Today was the period to two very important events within DC Comics. “Futures End” one-shot tiles came to an end, with next Wednesday being the first week in October and starting a whole different variant/ event scheme. And DC Comics proudly presented us the conclusion of the crossover story arc, “Superman: Doomed” which concluded in issue 2. As a Superman fan, this Wednesday was probably the most looked forward to week of the month. For those of you concerned about making the right pulls this week, and if you’ll be doomed by shelling out your $3.99 and $4.99 for these two books, let me tell you – it’s possible!
As a Superman fan, I religiously read every single title related to the Man of Steel. I was very excited to see DC Comics approach Doomsday, the creature created by Dan Jurgens, Brett Breeding, Jerry Ordway, Louise Simonson, and Roger Stern and approach the modern-day classic “The Death and Return of Superman” from a New 52 perspective. It started as a beautiful concept to deliver a Doomsday story by not giving readers a simple retread of what’s been already done – and done well, but to deliver on an exciting new vision of one of Superman’s fiercest of opponents. However, after a story arc that spanned numerous titles and lasted four months – it simply lived up to it’s title namesake – “Doomed.”
Charles Soule is one of the best writers in the business. This is a sentiment that I’ve had the great pleasure of presenting in a few of my reviews “Death of Wolverine”, “Wonder Woman”, and “Superman/ Wonder Woman”. I don’t fault him for my lack of enjoyment with all titles “Superman: Doomed” related, in fact, the second and final issue of this story arc happens to be very good. It’s just that this was a storyline that went on for far too long, straying too far away from the point of it being immediate and a necessary monthly read.
“Superman: Doomed” is a storyline, much like Scott Snyder and Jim Lee’s “Superman: Unchained” that will probably be better suited for one long read in a nice, collected edition that DC Comics will undoubtedly release.
* “Superman: Doomed” gets three out of five space monkeys. A rating which could certainly change based on my eventual rereading of this storyline.
** It would be a grave error not to point out at how well this storyline does present Brainiac. The success of this story does remain in the fact that writers, Greg Pak and Charles Soule, managed to vindicate all of the early New 52 Superman stories (particularly Grant Morrison’s run on Action) by revealing Brainiac as the major threat and catalyst of events depicted in “Doomed.” Another highlight has been the revolving artistic duties that this book has shared over four months. The major spotlight going to page 14 artist, Dave Bullock. An artist with a great attention to the details that made golden age comics, quite well, golden, Dave Bullock beautifully illustrates a page of an older Bruce Wayne with an aged Superman encounter in Gotham City. His work harkens back to animator and illustrator, Bruce Timm, along with other great artist, Darwyn Cooke. It’s the standout page in the entire issue, perhaps a reason to buy it, then check him out at New York Comic Con. Check him out at Booth #N5 at Artist Alley.
DC Comics “Futures End: Superman” is a fine addition to the final week of one-shots released this month. In a story penned by Dan Jurgens, we are treated to another great “five years from now” story that works not only as a well written Superman story, but a one-shot that should definitely be an easy recommendation to that of the most casual of readers.
Within the “Futures End” stories, Clark Kent is farming in Ethiopia and the rest of the world is wondering what happened to the real Man of Steel. Sure, they have one in a suit adorned with the symbol of hope, but he’s masked and most savvy people are pretty much onto him not being the original last son from Krypton. Lois Lane, after finding out his identity, outs him to the public but decides to pay Billy Batson a visit to find out the answer to “why do you feel like you owe the world a Superman?” In the following pages by writer, Dan Jurgens and artist, Lee Weeks, we rediscover the importance and relevance of Superman, even to a world without him.
Whether you like Superman, or not, he is an important figure in the pantheon of super heroes. According to Billy Batson, “he was Earth’s greatest defender” and according to the Justice League, “that symbol, that all powerful “S” was too powerful to lose.” The Man of Steel inspires others to be more than they are, and to embrace the magic of being a hero that lies within us all. In a world without Superman, as seen in the pages of “Futures End”, it’d sure be great if our own world mirrored the last sentiment in the book – that “you can’t have too many heroes” and that where a comic book leaves off, that we, as readers and fans, “can pick up where Superman left off.”
“Futures End: Superman” receives five out of five SHAZAMS!