After I reread Death of Superman a few years ago I wanted to know more about the monster that is known as Doomsday, other than what was written on Wikipedia. So I did some internet searching and found this book out there. It collects pretty much every story in the DC universe other than the Death of Superman, that involves Doomsday. So if you are looking for some insight into the character this is the place to find it.
This book is composed of about 4 different miniseries all with different writers on them. Dan Jurgnes is a famous writer that has pretty much only worked with DC, he has done a few titles with Dark Horse and Marvel, but the bulk of his work is with DC. He is credited with creating the character Booster Gold along with the writer on the Death of Superman series. He also wrote the miniseries Superman vs. Aliens, which I have read and was not too bad. Jurgens has been working in the industry since 1987, so almost 30 years. Needless to say he is a seasoned veteran
Jeph Loeb is probably one of the most credited comic writers I have seen in a while. He has worked for DC and Marvel and helped write the scripts for the movies Commando, Teen Wolf, and Teen Wolf Too. I hope he had a hand in writing some of the awesome one-liners in Commando. “Sully, let off some steam,” is just one of many many classic lines delivered by Arnold in that movie. He has had quite the distinguished career including winning an Eisner award for Batman: Long Halloween as well as Wizard awards.
As I mentioned above this book collects a few stories about Doomsday including Superman: The Doomsday Wars 1-3, Superman/Doomsday: Hunter Prey #1-3, Doomsday Annual #1, Adventures of Superman #594 and Superman #175. I enjoyed all the stories in this book, basically I like to see Superman get whooped, and Doomsday is the only one to do it. This book follows the character from his creation and shows how he develops over time, and gives him a much needed back story.
This is one thing I did find odd about the character, his development over time. In DOS, he is basically a mindless brute hell bent on destruction of anything and everything. It seems that each time he is brought back he changes in some way, but not usually as strong as he was before. It seems that for every power or ability the beast picks up he loses something else. I think it is the Doomsday Annual #1 where Doomsday can now speak and reason, because of Brianiac. This also plays a part in his defeat. I understand that characters change over time and develop, but that is a big change. Now he is quasi intelligent and can talk and carry on a conversation with whomever. Then in another story his powers seem to have changed. He is still strong and has all his powers from before, but now the same attack cannot hurt him twice. So he basically can evolve a defense to the attack in a split second. Which I think is cool, but how does Superman defeat an enemy like that? You will have to read to find out.
By far the coolest story in the story is the one where they talk about Doomsday’s origin. I always thought that was very interesting and very cool. Basically he was a science experiment gone right, but the man who created Doomsday could not control him. When Krypton was first formed the planet was basically inhospitable. The scientist wanted to create the perfect being. He decided to expose a child to the hash atmosphere after it was killed he would find what, if anything, was left and keep designing a being off what survived. It is a pretty idea. After many years the being known as Doomsday was slowly created. Eventually he became strong enough to thrive in the harsh environment, and quickly killed his creator. After that he then leaves Krypton using a ship and travels to another planet where he continues his wave of destruction. Along the way he encounters many Green Lanterns, kills hundreds of thousands of people, and is eventually stopped by a planet’s royal family. They summon their powers to create a being known as the Radiant. Once they have stopped Doomsday they tie him to an asteroid and shoot him into space, where he eventually lands on earth. We all know what happens after that.
There is a ton going on in this book, and it’s all Doomsday all the time. I admit that I don’t know that much about the DC universe so a lot of the planets and other characters in these stories I have never seen or heard of before. That is not a good or bad thing just an observation from someone who is not engrained in that universe.
The artist in the book change across all the miniseries as you would imagine. Despite this I can hardly tell a difference in style if any. The style is a more or less typical 90’s style that is printed on the old recycled paper, not the new paper with a gloss finish. The colors are a little dull, despite to wildly colorful energy blasts. I think this is largely due to the paper the story is printed on, and has nothing to do with the coloring technique. Page layouts are fairly typical, I would give them an above average. There are some cool full page splashes where Superman and Doomsday are going toe to toe, so the book gets extra points there. The last two stories in the book which is an issue from Our Worlds at War and Doomsday Annual #1 has some very different artwork compared to the rest of the book. The
artwork in those is very cartoony. It is very childish and for me hard to take the story seriously with that style of art, again I was worried I would see Bugs Bunny on any page throughout the story. The colors are a little nicer and richer as there seems to be a dark outline and darker shading of everything so it makes the colors stand out more, more contrast. Other than these two stories the artwork in the book as a whole is not too bad.
All in all if you are interested in the back story of Doomsday and just more stories about one of the most powerful beings in the DC universe you will enjoy this collection. All the stories are fairly solid and develop a strange and powerful character that little is known about. The artwork is solid, nothing to brag about along with the page layouts and colors. Other than the artwork in the last two stories I don’t have any complaints in this one. Check it out if you want to see Superman and Doomsday duke it out over and over again.