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Friday, August 11, 2006

cover of Death of Superman

This story is one that I'm sure was a major event when it was first published; the arc follows the story through issues of several different comic books series, and the cover of our copy bills it as the "best-selling graphic novel of all time." A nameless monster, dubbed Doomsday, breaks its way out of some hillside prison and begins a senseless rampage of destruction. Several members of the Justice League try to stop Doomsday, and several of them are incapacitated-- but they have little effect on the monster. Eventually Superman joins the fray, and he discovers that Doomsday is bigger and stronger than him, at least as quick, and seemingly impossible to hurt or slow down. But Superman knows how many lives are at stake, and he refuses to give in.

This book was fairly interesting to read, but nowhere near the quality that I've become accustomed to in the comic books I've been reading lately. The artwork seemed quite old and out-of-date; the only really noticeable high point was the end, which uses all full-page images to convey a sense of importance and grandeur to the conclusion. And I found that story itself really rather disappointing; Superman deserves better than this! Some nameless, meaningless monster is all it takes to kill Superman? I always thought Superman was pretty indestructible-- sure, he works himself to the point of exhaustion trying to stop this guy, but it's hard to believe that could actually kill him. The many wounds and scrapes on his body seem a little hard to believe, too-- he really shouldn't be hurt that much by an explosion or being buried in wreckage, and if the protuding bones on Doomsday are hard enough to hurt Supes then what are they made out of? It also seemed like Superman had none of his usual ingenuity or cleverness-- force doesn't work against this monster, but he can't seem to come up with any other plan or tack (except for one brief attempt to fly him up into space). But I suppose the authors couldn't give him too much room for ingenuity or else he might actually beat the monster, and then where would their story be?

Title:The Death of Superman
Author:Dan Jurgens, Jerry Ordway, Louise Simonson, Roger Stern, Jon Bogdanove, Tom Grummett, Jackson Guice, Brett Breeding, Rick Burchett, Doug Hazelwood, Dennis Janke, and Denis Rodier
Date published:1993
Genre:Graphic Novel
Number of pages:168


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