Wednesday, February 18, 2009


#2.Superman vs. Doomsday

“The Death of Superman” is unique amongst the comics on the list in the sense that it was written by four different writers and drawn by four different artists over four different comic book titles. Writers Dan Jurgens, Louise Simonson, Roger Stern and Jerry Ordway combined to tell the tale of the nearly unstoppable creature of destruction, Doomsday, and his fight with the Justice League and its most powerful member, Superman. Jurgens, Jon Bognadove, Jackson Guice and Tom Grummett, respectively, drew the storyline, which began when, after a month of pounding to get out, a green-clad monster escaped custody in “Superman: Man of Steel” #18.

The monster cut a swath through the country on his journey to Metropolis (he was guided by a tourist sign for Metropolis). The American branch of the Justice League responded to distress calls and arrived on the scene only to be completely decimated by the creature. Booster Gold's costume, which was made in the future, was shredded by the monster. Blue Beetle was throttled to the point of going into a coma. Fire, the Leaguer who could turn into green flame, was doused so thoroughly that she lost the ability to turn back into fire again.

Eventually, it became clear that only one person could possibly stop this creature – Superman. And Superman spent a battle lasting four full issues trying to do so, to no avail.

The story was told in an interesting fashion. The last four issues in the tale slowly reduced their panel-per-page amounts. “Adventures of Superman” #497 was done entirely with four-panel pages, Action Comics #684 with three-panel page, Superman: The Man of Steel #19 had two-panel pages until Superman #75, written and drawn by Dan Jurgens, was told entirely in full-page spreads. This gave an extra sense of urgency to the title, as though it was a snowball slowly turning into an avalanche.

Unlike most battles, there was little strategy for Superman to deal with here. Doomsday (as the creature became known) was such a sheer force of destruction that all Superman could do was to resort to the most brutal of brute force – to no avail! Whatever Superman came up with, Doomsday seemed to react to and to counter.

Finally, when the creature reached Metropolis, Superman made his last stand – his literal last stand. He and the monster stood toe-to-toe, pummeling each other viciously until finally, hero and villain both reared back all their remaining energies into one last blow – a blow that ultimately killed Doomsday, saving all of Metropolis from his rampage. However, the same punch also proved to be the fatal one for Superman, as well. He died in the arms of his fiancĂ©, Lois Lane, amid the ruins of one of the most extensive battles in comic book history.

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