Festival of Fiendishness Day 6: DOOMSDAY
You probably think I’m a Superman fan, doncha? This is the third Superman villain I’ve looked at; must mean I have some affinity for the Man of Steel, huh? Not necessarily. I mean I don’t have anything against the Bulletproof Boy Scout—he just makes me feel bad. All strong and flying and looking good in that blue suit with that one perfect curl. The guy has no imperfections, right? Somebody has to bring him down to size, right?
Well, that somebody is today’s villain, Doomsday.
In the mid-90s some ballsy comic book writer from my home state of Minnesota came up with the idea that Superman needed to be knocked down a peg. That he needed to be taught a lesson in humility and vulnerability. And mortality. Supe needed to die. And the man to do it was a lil guy named Doomsday. Well, a big guy. With a really bad case of eczema.
Honestly, the whole idea is really screwed up. Seriously. And I like villains. Check this out: the being called Doomsday is a project—a weapon—created by a Kryptonian scientist some 250,000 years before Krypton exploded. This scientist, a dude named Bertron, was trying to create a perfect organism (like the aliens in Alien) so he took a baby, like a regular baby, and dropped him into Krypton’s prehistoric environment. Imagine taking a baby and just dropping it into the Jurassic era. It’s fucked up, right? That’s what this guy did. And, surprise, surprise, the baby becomes a Beggin Strip for whatever dinosaur is lumbering by. This is just the beginning. Bertron scoops up the remains of the baby, clones it and makes it stronger. Now, when the baby comes back, its immune to the thing that killed it. For the next 250,000 years, this little baby was repeatedly killed by a variety of means, coming back stronger and impervious to the thing that killed it.
Did you catch that? Doomsday has died thousands of times, only to be reborn. Stronger.
You can imagine he’s not a happy soul, right?
Doomsday learns how to adapt on his own, kills Bertron, escapes on a ship and kills the whole crew. He goes from planet to planet, wrecking shop, tearing up whatever he can. If he gets beat, no biggie, right? Comes back, $6 Million Dollar Man-style, better, stronger, faster, and beats the living daylights outta whatever took him. He goes to one planet, kills everyone, and the leaders transform themselves into a Voltron-style energy weapon that kills Doomsday. But they don’t trust it so they bind up his body, drop him in a metal tomb, and bury him in stone.
This MF gets out. And makes it to Earth.
How raw is Doomsday? On Earth, he beats the shit out of the entire Justice League (AKA low-budget Avengers. What can I say? I’m a Marvel guy…) and does it WITH ONE HAND TIED BEHIND HIS BACK! Literally. Well, Superman can’t have some no-name dude with crusty skin whopping on his people so he swoops in to help.
This does not end well. Superman is trying to save Metropolis. Doomsday is trying to kill everything that breathes and has a particular disdain for the Man of Steel. These cats literally beat one another to death. In front of the whole world.
Doomsday killed Superman.
I could go on. I could talk about the fact that after killing Superman, Doomsday was strapped to an asteroid and flung deep into space and he woke up anyway! Drifting through space, giggling about the whole thing. I could talk about how Doomsday came back, repeatedly, after being stranded at the End of Time (literally) or being blasted until only his bones remained. Doomsday is raw, unmitigated destruction for the sake of destruction. He’s an incredible villain because everything he does is because he can. And no one can stop him.