Writer: Jerry Ordway
Penciler: Tom Grummett
Publisher: DC Comics
I am a huge fan of Tom Grummett’s pencils, and clearly other people must be too, hence his top-billing here; I’ve very rarely seen a penciler credited before a writer. I only discovered Grummett in the 21st century – I had no idea he was penciling this long ago.
The battle with Doomsday has started to get really serious here, but there was something weird about it all. If this had been the first Superman story I had read, I might not think he was a monster; but having already read a few, and having formed that view, his appearance here just cemented it.
In Superman #74, we saw Superman consciously ignoring cries for help so he could go pursue Doomsday – just the latest in a bunch of dickish moves from the so-called “hero”. Here, we see him think that one of the other Justice League members might have been able to help, which is why he ignored the cries. Bull. Shit. We also see him chastise Maxima for putting other people in danger – this, from the guy I saw likely murder a defenceless person in Man of Steel #18? I’m not buying it, Superman… unless… does he just put up that facade when there are other heroes around? He ignored the teen boy when he thought he was the only superhuman around. He possible murdered the other guy when there was no-one else around. That’s somehow even worse! If he was just upfront about being a monster, that’s one thing, but presenting another side to the JLA… hiding it… oh my gosh.
I was over the moon when I saw Guardian ask Superman if all the destruction was necessary. Even though Maxima had caused most of it, Guardian knew that Superman is the guy who should apparently know better. I’m with you, Guardian. Maxima’s clearly a bit bloodthirsty; Superman is the guy who wants you to think he’s civilised. I’ve no idea who Guardian is, but with the possible exception of the Blue Beetle, he’s the first guy who hasn’t shown himself to be a dick so far. I might look into him and read some more of his adventures.
I’ve noticed that with each issue in the storyline, Doomsday’s suit takes further damage, revealing a more monstrous figure. Mike Carlin needs a lot of props as editor. He’s not just getting his creators to do a coherent story overall; even the micro-details in the art and writing are holding up.
This has been, without a doubt, the most solid issue in the Doomsday story arc so far. The writing was fabulous and tight, as was the penciling. Well done, Ordway and Grummett!