Was it really just 4 months ago that I was collecting The Outsiders? At that time, the Eradicator was added to the team and there was a tangential connection to New Krypton. There were some parts of the book that I liked. Geo-Force was clearly insane as leader. Katana was having a hard time reconciling her Samurai loyalty to the irrational Geo-Force. And Philip Tan's art at times really shined, a bit skewed in perspective and with a thick ink line. But those things weren't enough for me and so I dropped the title.
But every time I think I am out, they pull me back in. The Outsiders #37 came out this week, the second chapter in the Reign of Doomsday storyline working it's way through the super-books.
In many ways, this issue sort of justified my dropping the title when I did. Sure, Doomsday stomps his way through the issue, facing off against the Eradicator. But basically that's all this issue was, a stomp-fest. And Philip Tan has changed his style, one I don't like as much as I did in the earlier issues.
It turns out that Markovia is still somewhat ostracized by the remainder of the world for siding with the Kryptonians during the New Krypton time period. And Geo-Force's continued friendship with the Eradicator isn't helping things. The other Outsider team members Katana, Halo, Looker, and The Olympian all think that Brion should simply rid himself of the Eradicator, an olive branch for the rest of the world.
Tan's new style is evident right from the beginning as it looks like he didn't ink the art at all, instead leaving it as pencils to be colored. As a result, the art looks soft or gauzy.
Geo-Force refuses to turn his back on his friend the Eradicator.
Ironically, the Eradicator comes crashing to the ground after having earlier flown off. The Eradicator isn't a lightweight. For someone to have trashed him like this, they must be extremely powerful.
No big surprise, it's Doomsday.
At first Geo-Force does the right thing, telling his teammates to leave him to fight Doomsday on his own. But they refuse, declaring their allegiance to the Outsiders, and swarm Doomsday. Seems like a suicide mission. I can't imagine Katana, Looker, or Halo scratching Doomsday.
I did think it was weird that Tan has Doomsday glowing yellow with some Kirby dots. Is this a manifestation of some new power?
Oh ... by the way ... the rest of the Outsider team are imprisoned by Amanda Waller for being traitors to the US for having lived in Markovia. She offers Black Lightning, Metamorpho, Freight Train, Owlman, Thunder, and Grace a choice - fight Geo-Force for the US or remain in prison.
At first they decline but the Black Lightning gives in realizing that the US next step against Markovia would be a nuclear exchange. It is implied that it's a bluff by Waller, but it worked.
It was nice to see Waller again, manipulating people as well as ever.
There is a nice blurb where writer Dan Didio talks about the heroism of the Markovian Outsiders, fighting Doomsday knowing they will most likely die. During the fight, Doomsday begins to exhibit blue energy powers.
But look at his spikes. Without ink, as just pencils, don't they look like powder puffs? Or frilly sleeves? Or a big feather boa? It looks like the Outsiders are fighting Liberace!
One thing I did like about this issue was seeing Doomsday kick the tar out of The Olympian. I think Achilles and the 'Manazons' (I can't believe I typed that) completely derailed Gail Simone's Wonder Woman run. So I was happy to see him get crushed.
There are several pages of all the Outsiders getting taken out like yesterday's trash by the rampaging monster.
But Doomsday's real objective is the Eradicator. Just as Doomsday sprouted armor when facing Steel, here the monster has blue energy bolts like the Eradicator. It is as if Doomsday is able to absorb the powers of the Superman stand-ins. Funny, here he did not grow armor ... maybe he can only use one power at a time.
The fight between the Eradicator and Doomsday is extremely brief, Doomsday ending it in dramatic fashion.
Does that look familiar?
I don't know. As soon as I saw it, I thought of Frank Miller's dramatic scene where Bullseye 'kills' Elektra.
I am sure there are countless images like this.
And with the fight over, Doomsday picks up the Eradicator's body and teleports away.
So much like the Steel one-shot, we don't get much in terms of information about Doomsday, why he is doing this, how he has new powers, or who (if anyone) is controlling him. Instead it is a lot of pages of some serious combat. But no real story ...
But now I am starting to think about this whole thing. I wonder if there might be more than one Doomsday ... one for each of Superman's 'replacements' when the Man of Steel was thought dead.
So, one more chapter of Reign of Doomsday is done without much new information. And I miss the old Philip Tan art.