Monday, May 12, 2014

Doomed Preppers: Superman: The Man of Steel #18 Review

Written by: Louise Jones Simonson
Art by: John Bogdanove
Cover Price: $1.25
Release Date: December 1, 1992

It's Doomsday

Superman: Doomed is on the horizon so I thought I would do a couple of retro reviews involving Doomsday. I'll admit, I was never a big fan of Doomsday, but for some reason I'm really looking forward to the Doomed event.  Maybe it's because it is Scott Lobdell's swan song and I'm holding out hope that he can right the ship for one final kick ass story.  For the first Doomed Preppers, I am reviewing Superman: The Man of Steel #18 which isn't technically Doomsday's first appearance, but was the one where readers got to see him in action.  On with the review.

The issue opens up with our man, Doomsday, punching his way out of his underground cell.  Doomsday doesn't dig or shovel, Doomsday punches.  His fist is instantly recognizable, but the rest is cloaked in a greenish cloth held on with metal hoses.  Look at the cover on the right since I'm terrible at descriptions.

The meat of the issue involves War World monsters living in the Metropolis Underworld.  They are a colorful bunch who are scheming to steal Metropolis' electricity to power their War Machines, as well as possibly their War Microwave Ovens.  The story then concentrates on a young boy named Keith with an interest in this gang and a mysterious letter.

Keith is trying to find his "mamma" who the Monsters have kidnapped.  From his appearance, it is very obvious he is black, but Simonson makes sure you know it by dipping into the stereotype well a bit.  Besides that, I like the kid and he has some balls.  His plan involves glow-in-the-dark spray paint, food, juice and a flashlight.  Sounds right.

The mysterious letter is delivered to Lois Lane and tells her Metropolis is in trouble and where to send Superman.  Of course she just goes there herself after leaving a note for Clark.  No harm could possibly happen to her, right?

Now back to the reason we're here, Doomsday.We only get a couple panels of him, but they are some of the strangest I've ever seen.  Just picture the scene where Snow White is singing and a bird lands on her hand.  Now, instead of Snow White, substitute Doomsday.  Next, instead of smiling happily at the bird, imagine Doomsday crushing it in his hand. Then laughing.  Yes, the monster destined to kill Superman just killed Tweety Bird.

Meanwhile, Lois is captured by the monsters. Surprise.  Luckily, Clark got her message just before Metropolis lost it's power.  I have to give Lois props, she goes down swinging.  Actually, it's kicking ala Shawn Micheals.  Pretty impressive, though it has no effect on the monster called Clawster that looks like the Fantastic Four's Thing.  We also meet a hobo named Charlie who Lois met at a soup kitchen.  She gave him donuts, but now he's with the monsters. How's that for appreciation?

Next, more Doomsday.  This time he's destroying trees.  Seriously, the way he's treating wildlife and nature, I'm shocked Al Gore didn't make a documentary about him!

Back to Keith.  He's used the glow-in-the-dark spray paint to fashion a "Super Signal" and when the Man of Steel arrives, he tells him about the monsters and Lois Lane.  Superman foils their plan by wrecking their War Machines and shoving a grenade down Clawster's throat.  He then finds Lois with Hobo Charlie.  He;s been working undercover and was the one who sent Lois the mysterious letter.  He loved those donuts all along.  Superman agrees to let the Underworld residents decide the punishment for the War Monsters (?), Hobo Charlie decides to stay and gives Lois an awkward "right on" handshake before her and Superman fly off.
Oh Yea!

The issue ends with a final peek at Doomsday.  He's done fighting Nature and targets a Big Rig which he flips over while laughing.  Another trucker gets on the cb radio (I miss those) and his breaker breaker gets the attention of the Justice League.  By the way, Keith never found his "mamma".

Every time I read older comics it amazes me the amount of story crammed into an issue.  Racial stereotypes aside, I enjoyed this issue.  Granted, the reason I reviewed it was for Doomsday and what little we got of
him was ridiculous.  They started on a weird path to show how powerful he was.  The highlight for me was Lois. Yes, she never seems to think ahead, but that's why I love her.  She's going to get the story no matter what. Plus, she pulled out the Sweet Chin Music.  Awesome.

Bits and Pieces:

If you are looking for a kick ass Doomsday story then look elsewhere.  If you are looking for some 90's goodness and the first glimpse of Doomsday killing little birds, then dig in.  You'll also get a cool story involving War Machines, donut eating Hobos and a little kid who just wants his "mamma".  Plus, Lois making the Heart Break Kid very proud.


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