Monday, February 28, 2005

Superman: Day of Doom

The death of Superman created quite the buzz when it happened. I know I was sucked into the gigantic, title spanning story arc. Knowing that the Man of Steel would perish created so much anticipation in my mind, not because I hated Superman or anything, but because I was so curious as to how something like that could happen. How would it happen? Would it be someone in his already vast rogues gallery or a new villain? Would it be a kryptonite inflicted death? Would Superman get tricked somehow? I was so stoked to find out what would happen to the seemingly indestructable Superman.

When I finally read the collected story (I only had managed to get a part of the story since I didn't buy all the titles involved initially), and the collected stories of the world without Superman and his return, I was extremely satisfied. The story was great and I couldn't have asked for anything more grand or interesting. With Day of Doom, Dan Jurgens revisits the events of Superman's death and return to life.

I was hoping to like this four issue mini as much as the original story. Instead, though, I found it a painful read. The story was quite heavy handed and the art was hard on the eyes for a good majority of the time. The story focuses on a reporter who is assigned to writing a retrospective on Superman's death for the anniversary of the event. The reporter hates Superman and is bound & determined to focus on the stories of those killed by the event rather than Superman himself.

It's this heavy handed look at the events of Superman's death that got real annoying real quick. Yeah, there were a ton of people affected by the battle between Superman and Doomsday, and many more people were affected by the return of the supposed Supermen. I know that. I'm sure Superman knows that as well, but this focus on how Superman was responsible for so many bad things was just dumb. He doesn't realize that if not for Superman Doomsday would have easily killed many more people and the evil Superman that emerged would have killed more people. Everything would have been worse if Superman wasn't there, so stop your bitching about how crappy you have it because Superman saved your ass!

The story got on my nerves real quick because it was so narrow-minded, but that's only part of what doesn't work for this mini. The art by Jurgens is a real eyesore. He does a few nice full page splashes of Superman, but when it comes to illustrating normal characters and doing small panel pieces, he couldn't do it. The scrawling, scratchy art of Jurgens is something that I just can't enjoy. Everything looks like he scribbled it out really fast without taking the time to put any real effort into it. Maybe some people enjoy it, but I found it hard to look at page in and page out.

As much as I wanted to like this retrospective on Superman's death, it failed to work on so many levels that even my feelings of nostalgia couldn't bring me to like this title. Unless you are a Superman completist or want to read a very mediocre look back on Superman's death, I can't recommend this.

Art: 2
Story: 2.25
Overall: 2

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