Written by: Scott Lobdell
Art by: Javier Fernandez, Ulises Arreola and Corey Breen
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 21, 2015
I'd say it's a shame this book was canceled, but as far as I can tell, Eric and myself are the only ones who really enjoy it. Neither of us will ever claim it is a great book, but it's fun and has a certain charm that goes a long way in the Weird Science book of what's good. In a perfect world, this book could have been DC's answer to Spiderman, but in our world, Scott Lobdell threw too many new characters at the reader without first really establishing his main character(s)...Reiser/Doomed. This issue doesn't change that fact and actually is a microcosm of the entire series by developing a character that isn't the one on the marquee. So, how was it? Let's find out...
The issue opens with Superman having a little meet and greet with Jayne in STAR Labs. While we get a visual flashback to his Doomsday fighting days, Jayne sells out Reiser and tells Superman about him. Oh Jayne, don't you know snitches get stitches?!?
We then see Rieser hanging out on his rooftop and get some more cliched "whoa is me, I'm a monster" talk. That's interrupted by Roman who wants to take a late night jog. Who the hell does that? Not Reiser (or me) and Roman runs off right before Superman shows up.
While Scott Lobdell tries to force in the idea that Reiser knew that Clark Kent was Superman in this book, it's a square hole, round peg situation and really felt off when it's quickly explained. It's not a deal breaker, just annoying, but in the end, I liked their interaction in this issue. Superman (using STAR labs tech that takes the place of his x-ray vision) figures out that Reiser's Doomed problem isn't happening on a genetic level, but that doesn't change the fact that he's a ticking time bomb of a monster. In fact, even as he promises Superman he can control it, he turns into Doomed and bitch slaps the Man of Steel.
Meanwhile, Roman (looking a whole lot like Ryu) turns into the Alpha Centurion. We find out that the Alpha Centurion gets summoned any time there is a huge threat and it looks like Doomed is such a threat. We also learn that the he talks like a Renaissance Fair reject and it gets annoying really fast.
The rest of the issue is a pretty satisfying battle between Doomed and Alpha Centurion with Superman trying to break it up the whole time. The issue ends with everyone stopping and realizing that maybe Doomed wasn't the biggest threat to the planet after all.
This issue was fun, but again we learn more about the Alpha Centurion than Doomed. If Lobdell would have given us more Doomed earlier, this would have been great, but without any early legwork, it's frustrating. Throw in the fact that Alpha Centurion isn't even a great character and we have a mediocre story on our hands. Actually, story is a strong word since this issue is pretty much just a long fight scene.
I do like the art of Javier Fernandez when he is on his game, but this issue is inconsistent. Some of it looks great, but most of it is just meh.
Bits and Pieces:
This was another Doomed issue that was fun yet frustrating. I really wanted this book to succeed, but Scott Lobdell's insistence on developing every character but his lead just killed any chances of that. Sure, there were other problems, but you can't expect a brand new character to thrive all on it's own. This book has one more issue to go before it fades out of everyone's memory. Even mine which is a shame.