Writer: Steve Lyons
Artist: Ed Benes
Letterer: Pat Bosseau
Cover: Alex Garner
Editor: Matt Idelson
Release Date: January 5th, 2011
The “Death of Superman” will be forever etched into this reviewer’s reading experience, as I fondly recall all the build-up and hype leading to the demise of the Man of Steel. I remember reading the first appearances, albeit in a second or third printing, of the raw and awesome power that is Doomsday. As a kid, I was totally awestruck seeing this unstoppable force making his way through the world’s finest, with hardly any effort. Issue by issue, the Kryptonian assassin’s appearance would be revealed, further adding to the tensions, mystery and excitement. From there, we would be witness to a new stock of Supermen, in the form of four super-powered mysteries.
Steve Lyons has captured the magic of the original and made this all his own with Steel #1. As seen all those years ago, Doomsday has once again become the most brutal and destructive force there is.
From the outset, Lyons gives us a story narrated by John Henry Irons, a man facing terrible odds, yet defiant as he faces the evil of Doomsday, as the hero known as Steel. Without warning, similar to all those years ago, Doomsday is on a murderous rampage with nothing to stop him from completing his quest – whatever that may be. The engine of destruction has specifically targeted this man of steel – and this does not bode well for the most human of the Supermen.
As Steel fights for his life, you can not help but feel his anguish and anticipation. Lyons writes as if you are fighting side by side with the man who chose to take up the mantle of the world’s greatest hero. Lyons involves the reader as we bear witness to what fate holds for John Henry. From the perspective of his niece, who can all but watch, we share the same helpless feeling as the nightmare that is unfolding sweeps us up.
As this Doomsday is on a new mission of murder, with that, also comes new powers and abilities. Again, similar to the events of yester-year, we are given a story full of might and mystery. Lyons has given Doomsday a much needed make-over, a fresh take on a classic villain to heroes everywhere.
The art of Ed Benes compliments Lyons’ writing exceptionally well, as he gives us page after page of super-hero filled angst, battle, bloodshed, hope and despair. The pain from the punches can be felt in the pencils and colors. The strength of the two battling titans radiates forth from the panels depicting the fierce fighting. Benes and company match the emotion of the original; in turn, giving homage to both Supermen as we see with the conclusion. Very nicely done.
Steve Lyons and Ed Benes give us a fantastic start to the “Reign of Doomsday.” The story is a heart-felt one leaving you thoroughly engrossed as to what comes next. I fear for the next hero – or villain – that crosses path with this monster – for certainly it will be his or her Doomsday!