Action Comics: Doomsday Special #1
The DC Universe just can’t be a happy place these days with nightmares and now a literal trip to hell for Supergirl and Martian Manhunter. Writer Dan Watters has an extensive DC resume, primarily writing Lucifer, so it’s not shocking that he’s fully capable of making hell a nightmarish location that’s the last place the two heroes want to find Doomsday.
Martian Manhunter encountered Doomsday during the Lazarus Planet event and with the help of Raphael Arce, sent the Superman killer to hell. It’s commendable that Watters makes use of Lazarus Planet for a story instead of letting that event flutter away from memory. Supergirl and Martian Manhunter are recruited by The First of the Fallen to stop Doomsday before he starts raising enough belief in hell that he can return to the land of the living with even more power.
Watters occasionally treats Martian Manhunter much like how he was regarded on the CW’s Supergirl show, but it’s more in service of the story where Supergirl battles Doomsday on a physical level while he takes the fight to a mental level.
Eddy Barrows and inker Eber Ferreira are a talented art team fully capable of delivering the needed visual gravitas to this story with impressive detail and impactful looking fight scenes. Barrows and Ferreira aren’t so much lacking for work as they’re not highlighted with an important monthly title from DC fitting their talents. With frequent collaborator colorist Adriano Lucas, who brings levels to hell’s red, orange and yellow landscape, the art is a highlight.
In the secondary story, Watters teams with artist Max Raynor, colorist Andrew Dalhouse and letterer Dave Sharpe for a tale bringing Bloodwynd back to the DC Universe albeit in hell. Bloodwynd was an excellent character and a very pleasant surprise to see return. With Watters’ take, this could make for a cool maxi-series if not a compelling ongoing series. Raynor’s art is a strong complement with stellar physicality in the action sequences and Dalhouse packs dazzling colors as well. Sharpe gets to play up demon speak with bolder, stronger fonts as well.
This random standalone special was easily one of DC’s more unexpected treats this month with the Supergirl/Martian Manhunter team-up that works and the overdue return of Bloodwynd. Even if you’re not a regular Superman reader, this is worth checking out.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10