Part of what made The Death of Superman storyline so successful in the mid-90s was that you really believed Doomsday was powerful enough to hurt (kill) Superman, and the guest appearance by the Justice League served to further highlight the level of threat that Doomsday was. Using the Justice League as a foil to give perspective to the threat was a necessary and successful tactic that Ordway and Jurgens used at the time, and writers Scott Lobdell, Charles Soule and Greg Pak are wise to emulate that formula here.
In this issue, both Steel and Wonder Woman get a crack at Doomsday before Superman does, and by using their failures to stop Doomsday as a base line, the writers help to establish the level of threat that Doomsday poses to the planet, as well as to Superman. In a creative twist on the Doomsday character, we find out here that the original Doomsday that Superman has faced previously was a lesser, more incomplete version of the Doomsday we find here in this storyline. By adding these new details to the character's background, it helps to actually refresh the image of an otherwise stale and boring character that originally existed for one sole purpose, to kill Superman and sell comics at the height of the speculator era of comic books.
The art in this issue is provided by Ken Lashley, and he does a fine job. The cover is brilliant in my opinion, and there are some interior pages that are also quite stunning. This issue is peppered with double-page spreads and splash pages that visually satisfy the early need for drama in a story that DC is putting a lot of faith in to help boost sagging sales numbers for one of their marquee characters.
For a Superman story that is dangerously close to being perceived as a retread of previous successes, this first issue was pretty decent. There are enough changes to the lore to be interesting, and the inclusion of the Justice League is bound to help sales at some point along the way. It also helps that Greg Pak is a fresh face at DC who brings with him a large following from his days over at Marvel, and Charles Soule is about as hot as a new-to-comics writer can be at the moment. All of these elements bode well early on for this story line, lets just hope that the rest of the issues can maintain at least the level that this issue did. If that ends up being the case, this looks to be a pretty enjoyable Superman story.