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.
When last we were here Superman was giving a televised Q&A with schoolkids, and we saw a couple of them were brats. Not surprising since they were Guy Gardner fans. Speaking of Guy, he and the current version of the Justice League just ran into the creature that will soon earn the name Doomsday.
Doomsday is like a final boss character in video games in that he has two forms, the one where he’s wrapped up and the one where he has all those indestructible bony protrusions that we usually see him as. As a villain I think his design works great. He only exists to destroy and kill and the design tells you that immediately. Superman doesn’t kill and will often give the villain every chance to surrender but to pull this story off you need a foe so obviously evil and psychotically destructive that even Superman isn’t inclined to say “give up and we can work this out peacefully”. You have to know he’s here for only one thing and there’s only one way to stop him. On that Doomsday’s design perfectly fits the bill.
Chapter 8: Doomsday part 8
Doomsday (who gets his name in this chapter after a comment Booster makes) attacks the Justice League first, and beats the daylights out of all of them. Attempting to blast him with the combined energy attack of Superman, Fire, Booster, Bloodwynd, and Guy (Maxima ran Blue Beetle to the hospital) only damages Doomsday’s containment suit (which we learn in Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey is a burial outfit) and frees his other hand. Not that he needed both arms to break Ice’s ribs, smash Blue Beetle into a holding tank, burn down Lexcorp’s oil refinery, and cause all the destruction we’ve seen. Even Superman has to wonder if holding back like he usually has to was a bad idea.
One thing that makes this chapter interesting is that there’s a bit of a self-contained story involved. We meet a kid name Mitch who obviously isn’t handling his parents’ divorce well and resents his mother and baby sister (plus being your typical 90s jerk-brat–not that all kids in the 90s were jerk-brats, but each decade has their own “flavor” and saturation), learns what’s important when Doomsday tosses Ice through their house and wants to destroy it and them simply because they exist. It’s a nice little sidestory that doesn’t do the main story any damage. We also see Superman try to waylay Doomsday long enough to save his family and assist the other Justice Leaguers.
There’s only two chapters to go in this part of the book, so we won’t be seeing much more of Superman for awhile after that. Things are only going to get worse from here, but with 29 chapters total we have a lot more story to go through.
Next time: Doomsday ch. 9