The Cavalry Arrives
The Reign of the Doomsdays storyline has all the composite elements of a great Superman storyline and as well as this, Paul Cornell has been on top writer form so far. Can this story continue to be a great way to end the 1 volume of Action Comics on?
Most of Team Superman, along with Earth’s heroes attempt to prevent the Doomsday clones from destroying the planet whilst Superman takes the fight to the Doomslayer himself.
· This issue is filled with pulse pounding action and fight scenes galore. The action is fun, frantic and there’s a motive behind it as well in that Team Superman and the superheroes are protecting areas that contain something that could spell doom for the planet and that makes these fights more than just random encounters with Doomsday clones. Also, it’s interesting to see the fights take place in many different, exotic locations such as Moscow and Hawaii, reminding the reader that there is more than just Metropolis and Gotham in the DC Universe.
· The structure of the issue is excellently managed by Cornell. He never uses too much of one thing. After a fight scene, there’s some dialogue which evolves the story and every now and then, Cornell injects a key moment of plot intrigue to shake things up.
· Another strength of Cornell’s writing is his dialogue. All the characters feel like they’re speaking exactly like they should and Cornell does not ignore the minor characters in the issue as well like Dr Light, in her civilian guise of Dr Hoshi.
· Cornell nails the interpretation of Superman in his writing. In the story, Superman is determined, intelligently thinking of ways to solve the problem, like memorising the layout of a pocket universe within the Doomslayer’s hideout. And there’s a nice scene with Lois as well where even after all he’s been through with Lex in Action Comics #900 and with the Doomsday clones so far in Action Comics #901-902, Superman is never willing to give up at all. That is an important aspect of the character which should never be overlooked by the writer. And I like the fact that Superman is once again seen as the ‘Champion of the World’. Too long has he been feared in the New Krypton and Grounded storylines. Now he is back in the public’s favour again and that is always for the best.
· I must admit that Cornell did surprise me with the Eradicator possessing Doomsday. That plot twist was the highlight among an excellent issue. And Cornell further examines the Eradicator’s ordeal in Doomsday’s body throughout the book as he emphasizes the struggle within the monster’s subconscious for control with meaningful dialogue.
· Axel Gimenz does his best to compare to Rocafort’s exceptional artwork in the previous issue. The fight scenes are vividly done with the environment’s destruction captured in all its intensity and most of the faces look realistic as well.
· And the cover is another outstanding art piece from Rocafort. The detailed pencils, the ostentatious colours work well to provide a stunning cover. I especially liked Doomsday clashing against an invisible barrier.
· However, there are some gripes. For example, Cornell doesn’t spend much time on the Doomslayer this issue which is a shame as there isn’t much of him besides him monologing about his evil plan and screaming about thwarting Superman’s efforts to stop him. All of this and no character exploration. Ah well there’s always next issue...
· Also, whilst the pacing has mostly been good, I did find it strange that Superman stumbled across the Doomslayer’s secret (whatever that is) so easily. Quite out of place really.
· Gimenz does his best but in my opinion, it’s not the best art I’ve seen and doesn’t really compare to Rocafort. Plus I have to start giving less than 8s for most of my art scores.
So another successful issue for Cornell. Whilst it’s a shame he won’t be writing for Action Comics following the next issue anymore, I know he’ll do an excellent job on his other writing projects following the reboot.