Doomsday .1 from John Byrne and IDW ~ What'cha Reading?

Doomsday .1 from John Byrne and IDW

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I know this might sound depressing, but the last time I was truly excited to be a comic book reader was back in the 80’s. However, considering that was ( what I consider ) the zenith of artist-creator John Byrne’s career….could you blame me? Here was the man who not only brought us the X-Men’s Dark Phoenix saga ( along with writer Chris Claremont ), not only brought the “cosmic” back to the Fantastic Four, not only created Canada’s first super hero team Alpha Flight,…..but who single-handedly redefined Superman for my generation. Back then, when John Byrne wrote and drew a run of issues, they were guaranteed to be unforgettable classics. These issues were written intelligently and they expounded on some of the most profound themes revolving around the heroes that were the focal point. One of the best examples can be found in the tragic issue 285 of the Fantastic Four where its fiery member Johnny Storm considers resigning after a young fan of his burns to death after dousing himself with gasoline trying to be the Human Torch. That is why it’s so hard for me to review his most recent work, Doomsday .1

Doomsday 1. revolves around a cataclysmic solar flare that wipes out the majority of the population of Earth. In its wake are a handful of survivors including an international space shuttle crew, violent inmates from a maximum-security prison, a submarine crew who have sought refuge at the bottom of the ocean, and the Pope who has fled the Vatican. End of the world scenarios are not a new theme in comic book literature and unfortunately this is not the most inspired one. This is starting to measure up to be a second-rate version of Stephen King’s The Stand. I’d like to say I have a lot more faith in the direction that Byrne is going to take us in. However, the John Byrne of today is not the John Byrne of the 80’s. This is more like the Cliff Notes version of John Byrne. This is reflected not only the writing but also the artwork (in which it seems that John Byrne is tracing over his older work to “just get a book out”). The figure work and perspective is slightly off. Also, whatever “new ground” Byrne thinks he can can break with the theme of survivors in a desolate landscape, trust me, Robert Kirkman and the creators of the Walking Dead have already given us. I’d like to see John Byrne find material that he can truly be inspired by and get a second wind in his career. Sadly, this issue isn’t it.

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Doomsday.1 #1 (of 4)
Writer: Byrne, John
Artist: Byrne, John
Cover Artist: Byrne, John
Format: LIMITED SERIES
Price: $3.99
UPC: 82771400459500111
On Sale: May 15, 2013
Publisher: IDW
Diamond Id: MAR130344

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