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Action Comics: Doomsday Special #1
DC Comics

Comic Books

‘Action Comics: Doomsday Special’ #1 tells a story by the campfire

A terrifying and exciting event setup that will lead to a new era of Supergirl and Martian Manhunter. 

SPOILERS AHEAD for Action Comics: Doomsday Special #1!

Heaven and Hell.

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The afterlife is a topic that varies from culture to culture. It’s no surprise that comic books tackle the subject frequently with their complex storytelling and mythological world building. Academic literature such as A New Gnosis explores how comic books handle the spiritual and the multidimensional aspects of the stories that they tell, whether it’s from the psychological and primal instincts of Batman or the spiritual evolution that comes with being “zapped” and getting your superpowers, forcing you to decide what person you’re going to become for the rest of your life. 

Of course, applying logic such as this to the world of Superman is an easy task. 

“I was raised on Krypton. Our culture was one of science. There were old Gods, remembered from the yore, but they were not worshipped… they were remembered as myths and fairy tales. Krypton had no Heaven. It had no Hell. Yet we still had a devil.” 

Dan Watters, famous for his stories featuring the Dark Knight, takes Supergirl and Martian Manhunter through a spiritual and literal battle against Krypton’s Baphomet, Doomsday. Since Woman of Tomorrow, the Maid of Might has been positioned as the wise but troubled shoulder to lean on for the rest of the Superfamily, as her stories feature her struggles trying to appear human and her larger trauma formed from the destruction of Krypton and Argo City. Her character has always appeared as someone who carries the weight of a dead culture, but recently her past has been catching up to her. Whether it’s the return of Power Girl, her past selves in Knight Terrors, or the larger stress she deals with day by day, it’s safe to say that she isn’t having the greatest of times. 

Action Comics: Doomsday Special #1

DC Comics

Following the events of Lazarus Planet, Martian Manhunter implants a nightmare in Supergirl’s dreamscape of Doomsday walking out of the pits of Hell, covered in lava, and it becomes more and more apparent that the imagery of it feels real; and much to Kara Zor-El’s “delight”, it was. Jonn convinces her to hunt down Doomsday with him and once the two set up a mental link together, they’re suddenly thrown down into Hell, where they quickly realize that Doomsday has been slowly taking the realm over. 

Watters arguably could’ve used any other characters for this story; he could’ve used Superman and Jason Blood or any characters that could’ve fit this exploration of Hell, but he didn’t. Watters picked the two most vulnerable aliens for this story and it becomes clear why, as the nature of Hell is unsettling to them both. Kara’s always been more of a cynical force with the Superfamily and Jonn is an emotional creature who hides it to stay strong in the face of horror, but their masks fall apart the more they’re trapped in layers of filth and darkness. Doomsday is a problem for them, but their own survival in the realm causes more of a stir as it corrupts their view of humanity. 

What helps this dark and twisted story of mythology and morality is the terrifying art by Eddie Barrows, Eber Ferriera, and Adriano Lucas. The art and colors show readers the dark and terrifying nature of Hell and the life that lives in it as Kara and Jonn crawl through the deepest and darkest pits of Hell to fight against Doomsday and trap him within the realm. It is grimy, messy, and gross, and it shows that Superman-related comics can tell horror stories with the kindest of heroes. 

Watters doesn’t just wow with “Doomsday In Hell”, but also with his, Max Raynor, and Andrew Dalhouse’s “Bloodwynd, A Superman For Hell”. The trio takes a trip back into Hell to show readers what exactly is happening to Raphael Arce after the events of Lazarus Planet: We Were Once Gods

DC Preview: Action Comics Presents: Doomsday Special #1

DC Comics

Watters introduces the idea of a new, evolved version of Bloodwynd with Arce and shows that he and Phillip Kennedy Johnson wish to call back to the 1990s in a complex and myth-breaking way. The bulk of the side story focuses on Arce’s mental state and ties to Doomsday as he slowly begins to take on the Bloodwynd identity to combat against the forces of Hell and fight back against the monster and his mental connection to him. It is a chilling and brilliant story that shows the raw power of Watters as a horror and superhero writer. 

With all of the cards in place, Action Comics: Doomsday Special #1 by Dan Watters, Eddie Barrows, Eber Ferriera, Adriano Lucas, Max Raynor, and Andrew Dalhouse is a terrifying and exciting event setup that will lead to a new era of Supergirl and Martian Manhunter. 

Action Comics: Doomsday Special #1
‘Action Comics: Doomsday Special’ #1 tells a story by the campfire
Action Comics: Doomsday Special #1
With all of the cards in place, Action Comics: Doomsday Special #1 by Dan Watters, Eddie Barrows, Eber Ferriera, Adriano Lucas, Max Raynor, and Andrew Dalhouse is a terrifying and exciting event setup that will lead to a new era of Supergirl and Martian Manhunter. 
Reader Rating1 Votes
9.1
Watters proves himself a strong asset to DC's Dawn of DC slate with his stellar and terrifying writing as he torments the Woman of Tomorrow and her Martian companion.
His writing adds to the mythology of DC's Hell and does so in a brilliant manner.
The art from Barrows and Raynor have brilliant usages of dark shading and unsettling atmosphere to establish the horrors of Hell and the monders that hide within it.
The creative team as a whole is a beautiful collaboration and shows that Superman comics can and should use horror to evolve the hero and his characters.
10
Fantastic
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