I have to begin this post by acknowledging that this is more of a half-post, as I didn’t read the entire trade.
As Mistah J informed me prior to reading, this collection features various Doomsday appearances across multiple points in the comic continuity, many of which I haven’t reached yet. I will eventually read these stories in other collections, and so I only read the first half of this trade, which mainly presents Doomsday stories that take place before The Death of Superman.
Truth be told, that was more than enough. A girl can only handle so much death and destruction.
The main story presented here is Doomsday’s origin. Part of what made his appearance in The Death of Superman so terrifying was that he simply emerged from the earth and began destroying everything in sight. He had no known motive, and seemed completely unbeatable.
This comic takes the reader back hundreds of thousands of years, to a time when a group of like-minded individuals set out to create an indestructible being, the perfection of life itself. Unfortunately the methods which they employ are barbaric to say the least, sending a young infant out into an unforgiving terrain to be instantly torn apart by the beasts that reside there. They then journey out, gather up pieces of his biological material, and create a clone. This process is repeated every single day for decades, each time ending in the brutal death of a baby until finally the child evolves enough to survive the harsh environment in which he finds himself.
As is expected, that being is Doomsday, a create with no organs and little bodily fluid, a singularly-minded solid mass hell-bent on destruction.
The comic presents one story set after The Return of Superman, in which the man of steel ventures out into space to locate Doomsday’s body and confirm he is dead.
At this point in the story, I realized I truly hate when I’m right.
We learn that not only is Doomsday still alive, but so is Super-Cyborg (aka just “Cyborg”, not to be confused with the other Cyborg from The Teen Titans… yeah, comics are confusing). Not only is this guy alive, but he’s still a jerk determined to kill Superman. He views Doomsday as the perfect vehicle for destruction, and uses him to cause mayhem on Apokolips of all places.
Superman arrives and, not wanting to cause the death of the innocent residents of that god-forsaken planet, aids Darkseid in the quest to stop Doomsday.
The comic does a much better job of telling this story, and creates a truly compelling narrative. As the story ends, and with a little help from the time-traveling Waverider, Doomsday is banished to the end of time, the only feasible method of killing him and preventing him from regenerating.
This scene was dramatic and well-planned, and seemed a fitting end for such a brutal and hated character (although, like most other comic book characters, I’m sure this won’t be the end of him. The second half of this trade pretty much ensures that.)
At this point, continuity picks up with The Death of Superman, and we all know how well that turned out.
The remaining stories in this comic (at least those that I read) focus on Doomsday’s other exploits prior to his arrival on Earth. Although all were interesting to read and added to the overall indestructible nature of the character, my favorite was by far the scene in which Doomsday and Darkseid first meet.
Darkseid is practically unbeatable, and he knows it. His arrogance shows when he first squares off against Doomsday, a foe he knows little about and sorely underestimates.
Darkseid blasts Doomsday with the full strength of his omega beams, a force that should have utterly destroyed his opponent. Instead, it barely slows him down, proving that even the powerful Darkseid is no match for this creature of destruction. It was a fitting scene for the storyline, pitting two such strong characters against one another and showing that the almighty Darkseid might not be the most powerful being in the universe.
I enjoyed Doomsday’s origin far more than I thought I would. It somehow felt realistic, and Doomsday is even portrayed as a somewhat sympathetic character at times. Considering he is such a brutal destructive force with no visible emotion, this was surprising. The writers crafted a story that pulled me in and left me eager to learn more. Doomsday’s single-minded destructive tendencies were horrific, and yet his story was crafted so well that the reader can almost understand why he behaves the way he does.
While I fear what might happen should Doomsday live again, and what level of destruction he might leave in his wake, I’m excited to see him square off against the man of steel once more. It’s unlikely Superman would be able to beat him without help, and I’m curious to learn what sort of inventive tricks will be used the next time these two face off. If the end of time can’t destroy this monster, what can?
Do you have a favorite Doomsday appearance?