liberty's The Death of Superman #1 - TPB review

History

 The Final Moment
Because this is a trade paper back I posted my individual reviews here.  There were a few pages at the beginning of this trade that have Doomsday punching a wall and slowly making progress but it is hardly worth a review.  Over all I gave this book three stars.  I would recommend it to anyone who loves comics and their history or any Superman fan.  

Superman: The Man of Steel #18

This is the issue where we finally got to see more of Doomsday than a fist.  That said he didn't do much.  I really didn't like the start of this book because it made Doomsday look silly.  He breaks out from his mysterious prison to kill of all things a little yellow bird.  Doomsday just reaches out his hand and the bird lands in it.  Of course this happens all the time.  I have often been walking around outside and have many of bird land on my open outstretched hand.  At any rate this just came off as silly and Doomsday did as well by association.  I didn't think "Wow that's terrible.  I laghed and thought that is the second dumbest bird I have ever seen.  (Of course the dumbest would be the one that tried to catch a Randy Johnson fastball.)  This bird made out better in this story than that one did.  I understood what the writer was trying to do and everything that happened after was for the same thing but it really seemed forced. 
 
 "Pretty Bird, Pretty Bird"
Now for the real story.  The real story deals with a bunch of DNAliens who kidnap Lois and Superman saves the day.  (Don't whine about that being a spoiler.  If you didn't know Superman was going to save her your mother is still changing your diapers.)  At any rate no big deal.  The exception is the little orphan boy Keith who has been saved by Superman twice.  This character really tugs on the heartstrings at he goes up against these clones who have told him that they have his mother.  This is a little boy who thinks and acts like a little boy.  He is the best part of the book.  That is not saying a lot but he is a really good side character and I really wondered what happened to him.  He has obviously been in two prier issues and his full name is not given so I couldn't find out anything about the poor kid.
 
 Another Bug Down.
Over all this was really noting special it didn't suck but it wasn't great either.  The reason you can't find the book is because it is the first time we see Doomsday as more than a hand pounding a wall.  I gave the book a 50% score or two-and-a-half stars.  It is not awful and not great.  It is just a Superman story.  As for the art it was the same as the book.  I'm not a big fan of it but it is not terrible.  As those of you who have read my reviews know I don't take art into consideration on my reviews, and I didn't here.
 
Justice League America #69

Please Humor me and read this personal story about this issue.

I have almost every appearance of Guy Gardner.  Even his first appearance. (Two Copies).  Guy is the only reason I read comics today.  I was in the store buying the Death of Superman graphic novel for a present for my brother.  When I bought it I was telling my girlfriend who was with me what a dork my brother was and how stupid comics were but in the boredom of the car ride home I started reading the book.  
 
Being open minded I did not let my initial feelings cloud my enjoyment.  The hero that I thought was cool was Guy.  He didn't wear a mask.  He didn't have an alias.  He had a "skater cut" and wore an Eisenhower leather jacket.  He talked back to the other heroes and, acted fast.  He was just plain Guy F-in Gardner.  It was what he did in this issue that I liked so much.  Two quotes I loved were.   

"Too late, bug! One soon-to-be corpse coming up." --Guy Gardner
"Take you pick! Burial or cremation" -- Guy Gardner

After reading the TPB I remembered that I saw Guy's first comic on the shelf when I was looking for the the TPB.  So I went back the next day and bought the first three or four issues of Guy Gardner.  A read them and loved them so much I started buying Justice League comics because he was a team member.
 
 Strike
Then I found and bought every back issue I could find of the Justice League or anything that had Guy in it.  After reading these books I started to really like Booster Gold and Blue Beetle as well.  So, I started to find all of their regular series issues.  As well or anything with those three characters.  The character list increased and this started a cycle. 

  1. The more I read the more characters I liked
  2. The more characters I like the more comics I bought.
  3. The more comics I bought the more comics I read (back to the top)
 

The Review

This book was really good but despite it being the catalyst to my reading comics it does have some goofy moments.  Like a wild deer walking up to Doomsday.  What kind of dumb deer was this.  How can I feel sorry for a deer walking up to Doomsday.  Has anyone ever got a deer to walk up to them?  I mean come on.  That was just silly and there was also a lot of exposition that made it worse.  This didn't bother me so much the first time I read it but know that I have reread it after reading thousands of books and I am also a lot wiser, I found it annoying.  
 
Lastly, I thought the Justice League was done a disservice by the book.  Doomsday took the team out easier than he should have.  Guy is impulsive and gets taken out before he ever really gets to use his ring.  The rest are also knocked around.  This is really annoying for two reasons  Not only should Guy have done more than he did, you also have...
and Maxima.  That is two superheros that are suppose to be a strong as Superman.  The one in the spoiler warning hits him with all his strength and does nothing and Maxima doesn't even attack him at all.  Next both of these character have a psychic ability that they don't even use.  In other-words there had to be a perfect series of screw-ups in order for this to actually work and the characters had to be dumb enough to act in a certain way to make Doomsday more powerful than he was suppose to be at the time.
 
 Lex watches on
I like this book because it has a special place in my heart and so I inflated the ranking I gave it.  I couldn't help myself.   If I was more detached I might have only given it a three-and-a-half rather than four-and-a-half.  I also love Dan Jurgens work.  He was my favorite artist for years and I even got ribbing for that for a long time.  Going back and rereading his stuff up to reading his stuff now I have noticed how he actually gets better as an artist and he is still one of my all time favorites.  This is all beside the point for my raking of the book because I don't take art into consideration.  I would recommend this book to anyone who can get.  I want to thank you for reading my reviews.  Especially this one as it is rather long. 
 

Superman 74

 Alright this is the classic story of Doomsday that leads to the "Death" of Superman and to be honest it is not that great.  It is not awful mind you but it is all conveniently written.  It the book leading up to this one Maxima is not involved in the battle.  This is annoying because Maxima is nearly as strong as Superman.  Not only that Bloodwynd is
Then in this issue Bloodwynd acts the same and Maxima is conveniently taken out of the battle to save Blue Beetle without having a thrown a punch.  
 
There is also a subplot with a lame Axel Rose wannabe kid who is a jerk to his whole family.  This subplot really fails to do anything but pull the reader out of the story.  I believe it was intended to show a civilian side but it just didn't come off well.  
 
Then Fire's power mysteriously burns out and Boosters power cells fail.  It is one coincidental after another.  The most annoying part of the story is Doomsday's power level.  For example he is strong enough to punch Superman through a house and a tree yet he punches Ice while she in unconscious and only breaks a bone or two.  It would seem logical for Doomsday crush her and kill her with one blow.  I'm glad it didn't happen but I doubt that Doomsday pulls his punches to spare main characters.  
 
The book was not entirely bad and I saved my two favorite moments for last.  The one moment is when Ice saves Blue Beetle by convincing Maxima to take him to the hospital.  I know it sounds hypocritical of what I just said and I still think I was right.  For example Booster could of, and should of been the one to take Blue Beetle to the hospital, but I digress.  Ice not only save Blue Beetle's life but she also goes to fight Doomsday by herself.  Ice is probably the weakest character in the Justice League and Doomsday practically took out the league and yet she fights on alone in an attempt to save others.  This shows her heart and bravery and I'm sure most readers missed it.
 
My second favorite moment is of course Guy Gardner.  In the last issue Guy had his face smashed in so bad he couldn't see.  This does not stop him as he attacks Doomsday blind.  Both Ice and Guy's stories of course are swept under the run in the "Death of Superman" story.
 
Look, I like this book and the art was good but I am still not sold on the story itself.  Doomsday is a villain of convenience.  He was created for the sole purpose of "killing" Superman.  the problem is he is not as powerful as he is portrayed.  It is like years later in Superman-Prime #1.  Superman-Prime attacks the whole DC universe minus all the magic characters in other-words any one who can harm him is conveniently missing even though the teams they are members of are.  Stories of convenience are not that great and and that is why I gave the book a slightly above average score of three stars. 
 

Adventures of Superman 497

 I have been reading every issue of the Death of Superman story arch and it is ridicules how the Justice League is portrayed in this story.  For starter this is the first issue where Maxima finally started attacking Doomsday.  She hits he hard enough to knock him off his feet.  If she Superman Maxima, Bloodwynd and the rest of the league attacked him all at the same time this story would have ended differently.  
 
 Civilians in the way
All that said in this issue Maxima and Superman attack Doomsday at the same time and at the very least they are keeping him off his feet but then Maxima rips out a lamp post that ignites the gasoline on the ground and causes an explosion.  Now I know Maxima is from another planet but she has been on earth a long time and gasoline has a strong smell.  So how stupid is she.  Superman know it but  I guess dumb old Maxima couldn't figure it out.  Not only that but the explosion basically knocks her out.  Maxima is about as strong as Superman and a gasoline fire took her out.  It even knocked Superman out temporarily.  I hate it when characters are made stupid so the story can work.
 
I know I have been dogging these Death of Superman issues but is seems like whenever a company writes a death of story they get it wrong.  Not only that.  Doomsday taking out Superman just sucks.  If this issue was going to be written it would have been better to have one of Superman's long time villains take him out like Lex, Parasite or General Zod.
 
Over all I thought the book was alright.  Just above average there are points that are annoying but it is not a hideous story.  It is also hard to argue with it's success.  The art is really good.  I would recommend this to a traditional comic fan who likes the classic stories. 
 

Acton Comic 684

 
 Nothing Stops Him
This issues in the Death of Superman story arch was just filler.  This review will not likely be long because not much happened.  Basically Doomsday fights Superman and Guardian and there is little the two heroes can do to stop him.  Doomsday keeps getting stronger and the heroes keep loosing ground.
 
The problem with this issue is there was very little story between in this issue.  You could read the last story in the story arch and then the issue after this and really not miss a beat.  It could be completely skipped.  Three really annoying events in this book are  as follows
 
  1. What happened to Maxima, Bloodwynd, and Ice?  Maxima would not be taken out by a mere gasoline explosion that didn't mare her in anyway.  Bloodwynd and Ice are both suppose to have been available as well.
  2. The next was Doomsday tosses a guy in his car and I read over a page of his inner monologue that is completely absurd.  I can tell you what his inner monologue should have been "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! gulp AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"  This would have offered more to the story than what he actually said
  3. The only thing that is established in this book is than Doomsday finds out about Metropolis.  He does this by seeing  wrestling commercial on television.  He can barely say Metropolis and yet he can read the traffic signs two find out where it is as he goes from Ohio to New York. 
 
 Trading Blows
This book was mediocre.   The art was good but there just wasn't much of a story and there were too many things ignored in order to make Doomsday a danger.  Anytime there is anyone that can hurt him the character are weirdly incapacitated.  I gave this book two-and-a-half-stars. 
 

Superman the Man of Steel #19

 This is the first book where the story arch about Superman's death gets good.  Up until this point it has been a series of convenient plot points.  Everyone was just dumb and reckless enough to let Doomsday get past.  On top of that, Doomsday has gotten to every break so that he and Superman can have their final showdown.  This is what has happened before this book.
 
 Last Kiss
This book is the beginning of the final showdown and it is nothing but a brawl.  Overall the book was good with a few exceptions like Dan Turpin of all people being able to take a hit from Doomsday when so many in the Justice League America were taken out by the same type of blows.  Also Doomsday crashes into the Underworlders and Clawster was no where to be seen.  Sure Clawster is not much of a match for Doomsday but he could have helped Superman soften him up. At the very least show him running away.
 
Like, I said over all the book was good.  Up till now it has not been that enjoyable and knowing how it was going to end before it started  makes it worse.  The story has become epic due to how it ends rather than the actual story.  I would recommend this book as a historical read and it is not a bad story.  Be prepared for a lot of cameo's from all the Superman supporting cast. 
 

Superman #75

I didn't originally write a review for this book because I felt that it was all said in the review that was already on this page.  I do not like to write reviews when someone else already wrote one unless I completely disagree.  I think it looks kind of lame to have ten reviews saying the same thing for a new issue, especially when there are so many books that have no reviews.  All this said I am writing this review because of the Trade Paper Back (TPB)  I needed to write this part if I was going to post it on the TPB.
 
 The End
As I said the review above mine on the page says pretty much everything.  I would not be as harsh or blunt but I do agree with it.  This issue was basically a snuff book.  Each page  is a full panel of art and not much dialogue.  There was also no climatic point to the book.  Superman and Doomsday just slug it out back and forth.  There is nothing else.  There were too many points in the whole story arch that were too convenient, and forced the story.  This made the story too weak.  Superman didn't outsmart Doomsday.  There was no clever twist.  It was just a slugging contest.
 
I would recommend this book to Superman fans and comic historians for it's historical context but it is really not that good.  The art on the other hand is pretty cool.  Each page has a full image and that is unique, and pretty cool.  I really enjoyed it but it did take away from the story because of the lack of dialogue.  I gave the book three-and-a-half stars.
3 Comments
Posted by caesarsghost

Impressive review my friend.  
 
This is one of those iconic arcs that you just need to read to comprehend the rest of the DCU, plain and simple.
Posted by inactiveuser9382

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Posted by inactiveuser9382

Hi! Just a friendly reminder to submit your reviews for the Lunch Awards before the holidays! lunch.com/t/9 The deadline is Dec. 31st so get those reviews in! ^_^

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