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Review: Doomsday +1 #4

Doomsday +1 #4 cover
Cover by John Byrne

Doomsday +1 #4
Published and © by Charlton, January 1976

Title: “Hidden Empire!”
Synopsis: The team tracks a radio signal to Vancouver, where they discover warring races of secret, underwater humanoids!

Writer: Joe Gill
Artist: John Byrne (as Byrne Robotics)

Review: In some ways, this is the most enjoyable issue of Doomsday +1 yet. After a pair of robot-heavy adventures (see reviews of Doomsday +1 #2 and #3), Joe Gill goes all in on the crazy with warring races of underwater humanoids. But it’s never clear why the Gill-Men lured the human survivors into the fray in the first place, and their plan certainly doesn’t end well. John Byrne’s art continues to show flashes of future greatness, but the storytelling on the climatic scene would be nearly indecipherable without the text. A mixed bag of Bronze Age fun.

Grade: B

Cool factor: Ooooh, look at that pretty John Byrne cover.

Notable: There is also an uncredited, two-page text story with illustrations featuring the Doomsday +1 characters titled “Mutant From the Sea.” … This issue is reprinted, with an interior panel used as a new cover, as Doomsday +1 #10.

Character quotable: “Be grateful you are so important to our plans, Air-Breather! If not, I would long ago have used your useless carcass as shark-bait!” – Yiz of the Gill-men

Editor’s note: This review was written May 7, 2021.

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