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Superman: Day of Doom

1 rating: 3.0
A dark miniseries written and illustrated by Dan Jurgens that explores the aftermath of Superman's death.

Writer/penciller Dan Jurgens, with inker Bill Sienkiewicz revisited Superman's battle with Doomsday in the 2003 miniseries Superman: Day of Doom, exploring how the event affects those who knew the fallen hero, and introducing a new villain, Remnant. … see full wiki

Author: Dan Jurgens, Bill Sienkiewicz
Genre: Comics & Graphic Novels, Superheroes
Publisher: DC Comics
Date Published: 2003
1 review about Superman: Day of Doom

Why Remember The Death Anniversary Of SUPERMAN When He Didn't Stay Dead?

  • Oct 29, 2010
Rating:
+3
Back in 1992 (or was it 1993?), DC published the “Death of Superman” story arc in an attempt to generate more sales for the man of steel. It was a great gimmick that did generate huge sales for DC. It  introduced new heroes such as Steel and Superboy, and also led to the corruption of Hal Jordan (Green Lantern). It also introduced the monster “Doomsday” which has inspired writers to capitalize on the popularity of the monster with stories such as “Hunter-Prey”, the “Doomsday Wars”, and many more.

Well, more than 10 years after the death and return of Superman in 2003, writer/artist Dan Jurgens teams up with Bill Sienkiewicz (inker) to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the death of Superman’s death with SUPERMAN: DAY OF DOOM 4-issue mini-series (now printed in graphic novel form). But why celebrate a death when the dead didn’t stay dead? Many thought this series was a cheap money-grab, but truth be told, there is a point to all this, as that same question is reflected upon by the comic itself.

Some weeks before the anniversary of Superman’s death, Daily Planet reporter Ty Duffy is assigned to write a piece about the story on Superman’s death and return. Ty is reluctant but takes on the assignment anyway, he goes around interviewing the people who experienced first hand the Superman-Doomsday battle that had caused the loss of many lives and property. Ty finds that some people express hatred for the hero, as even Ty himself bears a grudge against the man of steel. But now, someone is duplicating Doomsday’s path of destruction, causing destruction that mimic the destructive effects of that fateful day. Superman must know come face to face with his own conscience, and a new villain called The Remnant…

   

   

Superman was never immortal, yet he has returned to life after the brutal attack of Doomsday who has decimated a weaker version of the Justice League. I liked the concept behind this mini-series and it does ask some real-world questions. The DC universe has always portrayed the side of hero worship, that heroic deeds will always be appreciated and praised; unlike Marvel, heroes always have to contend with politics and to always convince that they are doing the right thing. I’ve always seen Marvel as the more grounded to reality of the two companies, but this mini-series surprised me with its ambition.

Why does the Daily Planet seek to always put Superman on a pedestal? Why remember the death of someone who didn’t even stay dead? Why do people mourn the death of a hero who has returned and forgotten the deaths of the many innocent victims of the epic battle against Doomsday? Does Superman attract more death than life? The series starts off quite strongly as we see the feelings of ordinary folks come into expostion. Some either praise Superman for his deeds while some are angered that the public had forgotten about Doomsday’s many victims. After all, how can one remember innocent deaths when one is mourning a god-like being whose deeds were just awe-inspiring? “Day of Doom” does manage to ask the questions, its first half is quite powerful, as the reader is taken on a ride to read some commentary about heroism and innocent casualties.

I thought Jurgens made its premise quite effective, as we question the motivations behind Perry White’s decision-making (something even Clark Kent questions) and Ty Duffy’s reasons for holding a grudge against the man of steel. The story doesn’t lead to an easy answer but allows the reader to ask that same questions. “Day of Doom” isn’t an action-packed affair and is more focused on dialogue, so if you are the Superman fan looking for some action, you may be a little disappointed. The Remnant is a villain whose identity is still a mystery up to this day, it seems like his or her motive to spread the word that Superman is no good to the planet. The Remnant is a twisted villain with powers of illusion that can make one question the reality of what he is seeing (even to one with Superman’s abilities). He means to murder to prove a point, which makes him more dangerous. There is nothing more dangerous than someone who thinks his cause is just.

                     File:Funeral of Superman.jpg 

Dan Jurgens seeks to give closure to the stories which he had begun some years ago, but I think it was a little too late, as the timing of the comics’ publication feels rather insignificant. This would have made more impact if it was published around 1997, but for some reason, this was only published in 2003. I am not a big fan of Jurgens’ writing, I always thought that he was the Michael Bay of comics, but I thought this had the right ambition behind it and does have some scenes that were real dramatic. The series did feel like it lose a lot of gas by the end of issue 3 and issue 4 was very predictable. I thought it became a little disjointed; it was compelling until it decided to hold back. I guess DC really couldn’t push the envelope all the way; that they may ruin its established reputation as a vehicle for ‘hero-worship’. Sienkiewicz’s inking is excellent; as he manages to set the right mood and darker tone for the man of steel. Bill inked the issue to emulate a “grainish” look, it looks dirty and yet it looks quite pretty.

“Day of Doom” asks the questions and leave the story hanging as it never does give a solid answer. I guess Jurgens was trying to tell the reader that we all do what we can to the best of our abilities, and all we can do is hope for the best. So what do you think--does Superman's presence mean more “Doomsdays” or does his absence mean more Coast Cities? (the city destroyed during his absence that led to Green Lantern’s “Emerald Twilight“). It is for you to ponder this question along with the man of steel, too bad it held back.

Story: 3 Stars
Script: 3 Stars
Art: 4 Stars
Entertainment: 3.25 Stars
Overall: 3.31 Stars

Recommended Timidly [3+ Out of 5 Stars]

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Why Remember The Death Anniversary Of SUPERMAN When He Didn't Stay Dead?

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October 30, 2010
Excellent write up WP, I still feel the need to drop some comic reviews but I never find the time. This was a good one indeed, been a while since I have read it.
 
October 29, 2010
I guess for me the entire story arc of Superman's death (and the story arcs that sprang from it) have never held much appeal. I suppose a big part of it is that they brought Superman back from the dead so soon after his defeat by Doomsday, but I always dislike the whole multiple Superman plot too. For me, of you kill a character off, that character needs to stay dead or at least have a really good reason for being brought back.
October 29, 2010
I agree. Hal Jordan stayed dead for 9 years (good reason to bring him back), Barry Allen (Flash) was dead for almost 20 (they never should've brought him back), Green Arrow was dead for 5...I think Supes should've been dead for a minimum of 3 years. His death was a gimmick for sure and admittedly it may have added to the collapse of the industry in the late 90's. I hope Capt. Mar-vell stays dead. I was bummed that Steve Rogers was only dead for 2 years, 10 months.
 
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