Prelude to Doomed is where Superman #30 kicks off. Writer Scott Lobdell does a lot of set-up work for what’s to come in the one-shot Doomed #1. If you are a longtime reader not much of this is brand new but if you want a jumping off point for readers truly unfamiliar with the basic structure of Superman this is a great place to start.
Official description from DC:
Every man, woman and child in Smallville has suddenly fallen into a coma while the citizens of the Bottled City of Kandor begin to rise again. Meanwhile, Superman has his hands full as Doomsday cuts a swath of destruction through the heart of the earth itself!
The one thing that’s of surprise coming out of this story is Lobdell’s strange new story line for Lois Lane and her new level of consciousness in what’s sure to be a off-kilter alien arc. The issue, however, kicks off with a story of a newlywed couple and their tumultuous relationship. All this is a segue toward the unrelenting devastation a creature like Doomsday has in store for all mankind. It’s a nice start to a dark story and the couple are a great representation of what’s to come.
Lobdell also sets up all the other players. Newly appointed Senator Sam Lane investigates the town of Smallville where all the residents have lapsed into comas. When Superman arrives Lane must forge an uncomfortable alliance with him and with Clark in fear and confusion the results are more than a little bit rocky. Superman also encounters an alien entity that will lay out the destruction that looms on the horizon.
Again, Lois is in her own world and mostly not of her own doing and this is the most interesting scenario that raises plenty of questions. There are plenty off odd occurrences and other than the opening scene it’s hard to distinguish what is being caused by Doomsday and what’s not. Lobdell lays out a bunch of unknowns and makes for an overall interesting lead-in to Doomed.
Ed Benes is on art duties and while some might be fans I have always loved his work and it holds true to form here. It’s good to see Benes on more big titles and he has plenty to work with here with Lobdell’s story. Aliens, sci-fi, the Bottled City of Kandor, small town America and all the trappings of a true Superman story. Issue #32 kicks off the new creative team but Lobdell makes a very nice run to go out on a high note. The best thing Lobdell and Benes do here is not rely on showing Doomsday to show the effect of his presence. We’ve seen plenty of him in other preludes and in this instance the “less is more” scenario definitely works well.
For longtime readers this is a lot of well worn exposition with many unanswered questions but for newbies who are jumping on Superman for the Doomed crossover you’ll get a great understanding behind the mythos of the Man of Steel. All in all a very solid issue and one well suited to lay the foundation for the upcoming event.