don’t mind and actually appreciate is that comic books have advertisements for other story events.  This new Superman versus Doomsday match-up would’ve been missed had I not seen this in Futures End #1.  Seeing the page with Doomsday’s glowing red eyes made me want to do some current research on him.  Everyone knows he’s the monstrosity that killed Superman all the way back in 1993’s Superman vol. 2 #75.  But what happened to Doomsday in the current New 52 reboot?  It turns out that Superman’s iconic death is not canon to the New 52.  Implied by Charles Soule, writer of Superman / Wonder Woman, in an article by Newsrama, Doomsday never killed Superman and the events of that past never happened.  The showdown between the two will be coming!

So far, Doomsday has only made appearances in two New 52 series — namely the “Villains Month” Doomsday #1 one-shot (Batman/Superman #3.1) and Superman / Wonder Woman.  To kick off this new battle, DC has released preludes.  They are then diving into the meat-and-potatoes of superhuman destruction with a four-part crossover event that kicks off with Superman: Doomed #1.

Preludes:

  • Action Comics #30 (April 2, 2014)
  • Superman / Wonder Woman #7 (April 9, 2014)
  • Superman #30 (April 23, 2014)

Crossover Event:

  • Superman: Doomed #1 (May 14, 2014)
  • Action Comics #31 (May 14, 2014)
  • Superman / Wonder Woman #8 (May 14, 2014)
  • Superman #31 (May 28, 2014)

Without further ado, let’s see how DC has started to whet our appetites with…

Action Comics #30

Writer: Greg Pak

Artists: Aaron Kuder, Jed Dougherty, Karl Kerschl

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Spoiler-Free Reaction

For the people who go “aww” whenever they see the Coke commercial with the polar bears, you guys will shed a tear at the beginning.  As a first prelude, this issue does a good job in setting a stage for a different type of Doomsday — one that could possibly be even more dangerous than past incarnations.

Plot Details and Spoilers and Deaths:  Oh My!

Poor polar bears.  That’s all I have to say.  The issue starts off with Doomsday killing a bunch of polar bears.  They didn’t even stand a chance.  Tower Control is observing Doomsday’s actions from a distance.  Doomsday spots two civilians.  They run, but Doomsday ignores them.  Suddenly, he stomps down on an iceberg effectively killing the two civilians and allowing himself to submerge into the arctic waters.  Tower Control makes the observation that Doomsday wasn’t targeting the civilians.  He inadvertently killed them when he found the quickest way into the water.  Tower Control notes that Doomsday is planning something and it may not be the Doomsday we’ve all come to know.

Superman, miffed, flies at super-speed dragging Ghost Soldier (Leonard Sawyer) behind him.  Inside Superman’s head, we get an idea of how he’s controlling his temper.  His father taught him to control his anger by counting to ten and then starting over again.  Superman’s at ten-thousand.  Reaching Tower Control, Superman detects zero heartbeats which allows him to assault them with his freeze-breath.  He throws Ghost Soldier through Tower Control’s building and proceeds to incinerate all of their equipment.  Superman’s interrupted by the lone heartbeat of their female commander, Harrow.  She playfully questions his aggression.  Superman lists out the things her soldiers have done: trying to kill Wonder Woman, sending drones to shoot up Baka and slaughtering innocent creatures in Subterranea.  Harrow reasons back with her own list of things that point towards Superman endangering the world when he always tries to do good for everyone and everything.  Harrow wants the job of protecting humanity to be hers and commands Superman to leave.  He refuses.

In a fit of rage, Harrow unleashes enslaved spirits from past wars.  Superman fights them at first, but their hate and anger are too powerful.  He counters the spirits by not fighting at all.  It gets their attention and they revolt against Harrow, their true enemy.  Seeing her minions turn on her, she essentially kills them by “releasing” them.  Superman is given the option of ending Harrow but chooses not to do so.  He extends Harrow an olive branch by offering to work together.  She throws it back in his face and states that his behavior only confirms her evaluation of him.  He’s unable to make the tough decisions.  And because of that, Superman will destroy the world he loves.

In the Mariana Trench, Tower Control has been observing Doomsday in some sort of underwater incubation pod adorned with bony spikes and fleshy material.  They state that it’s time to wake Doomsday.

Wrapping It Up

Not a bad start.  There’s instant action and conflict presented to Superman.  I liked his internal monologue.  Much of Harrow’s speech to Superman seemed like a foreshadowing of future events to come.  What really caught my interest in this issue was Doomsday acting a bit different from past stories.  What is he planning?  Is he even capable of plans?  And what in the world is that spiky pod he’s in?  Maybe we’ll find out in…

Superman / Wonder Woman #7

Writer: Charles Soule

Artists: Paulo Siqueira, Barry Kitson, Eddy Barrows

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Spoiler-Free Reaction

I really didn’t like this issue.  It started to gain some momentum going towards the middle, but the plot was too muddled with a lovesick Superman and Wonder Woman.  The manner in which Doomsday attacks even seemed uninspired and predictable.

Plot Details and Spoilers and Deaths:  Oh My!

This issue acts as a flashback to Action Comics #30.  We start with Superman and Wonder Woman gazing into each other’s eyes.  They reminisce about the day of the nuclear blast alluded to in #30.

In the South Pacific, Superman has Wonder Woman wrapped in his cape.  He’s bony and withered.  The guy looks like Christian Bale in The Machinist AFTER a juice-cleanse.  Yeah, Superman looks bad.  Wonder Woman isn’t in such great condition either.  Nonetheless, she musters up enough strength to find a downed spaceship and fires a beam into the sky to break up the clouds.  She’s trying to get her man some solar nourishment.  A ray of sunshine barely hits Superman’s hand when Ghost Soldiers appear and blast Wonder Woman.  The soldiers disappear and we find out why Superman and Wonder Woman set off a nuclear explosion.  They were trying to re-seal Zod and Faora back into the Phantom Zone.  Superman and Wonder Woman combine their flight abilities so that Superman can get a full dose of sunshine.  As the sun’s rays hit him, Superman writhes in pain.  He absorbed too much radiation from the nuclear blast.  However painful, Superman vows to get Wonder Woman to a place she can heal.  Superman takes Wonder Woman to Hessia, an older Amazonian healer.  As Hessia begins her work, Superman flies back to the Fortress of Solitude where he retires to a healing bed.

Six miles down the Mariana Trench, Tower Control’s submarine attempts to wake Doomsday from his behemoth of a pod.  As they commence electro-stimulation, Doomsday erupts out.  He’s greeted by a giant great white shark that proceeds to swallow him in one bite.  Suddenly, Doomsday bursts through the shark’s side in a bloody mess.  The submarine is given orders by Tower Control’s upper levels to apprehend Doomsday.  We all know how this is going to turn out.  With one strike, Doomsday breaks the submarine into two fiery halves.

Back to the present, Superman and Wonder Woman are flying above London.  She reveals to him that she has become the new God of War.  Superman questions if it’s now her purpose to make more war.  Wonder Woman says that war is an idea and that she can now feel it and understand it.  Her goal is to change the idea and perception of war.  Wonder Woman lightens the mood and suggests taking Superman to one of her favorite places: a dance club.  They arrive as Clark Kent and Diana Prince.  As Diana goes off to dance, Clark is informed that he’s the first guy she’s brought to the club.

Meanwhile, Doomsday punches through the ocean’s surface to signify his rise.

Wrapping It Up

This issue could very well be the weakest of the three preludes.  The reader seems to be hit over the head with too much romance between Superman and Wonder Woman.  I understand that Superman / Wonder Woman #7 is supposed to finish up a story arc involving Zod and Faora, but this was very anti-climactic.  Another thing that bothered me was how Tower Control was handled.  In Action Comics #30, they seemed interesting.  The Ghost Soldiers and Harrow, their commander, gave Superman some conflict and acted in a more ruthless manner.  Here, I couldn’t believe how naive they were.  The attempt to apprehend Doomsday after he woke up was such a laughable plan.  Doomsday’s attack against them was predictable.  If Tower Control had been observing Doomsday, what made them think they could just bring him in?  Let’s see if we get back to some more action and compelling mysteries in…

Superman #30

Writer: Scott Lobdell

Artists: Ed Benes, Andy Kubert

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Spoiler-Free Reaction

Definitely an improvement over Superman / Wonder Woman #7.  Though jarring at times because not every story and location is given enough story real estate, you can definitely see that they’re introducing a bunch of ideas that will play out in the crossover.  This issue is definitely the biggest teaser of the three.

Plot Details and Spoilers and Deaths:  Oh My!

A newlywed couple spends a romantic evening on the beach in the Bahamas.  In a matter of moments, the water around them ferociously boils and consumes them.

In Smallville, Senator Samuel Lane’s presence has been requested.  The problem?  The entire town has lapsed into a coma.  S.T.A.R. Labs and the military are on-site with no clue of what’s happening.  They hope Lane’s dealings with past anomalies will help them in this matter.  Superman makes a surprise entrance and uses his x-ray vision to assist in the investigation, but finds nothing.  Lane then mentions to Superman if he had seen the crop circles while flying into Smallville.

Superman takes off for an aerial view of the fields.  He notices that the crop circles are actually Kryptonian glyphs spelling the same word: “doom.”  He suspects that this might be Doomsday trying to hurt him through the people of Smallville.  Detecting a presence, Superman crashes through one of the silos to investigate.  He loses all his powers upon entering and is greeted by the Eradicator of Krypton.  The Eradicator tells Superman that all planets, before they die of natural causes, will give birth to their own Eradicators.  Eradicators are responsible for helping their planets move toward their ultimate destiny.  The reason the Eradicator of Krytpon did not die with its planet is because it was on Earth when Krypton ceased to exist.  The Eradicator goes on to warn Superman that Earth will die a brutal death — mountains falling, oceans boiling and people drowning in blood.  Superman attempts to reaffirm Doomsday’s involvement in these future events.  However, the Eradicator blames Superman for the future demise of Earth and throws him into space.  As the Eradicator disappears, Superman contacts Cyborg to relay important information to the Justice League.

At the Daily Planet, Lois acts strangely.  Her brain has been psionically linked to a twelfth-level intellect known as the Collector of Worlds — Brainiac.

In the Fortress of Solitude, Superman scans for geographic anomalies around the world.  Immersed in his work, he doesn’t notice the citizens in the bottled city of Kandor becoming agitated.  Meanwhile, Cyborg contacts Superman only to give him the news that an island in the Bahamas is dead.  We see the island with toppled buildings consumed in flames.

Wrapping It Up

What can I say?  Teasers, teasers, and more teasers.  We have a dead island in the Bahamas, Smallville in a coma, and Lois Lane under the control of Brainiac.  If that wasn’t enough, we have the people in the bottled city of Kandor rioting like Canadians after a hockey game.  I’m certainly ready for these plotlines to be played out.  Perhaps they’ll continue in…

Just kidding!  We’re done here.  See you when the gloves come off between the Man of Steel and the Ultimate Destroyer.

Tags: Brainiac Comics Cyborg DC Doomsday Faora Ghost Soldier Harrow Hessia Kandor Metropolis Sam Lane Smallville Superman Tower Control Wonder Woman Zod

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