Writers: Scott Lobdell, Greg Pak, Charles Soule
Artist: Ken Lashley
In the last prelude, Superman #30, the Man of Steel was dealing with a range of mysteries – a comatose Smallville, the Eradicator warning Superman of Superman’s destruction of Earth, Lois being taken over by Brainiac, the Bahamas on fire, and the people in the bottled city of Kandor getting riled up. Let’s see if any of these things are resolved in this one-shot.
Lots of action from start to finish. There were some interesting revelations about Doomsday and some of the mysteries seem to be converging. Definitely an enjoyable issue with some nice artwork by Lashley.
Plot Details and Spoilers and Deaths: Oh My!
Fighter jets scramble to the Bahamas to contain Doomsday, but are instantly taken down. Superman comes to the rescue and is able to save three pilots. Bringing them to the safety of an aircraft carrier, Superman sees, first-hand, Doomsday’s destructive powers – the pilots are left with severe burns just being in close proximity to Doomsday.
Superman heads to the Fortress of Solitude where he communicates with Dr. Shay Veritas to find out how Doomsday is teleporting all over the world. The conversation leads to a theory that the Doomsday he had previously fought may have been a larva. This new Doomsday is much more mature and emits so much energy that the ocean boiled when he emerged. Superman debates if Doomsday is sentient. Still being the boy scout we all know, he cannot fathom the thought of killing a sentient being.
At the Daily Planet, Clark talks to Perry in subtext. Seeing Perry as a guiding father-figure, Clark wants to know whether to kill Doomsday or not. Perry thinks it’s just a conversation about journalism ethics. The conversation ends with Perry putting Clark’s mind at ease — the fact that Clark is even asking these questions means that he won’t compromise his goodness by doing the right thing.
In Smallville, Lana and Lois have joined forces to investigate the reasons behind the mass coma. Lana discovers her comatose parents and contacts Clark for support while Lois, still under Brainiac’s control, reports the situation back to her new master.
Visiting his niece in Zambia, John Henry (Steel) witnesses Doomsday’s mass killing of wildebeests in neighboring Botswana. John dons his Steel gear and faces off with Doomsday, but is quickly subdued by Doomsday’s powerful strength and heat. Wonder Woman shows up to assist. She impales Doomsday with her sword and discovers that Doomsday’s blood is poisonous. About to be taken out by Doomsday, Wonder Woman is saved by Superman’s intense heat vision. Superman, Wonder Woman, and Cyborg combine forces to fight Doomsday, but Doomsday quickly retreats with a spontaneously generated portal.
At the Emergency Justice League Bunker, the team analyzes Doomsday’s trail of destruction. Lex Luthor appears as a hologram and comes up with an interesting hypothesis — Doomsday isn’t killing, but absorbing life starting from the smallest prey until it can reach the largest of them all — Superman. Luthor’s solution is to have Superman leave Earth and draw Doomsday away. The Justice League dismisses Luthor’s plan as a chance to rid Superman, but Superman agrees with the idea. Before leaving, Superman leaves Batman a key to the Fortress of Solitude and shares one final kiss with Wonder Woman.
After spending hours in orbit tracking Doomsday, Superman finds him in Mumbai. As Doomsday is about to kill a family, Superman arrives just in time. With all his might, Superman forces the fight to Venus. The two brutally duke it out. Superman lets out a powerful blast of heat vision and chars Doomsday’s entire body. Thinking he’s killed the monster, Superman flies to Smallville. Doomsday suddenly appears out of a portal and attacks Superman. In one final display of strength, Superman tears Doomsday in two. Wounded and covered in Doomsday’s blood, Superman collapses.
Wrapping It Up
From the start, we have Doomsday laying waste to everything. I thought it was a very interesting revelation that Doomsday has the potential to become larger and more dangerous. The fact that he boils oceans just being in them makes him even more formidable this time. I know this is not the death of Superman being retold so I’m anxious to see the aftermath of this brutal fight.