Doomsday’s arrival doesn’t make Action Comics standout
Action Comics resumed with a welcome return to the never ending fight by Superman. And he immediately went after Super Lex for daring to dishonor the memory of the deceased Man of Steel. And then Doomsday showed up.
Writer Dan Jurgens probably added one twist too many to an already captivating dynamic. Doomsday is kind of a hard villain to revisit. He’s a more savage Hulk with a more limited vocabulary. Unlike Bane, who broke Batman’s back, Doomsday was always best used as a one-off character. The sole reason for his creation by the Superman creators was to make an enemy powerful enough to kill Superman. Every subsequent battle, Doomsday hasn’t come close. It’s made the Super Slayer a villain with no credibility.
Jurgens struggles finding new ground to explore with a Superman/Doomsday fight even with the addition of Super Lex. Maybe the bigger problem is Doomsday crashed a far more interesting fight between the two Supermen. Superman constantly giving Lex the side eye while he continues this charade of being a hero is ripe ground for storytelling. Besides, we already know Doomsday isn’t killing Superman, Lex or even this guy claiming to be Clark Kent. And as a result Lois is probably the only one who takes his threat seriously.
Lois still hasn’t been giving much to do but be a spectator, which seems to totally go against the character. Maybe motherhood has cooled her fire for cracking the tough story, but it’d be nice to see more of the familiar fiery Lois Lane instead of her domesticated stand-in.
Most of the issue then is devoted to Superman and Super Lex taking turns taking on Doomsday. Since Doomsday doesn’t speak or have much an agenda besides being an alien wrecking ball the battle feels anticlimactic. Patrick Zircher’s art remains consistently clean. While he never quite makes this Superman/Doomsday battle feel as gigantic in scope as it should, the action is easy to follow.
Fortunately, Jurgens has a few more tricks up his sleeve. The mysterious observer who’s been keeping watching on Superman since DC Rebirth has a vested interest in the fight’s outcome while the secret of this Clark Kent is intriguing. And of course the main selling point of Superman reluctantly learning to work alongside Lex Luthor should keep the title interesting even when the opposition is underwhelming.
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
Images Credit: DC Comics