Chapter by Chapter features me reading one chapter of the selected book at the time and reviewing it as if I were reviewing an episode of a TV show or an issue of a comic. There will be spoilers if you haven’t read to the point I have, and if you’ve read further I ask that you don’t spoil anything further into the book. Think of it as read-along book club.
A day late but we’re finally at the big moment…well, not the BIG moment, but it is time to start our tale. We’re up to speed on the characters who will play a part in the funeral and rebirth of Superman (not to be confused with Rebirth) so it’s time to finally bring out our monster, Doomsday!
At the time there was no origin for who he was or where he came from. I’m still not sure how he ended up on Earth unless he floated there after The Radiant kicked him out after the flashback events we saw in Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey. In that miniseries, as anyone who read it or my review, is aware Doomsday is later revealed to be a genetic experiment by Kryptonians, thus his hatred for Superman, somehow sensing he’s Kryptonian. When this story was conceived and published in comic form however they were just looking for someone who could be a threat to Superman physically as opposed to villains who forced him to think as well as he punched. And it’s time to get that threat into this story.
Chapter Six: Doomsday part 6
So apparently Doomsday is somewhere in Ohio. And he has one arm still bound behind his back in the ceremonial burial garb the Calaton people (Calatonians? Calatons? Muskrats?) put him in. That’s kind of cute, he’s trashing a major highway with one hand tied behind his back. Cute from a writing perspective mind you. From a story perspective there’s nothing cute about it. Especially for the drivers on the road. One trucker sees his friend getting taken down by the Creature and calls the highway patrol on his CB (cellphones weren’t still as widely used back then, kids), who in tern calls the Justice League.
There’s still another introduction as we get a brief history of Oberon, who is manning the communications system. It goes into his time with the circus and working with an escape artist and later his successor, escape artist and superhero Mister Miracle. It doesn’t waste time with Mister Miracle’s backstory, just how Oberon met him and how it led to him being part of the Justice League administration. This is followed by the current team gathering in Blue Beetle’s ship, the Bug, and heading for Ohio. Everything you need to know about how them personally is available in the pre-battle banter they have. Blue Beetle is still working out the…glitches in his system, Fire has fire powers and is friends with Ice, who has ice powers obviously, Maxima is full of herself, Booster Gold is a bit more relaxed, Guy is also full of himself (which if not for his attitude you’d think he was better paired with Maxima than Ice), and Bloodwynd is more focused on the task ahead. All the important character details for this story in one conversation, since the idea of the current Justice League was already introduced in a previous chapter.
Doomsday’s surface debut is also a good showcase for how he’ll factor into the story. He digs himself out of the ground, one arm still bound, but manages to scare off all the local wildlife except for one little curious bird who gets to know what it feels like to be a cat when the Creature snuffs him out. Then he starts superleaping Incredible Hulk style across the forest until he comes upon the highway and just starts killing things. There is no gentle side here, no confusion. He is a stone cold killing machine. He lives to make other things not live. This isn’t something that can be reasoned with. This sets him up already as a potential threat but can the Justice League handle him? Well, most of you out there already know the answer to that even if you aren’t privy to the details. But despite the scant details the police have been able to send them Guy is convinced that Ice is wrong about needing Superman. We’ll soon be seeing how wrong he really is.
Next time: Doomsday part 7