Posts Tagged ‘Doomsday’

Requiem And Return

On November 12, 1992, the world’s greatest superhero lost his life in an epic battle literally on the streets of Metropolis right in front of the Daily Planet building. The comic series leading up to the end of Superman and the events following are all chronicled in the novelization The Death and Life of Superman. The story begins as a monster (no better way to describe it) of unknown origin and power begins his ravaging of the Earth. Members of the Justice League, including Green Lantern and other characters I am not very familiar with, are incapable of stopping the beast which became known as Doomsday. Eventually, the Man of Steel himself joined the battle which stretched from ironically, the village of Bluffton, Ohio (a mere 90 minute drive from my hometown… WOW to think) eastward. Not sure if this was a tip of the hat to the hero’s creative team of Siegel and Shuster who grew up in Cleveland. The first part of the novel ends with the Man of Tomorrow’s demise.

The last two sections detail the aftermath and the rise of the Supermen: four individuals all but one of whom claim to be the real deal miraculously brought back from the great beyond. There is the Last Son of Krypton, The Man of Steel, a Superboy (but don’t call him, Boy) and a Cyborg Superman. But, is one of these the real Kal-El or are they each cheap imitations? They each have most or all of his power but all claim to have only bits and pieces of his memory. Some of the personalities exhibited by the four are less than the true blue, Boy Scout image portrayed by the original. However, by the novel’s end, the real McCoy (HEHE) is revealed as well as the identities of the others.

I really liked the nods to past characters of the legacy and other small bits tossed in. Inspector Henderson from the Adventures of Superman tv series has a role. Landmarks and locations are given names calling to mind past Superman related people: Collyer Boulevard (for Bud Collyer who was the original voice of Superman in radio serials way before I was thought of) and many others. Fun to pick those out!

Overall, I think this was the best incarnation of the Death and Return saga. It started as the comic series that lasted an entire year. Then, the novel which was just so much fun to read. Finally a few years ago, an animated feature was made that left too much out to be really enjoyable. Thanks Chris and Lisa!

Doomsday In Smallville

I can accept most things concerning the long, tedious 8 year run of Smallville… For example, character introductions much earlier than acceptable for the sake of increasing ratings.  For another, the Incredible Hulk meets Superman interpretation of Doomsday  HOWEVER, when viewers have been waiting all season long for what is supposed to be the much-anticipated knockout/dragout battle of Clark Kent’s life (still just Clark, no suit, no secret identity except for his moniker of The Red-Blue Blur) and they get next to nothing… well.  All season long, the arrival of Doomsday has been announced… even going back to the finale of Season 7.  And we get two minutes of less than thrilling spectacle.  This creature was supposed to be the end of Superman and it was handled poorly.  Sure there was a super catch of a flying automobile, rescuing a small child, a few big explosions, but that was about it… LAME!  I had been waiting all season for that.

Oh, yeah.  For two years, one of the comics mainstay characters has been a part of the show (even if he was once again one of those aforementioned too early to come to the canvas characters).  Jimmy Olsen was killed by Doomsday.  At his funeral, we find out that the characters name was Henry James Olsen.  The character’s younger brother is given his camera.  The new character’s name? James Bartholomew Olsen: the cub reporter of the Daily Planet.  UGH!

Next season, the show is moving to Friday nights which is typically the graveyard of network television.  Will I watch?  I have my doubts.  I enjoy Elsewhere stories as much as anyone, but I see this turn of events as an insult.  And on Thursday nights in the 8PM time slot… some teenage angst drama featuring vampires.  At least my other favorite show is still looking bright.

Must See TV? Not As Much

I am all for the reinterpretation of a popular character over time to make him more appealing to the masses, but I have found one such instance a bit beyond what I consider plausible. I speak of the up-coming 8th season of Smallville. It not only seems that most of the traditional Superman canon is a MAJOR part of the young adult life of Clark Kent, but it seems that most of them know of his “secret.” Over the last two seasons, both Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen were introduced to the series as recurring characters which would be entirely understandable IF it were a series about the ADULT life of Clark after he had assumed the guise of the superhero. Last season, The Man of Steel’s arch-enemy Lex Luthor discovered the truth about Clark. There have been some interesting action-packed episodes with guest appearances of future Justice League members Green Arrow, The Flash, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Cyborg, and Black Canary. However, I think the show’s creators may have driven the final nail in the coffin. For season eight, the monstrous destructive force known as Doomsday will be introduced. Instead of the inhuman monster who was responsible for killing the Last Son of Krypton, a troubled young man will eventually transform into the character. The new addition will also be involved in a love triangle with Jimmy and his girl friend. GREAT… more twenty-something angst. I think that it is high time that the BOY of steel grew up. I think it will be interesting how they plan to explain a way in which everyone who knows Clark’s secret will forget it (aside from the Kents, Pete Ross, and Lana Lang).