In 1992, the monster was created just to kill Superman. The monster punched its way out from its tomb. And defeated the Justice League of America’s B-team and the United States Army with one hand tied behind its back.
As the monster was repeatedly attacked, it’s olive-drab garb was torn and burnt away. What was revealed was the gray-skinned Goliath protected and armed with it’s own invincible skeleton.
In the end, in Metropolis, the monster lay dead. Superman lay dead.
The slug fest extended over every issue of Superman comics. And the fight occupied more and more of every page until the final scene took three full pages to depict.
That was then.
SUPERMAN: DOOMED #1 (Doomed, Prologue)
Superman of the New 52 continuity is faced with a supercharged killing machine. It sucks life energy like Parasite. It transports across the globe using the Phantom Zone. It turns cities to ash and boils the ocean.
Then, in one issue, the fight is over. Doomsday is dead. In a desperate rage, Superman tears the beast asunder in a splendid double splash page. The monster begins to vaporize. And Superman inhales it all preventing the gas. Saving the world.
His skin appears burnt. He is on his knees whispering.
That first fight with Doomsday — despite the destruction and death only sketched that more destructive and deathly by Ken (Excalibur) Lashley — made you feel the desperation of Superman as he pummeled the beast to death using every last bit of strength he had left.
Doomed #1 imbues the reader with a sense of dread. You don’t see a hero making a final stand. You see a man making a hard choice. You see a man who is unsure that he can win. The Justice League knows its powerless. His focus is on recovering what’s left from the Doomsday attack sites.
On the fingers of Scott (Teen Titans) Lobdell‘s script are Superman’s leading ladies: Lois and Lana in Smallville and Diana with Steel and Superman in Africa and the Justice League in Washington, D.C. Each of these women represent a part of the Man of Steel’s life and how they interact will seem to spell out big things for Superman going forward.
Looming threats: The Eradicator’s prophesy (Superman #30), which is echoed by the awakened Kandorians: Superman will murder the Earth. Brainiac’s possession of Lois, and his approach toward Earth heralds the destruction of the planet. And what happened in Smallville?
(Flip the page for more DOOMED!)