Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Superman #175

Superman #175

Scheduled to arrive in stores: October 10, 2001

Cover date: December 2001

2001 Shield No. 46

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciller: Ed McGuinness
Inker: Cam Smith

"Doomsday Rex"

Reviewed by: Nick Newman (

The Joker, recently freed from his incarceration, walks through the Pentagon, spraying every guard he meets with his Smilex gas. Pushing one of the guard's eyes up to the scanner, he stands back as a huge vault door slams open. Joker moves up to a large tank with a covered figure floating in it. Hooking his gun up to the tank, Joker injects his gas into the tank. Joker laughs as the creature begins to stir.

Superman flies proudly through the sky, holding the American flag ahead of him. Landing atop the White House, Superman affixes the flag to its peak and stands back to admire his work. Below him, an assembly of reporters is gathered to hear Luthor speak. Suddenly, the press conference is cut short as a shrouded figure bursts through the pavement in front of the White House.

Luthor orders everyone inside of the White House immediately. As the creature shatters the gate, weapon emplacements pop out of the ground and begin to blast the behemoth. The monster proceeds through the barrage, unaware of the red and blue streak approaching him from behind.

Superman slams into the being at full speed; the impact echoing for miles. In one fluid move the Man of Steel grabs the massive arm and hauls the beast skyward. Suddenly, with an abrupt twist of its massive torso, the monster sends Superman flying.

Crashing into the Capitol Building, Superman turns and heads back to the battle scene. Kal freezes the beast with a breath of air, and begins to question the creature's identity. It has a similar size and frame, but Superman saw him die during the war. The beast suddenly expands the claws on its fists and shatters the ice, knocking Superman back. No longer holding back, Clark lets loose with a blast of heat vision, demanding to know who is beneath the lead-lined suit. Doomsday's face lies revealed beneath the mask. The killer of Superman slams his former victim through a wall.

Under the White House, Lois and Jimmy, along with Black Lightning, listen to the blows reverberate down to them. Lois realizes that it is the anniversary of Superman's death. Black Lightning suddenly grabs Lois and Jimmy and leads them through a passageway to the surface. In the Oval Office, Luthor refuses to retreat. Instead, he activates certain fail safes.

Superman and Doomsday trade blows, neither willing to stop. Suddenly, the walls close in on the combatants, sealing them in a cube of metal. Before either can react, green light bombards both of them, making them fall back in pain. In his office, Luthor explains to his aide Mac that while it may not be pure Kryptonite, their synthetic K is getting closer every day, and there is just enough Kryptonian DNA in Doomsday that the radiation affects him. Mac argues that Luthor will kill Superman too, but Luthor argues that sacrifices must be made.

Enraged, Doomsday punches Superman and pries his prison apart. As Doomsday plods away, Superman crawls away from the poisonous rays and makes a telepathic call to J'onn. In the Oval Office, Hope and Mercy bravely defend Lex while Mac tells him to seek cover. The killer knocks Luthor's guards aside and heads for the President. Luthor begins to yell at Mac to do something. Mac may have tried to hide it, but Luthor has known all along. He accepted the JLA's spy, even if he didn't like it. Mac begins to change, and stands revealed as the Martian Manhunter.

J'onn moves to face Doomsday, and for a few moments rains blows upon the creature. Before long though, Doomsday catches the Martian's hand and looms forward, his mouth glowing. He tells J'onn that while he may have power, he is no Superman. With that, Doomsday breaths fire down upon J'onn.

In the lobby, Superman lies not breathing. Lois urges Black Lightning forward, and he applies his hands to Superman's chest. With a mighty discharge, Lightning resuscitates Superman, bringing him back from the brink of death.

In a diner, Jonathon Kent sits watching the television report on his son's battle for his life. He quickly stands up, and says that he has to get home now.

Superman bursts through the wall, sending Doomsday flying away from the White House and rescuing J'onn. After checking his friend, Superman heads for the Lincoln Memorial. Arriving there, he confronts Doomsday. They are going to finish this, once and for all.

Doomsday begins to swing at Superman, but the Last Son of Krypton merely shrugs the blows aside. Doomsday is weak, because for the first time in his life he is feeling fear. Fear of pain and fear of dying again. Knowing the agony of what has happened to him, Doomsday is weakened. He is no longer the mindless brute, and it is making him weaker.

As Doomsday's bones splinter on the Man of Steel's chest, Superman suddenly begins to attack his former killer. Never again will Doomsday hurt him. Never again will Doomsday kill him. With a massive uppercut, Superman drops the beast to the ground, and stands triumphantly over his fallen foe.

Luthor approaches Kal and begins to applaud his efforts. As he turns to leave, Superman tells Luthor never to let him out again. Lex is transparent, even without x-ray vision.

On an airstrip outside of DC, Luthor looks at Doomsday bound in his new bonds. He turns to Darkseid and tells him that the demonstration should have proven that Doomsday is still in working order. As Kalibak pushes Doomsday through a boom tube, Luthor tells the ruler of Apokalips that this repays the war debt between them. The forces from Apokalips vanish with a boom.

Lois and Clark kiss passionately as they head southbound to his parent's home. Landing in front of the house, Lois and Clark both grin to see Pa emerge from the home. Father and son embrace.

Lois and Martha stand in the kitchen, watching Clark and Pa standing out in the field. Pa hasn't said where he was, and Martha isn't going to ask. In the field, Pa tells his son that he just couldn't remember where he lived or who he was, but when he saw his son on television it all came rushing back to him. Pa asks Clark to never tell his mother this, and Clark agrees. The two embrace as the sun sets on the horizon.

5Story - 5: Another gem by Loeb. Only Jeph could turn a publisher-forced theme month into the perfect finale for the war, as well as the start of a new storyline. Now Apokolips has Doomsday. Of course, they had the Cyborg for quite a while too, but maybe this time Darkseid will actually do something with it. It was also nice to see Superman declare that Doomsday will never again threaten him. Doomsday is a villain from another era (I can't believe it's been nine years) and he needs to be put to rest. The twist of Mac being the Martian Manhunter was nice, but it would have been better if Mac had appeared in more than two issues (by my count he's only appeared in his origin and this issue). It was also nice to see the "Last Laugh" interaction kept to a minimum. I love cross-company crossovers, but not when it centers around one character like this. And the return of Pa was welcomed, if a bit cliche. The amnesia thing has been overused, but the final scene with Clark and his father makes up for it. It brought back memories of "For All Seasons". Another great issue by the master. Thanks Jeph.

5Art - 5: Ed has really fallen into his niche. The art on this issue was great. Superman looked terrific, and Doomsday looks the best he has since Jurgens first drew him almost a decade ago. The splashes were terrific, especially the one of Superman standing above Doomsday's body, and the great ending page of Clark and his father. Once again Ed, if you ever find yourself running out of places to keep that original art, I'll be happy to take a few off your hands. McGuinness is drawing an incredible Superman, and he doesn't show any sign of stopping.

4Cover Art - 4: A cool looking cover, with Ed's awesome new Doomsday design, but it was kind of boring. I'm sure it could have been a cool pose or something, but I'll still stick with this. A good cover, if not a great one.

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Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic was on sale.

January 2001

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