Doomsday in Hell, that’s all you need to know to want to pick up Action Comics Presents Doomsday Special #1. It would seem not only the afterlife is safe from the being of ultimate destruction that killed Superman. This inferno-filled issue sees the efforts of Supergirl and Martian Manhunter in trying to contain him in this prison that also serves as his kingdom.
Grey rubble and rustic tones best fit Doomsday like the debris he often leaves in his wake. Bjorn Barends gets this with the work he does on the cover. The fine details and photorealism shine here with the little demons on the mounds of bounds around Doomsday and the throne of Hell. Doomsday looks like a render from a video game with the level of craft in this illustration.
Jon Bogdanove and Hi-Fi collaborate for this variant full of Dark Knights: Death Metal influence. Supergirl’s new suit in the ongoing Action Comic series does look a little like a rocker would wear, especially with the jacket. That’s taken advantage of and the guitar she’s about to strike Doomsday with ties the whole look together. Fighting Doomsday set to a backdrop of the pits of Hell with demons dancing around is pretty metal. Doomsday is also portrayed as he was in his first appearance in the 90s by Dan Jurgens.
Jurgens, himself, teams up with Norm Rapmund and Hi-Fi for another classical Doomsday cover that looks like it could be right out of the original Death of Superman series that introduced him. It’s always magical when a big comic book character is drawn by its original creator. The eye spikes, the long white hair, and pupils that most artists tend to forego nowadays are all there. Jurgens’ art is always precious to Superman fans and it’s fitting to have one of the creators of Doomsday on a variant cover for this book.
Other cool variants are by Lucio Parrillo, Puppeteer Lee, Clayton Crain, and Nathan Szerdy.
Martian Manhunter reaches out to Supergirl with visions, but more like nightmares, of Doomsday. He had fought a battle with him during Lazarus Planet and Doomsday was also defeated in Dark Crisis. J’onn’s psychic link with Doomsday is still active and it would seem that the monster is still reaching out to him, trying to get back. The two follow the link to a place that exists only because we believe it too – the inferno known as Hell, straight from the pages of Hellblazer and Lucifer.
Doomsday now makes a living here as the endless destroyer-king for the denizens of the realm. His abilities of not being able to be hurt by the same thing twice and also adapt to it makes him tailormade for a place like this. All the demons seem to love him too, even as he rips them to shreds. The First of The Fallen (who also serves as the narrator) is the devil here and he isn’t too happy about the imbalance Doomsday is causing to Hell. As new people come in and the belief in him as the new king grows, he will become it and be entitled to The First of The Fallen’s power. That will enable us to leave and return to Earth. Kara and J’onn can’t let that happen.
Dan Watters puts Doomsday in the world of Hellblazer and he blends in seamlessly with all those demons. For the last year and perhaps the foreseeable future, Doomsday has been in his hands since those are all his major appearances. Just as it’s important to understand Superman to write the best stories, an understanding of what Doomsday represents as a threat is also essential. Watters has a great hold on that. The inclusion and how Hell is handled in DC is neat – how it’s own manifested realm in reality compared to the known multiverse. The First of The Fallen also makes for a compelling storyteller. Letters are done by Dave Sharpe.
Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira both illustrate while Adriano Lucas colors. A Doomsday story wouldn’t be a Doomsday story without him dominating whatever unfortunate world he has to be in. He runs around Hell biting, punching, tearing, and doing just about everything else to any demon or damned soul in his way. The flames, lava, and brimstone only tickle him and he smiles in some panels as he rampages. Naturally, Supergirl and Martian Manhunters are going to have to take some really big hits. Fire red is the dominant tone on nearly every page.