Review: Doomsday +1 #5

Doomsday +1 #5 cover
Cover by John Byrne

Doomsday +1 #5
Published and © by Charlton, March 1976

Title: “Rule of Fear”
Synopsis: The Doomsday +1 team continues to look for other survivors – only to find themselves fighting for their lives once again!

Writer: Joe Gill
Artist: John Byrne (as Byrne Robotics)
Art assist: Patterson-75

Review: After issues featuring a freeze-dried Goth warrior, an assortment of killer robots and even warring undersea empires (see reviews), this issue feels like a dramatic step down. The big bad? A trio of misogynistic, low-IQ GIs. Seriously, there’s not much in the way of post-apocalyptic drama here … well, with the exception of yet another nuke going off. Unlike earlier issues, the early John Byrne art doesn’t do much to bolster this outing. The “Byrne Robotics” credit suggests multiple hands at play and the results look rushed and uneven. Definitely not the strongest of Doomsday +1’s original six issues.

Grade: C+

Cool factor: Yeah, this one, not so much.

Notable: This issue includes two one-pagers titled “The U.F.O.’s That Aren’t There” (with art by Steve Ditko) and “A Long Way From Home” (uncredited). … There is also an uncredited, two-page text story with illustrations (John Byrne panels reprinted from earlier issues) featuring the Doomsday +1 characters titled “Doomsday+Man.” … This issue is reprinted, with a recolored cover, as Doomsday +1 #11.

Character quotable: “Are you nuts? They’re probably the only two chicks left alive!” – Sarge, a character of obvious moral fiber

A word from the artist: “Back when I was starting up I was very nervous about using uncredited assistants. I did not want the folk at Charlton knowing I was not doing all the work myself, but I also did not want the work credited as if I was.” – John Byrne, talking the origins of “Byrne Robotics,” in Comic Book Artist #12, March 2001

Editor’s note: This review was written May 9, 2021.

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