- Title: Doomsday!
- Written by: Dan Jurgens
- Artist: Brett Breeding
- Colours: Glenn Whitmore
- Letters: John Costanza
- Superman Created by: Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster
In 1992, the world of comics stood still, as emotions ran high for the loss of the most iconic hero in the universe. DC Comics writers Roger Stern, Jerry Ordway, Dan Jurgens, and Louise Simonson had begun writing the story that would change the world of comics, by bringing forth a foe that was almost too powerful for even the Man of Steel to defend us from. This prehistoric Kryptonian monster lands on Earth and causes complete chaos everywhere it goes, and so of course where better to put him in a story, than the city of Metropolis, home of the Superman!
After decades of stories about Kal-El, the alien boy from Krypton who was raised on a farm in Kansas by two loving and protective citizens known as Martha and Jonathan Kent, it seemed that nothing could ever beat the loveable Big Blue Boy Scout, who protected not only his city, but the entire world! However, the 90’s came around and clearly someone decided it was time to bring in the biggest threat he’s ever faced, and so Doomsday was created, a monster so powerful he was originally known by the name of “The Ultimate Killing Machine” and he lived up to his name. No matter how hard Superman fought, He could not save everyone, and many people died in Metropolis that day, despite his best efforts, but only one of the fallen was truly mourned by all. Superman, The Man Of Steel, died in the city he protected, and with a shocking, heart wrenching panel that depicts Lois Lane holding her husband in her arms, as he lays there limp and lifeless, the world of comics was changed.
Since the release of the original comic, there have been collected editions published which tell the full story, both before and after his demise, and the story has even been adapted into animation, with ‘Superman: Doomsday’ being the first, albeit loosely adapted, retelling of the story in animation back in 2007, as a straight to DVD release. An army of Doomsday creatures were also featured in the ‘Superman/Batman: Apocalypse’ animated feature, but these Doomsday monsters were created by Darkseid, and so they weren’t really the Doomsday we know from the comic, and certainly not as powerful.
In 2018 however, DC/WB Animation had created a more faithful adaptation to the story, with the animated film ‘The Death of Superman’ along with it’s 2019 sequel ‘Reign of the Supermen’ which were at first released as straight to home DVD/Blu-Rays but for one night only they were released in cinemas as a double bill screening when Reign of the Supermen was released. I was lucky enough to go to a screening. It was my first time watching either of the two films, and it was truly an experience to behold as I got to watch the fall and rise of Superman on the big screen.
Now, in 2019, DC have begun releasing re-prints of some of the classic comic book story lines as issue one’s, under the revived line of ‘Dollar Comics’, which first began back in 1977-1983, which I personally think is a great idea, as it gives fans a chance to own at least some version of the stories in physical print, as though we were buying it for the first time as a fresh new story. The colours on these re-releases are bold, fresh and the gloss covers give them a really nice finish that preserves the ink etc. The art of the book looks like it was drawn in the 90’s but seems to jump out of the page more with the vibrant colours and thick outlines that makes each character, building or broken piece of cement, look refined and not merged with anything else drawn on the page.
The story itself is heartbreaking as the writers and artist really knew how to set up the scene, from the emotional facial expressions, to the short, shocking captions that allows the reader to focus on the action, because this book is nothing but action. From the very first page we see Superman wrestling with the monster known as Doomsday because don’t forget, whilst this Dollar Comics edition says #1, the original print of this story was published in Superman #75 (1993) so the story has already been set up and the battle has already begun. This issue simply gives us the final moments of the hero, not the entire plot, because the whole story has been published in multiple collected editions over the years.
Overall this new re-release of a classic story is a great way for fans to own their own copy of it, and though I’m unsure as to whether they are re-printing the rest of the story, either way, this single issue is enough for me to finally own a version of the classic storyline for myself.