By Greg Pak, Ken Lashley, Aaron Kuder, Jack Herbert, Cliff Richards, Julias Gopez, Will Conrad, Pascal Alixe & Ulises Arreola
Superman: Doomed continues here with Action Comics Annual #3. Superman continues to fight the Doomsday virus as it transforms him further into a complete monster. Guest heroes and villains crowd the spotlight this issue as Lex Luthor, Batman, and countless others join in on the action as they all come to the horrific conclusion that SuperDoom and the virus were just the beginning of far more terrible things to come. Greg Pak handles the script as a huge roster of talented artists collaborate to create a fun, fresh looking book that creates diversity and originality on every page.
Many artistic contributors guest star for this annual, including series regular Aaron Kuder, to keep the book looking fresh page to page. All of their varying styles fit perfectly with Superman and his current story arc. The character models, by all artists, capture the heroes and villains perfectly. This annual certainly gives the reader more than they paid for in terms of the visual uniqueness and diversity. Ulises Arreola’s colors are what instantly strike the reader as soon as they open the book. In most scenes, the colors look beautiful and integrate well into the varying art styles. However, the colors can be distracting when there are too many vibrant colors in the same panel, which creates some visually unappealing effects.
The integration of Brainiac adds a new layer to an already trying situation for the Man of Steel, but isn’t it the perfect time to add new trials for Superman to overcome? After all, more problems= more interesting story. Lex and Batman head a huge collection of guest stars as they all fight to stop both Superman and the forces of Brainiac in an epic battle that spans the entire issue. While the overall story of Doomed has been interesting and a much needed change for the Boy Scout, his time as SuperDoom may be running its course as lapses in his character this issue prove that its time we get our old Superman back.
While some scenes and subplots felt rushed in order to further advance the story, Action Comics Annual #3 is an important piece to the puzzle of Doomed and is a much needed addition to complete the overall storyline. The story was enhanced by the large cast of guest characters, including Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman, and more. Pak and company did well to provide new elements to be explored in future installments and luckily for us, Action Comics #34, which continues from this issue, was released on the very same day.