Doomed graphic novel review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: DC - 978-1-4012-6122-1
  • Release date: 2016
  • UPC: 9781401261221
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes
  • CATEGORIES: Superhero

Reiser is one of those guys who whips up a batch of homemade lemonade when life pelts him with a bag of lemons. Optimistic and enthusiastic beyond the call of duty, he’s thrilled to be working at S.T.A.R. Labs, even if he’s the guy that has to put on the decontamination suit and mop out the radiation chamber. His one, teeny, tiny, life-changing mistake is to remove the hood briefly as it’s hot in that chamber. That’s enough to transform him into a monstrous looking being whose chances of being understood are considerably diminished when his speech emerges as threatening growls.

The title’s a clever one, but does it point to Reiser’s fate or something else entirely? Doomed is a largely enjoyable modern day take on the hoary cliché of radiation bestowing powers on a hapless teenager. Scott Lobdell populates his cast with largely likeable people, most of whom are concealing a big problem, which occasionally leads to some monologuing, and Javier Fernandez keeps the excitement boiling with some great page layouts. Those with a wide knowledge of the DC universe will discover Lobdell’s left them enough clues that they’ll be one step ahead of the remaining readership when it comes to the big revelation at the midway point.

It does seem at times as if the story’s being filled with better known DC characters for the sake of it, and there’s a repetitive quality to Reiser fighting them, but Superman’s guest appearance toward the end is eventually touching. Added to the plot is an element of Men in Black, with a monster slayer on the loose, and here Lobdell is original in presenting an intriguing character. Unfortunately for those who liked what Lobdell and Fernandez were doing, there weren’t enough of them, and as a series cancelled ahead of time a few plot elements remain unresolved. Reiser’s future played out among the Teen Titans.