Yeah, SYFY’s Krypton went there. Spoilers for the latest episode, “Civil Wars” past this point… The show officially brought in not just one of Superman’s greatest enemies, but the being who actually killed Superman in the comics: Doomsday.
In case you missed the episode, General Zod (Colin Salmon) has traveled through time to stop Brainiac (Blake Ritson) from taking the city of Kandor, an event that leads to Krypton’s eventual destruction. In order to do that, Zod ropes in his mother Lyta-Zod (Georgina Campbell) and Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe), the grandfather of Superman, to free Doomsday from his prison under Kandor.
Yeah, Zod, Brainiac and Doomsday? This show is crazy.
That said, Doomsday has a long history with Krypton in the comics, so it’s not like the show was throwing the massive villain in willy-nilly. And he may be left in suspended animation when this episode ends, but chances are we’ll be seeing him again before the end of Season 1. As Chekhov said, “if you introduce Doomsday in Episode 6, you need to see him before Episode 10.”
At least that’s what I think he said.
With that in mind, here’s a brief history of Doomsday and Krypton:
Doomsday And The Death Of Superman
I’m going slightly out of order here, but let’s start with the real world stuff. In 1991 during an editorial retreat, DC Comics decided they should come up with a new villain he could kill Superman. Editor Mike Carlin wrote down the phrase “doomsday for Superman,” and that stuck.
Writer/artist Dan Jurgens was tasked with fleshing him out, and Doomsday made his first appearance in 1992’s “Superman: The Man of Steel #17.” He then went on a rampage in the next issue… But we’ll get back to that in a moment.
Once Upon A Time On Krypton…
250,000 years before the Kryptonians asploded, the planet was a harsh, inhospitable place. An alien named Bertron was like, “cool place to leave a baby, bro,” and decided to create an experiment using an in vitro child he called “The Ultimate.”
He released The Ultimate on the planet, and because it was a baby, it died. Bertron then scraped it off the planet and used those cells to clone another baby, then left that baby on the planet. He kept doing this over and over again because he was clearly an a–hole, and each time the baby would get harder and more immune to the elements.
Eventually it gained the ability to survive on nothing but sunlight, and killed Bertron, which may be the only good thing it ever did. Shortly after that it went on a rampage, destroying several planets.
Then a bunch of stuff happened involving a young Darkseid, some Green Lanterns and something called The Radiant, which we probably don’t need to worry about. Suffice to say The Ultimate was “killed,” and sent through a wormhole to Earth.
There, he crashed into the planet so hard he was buried in the center of the Earth.
Doomsday Kills Superman
Back to “Superman: The Man of Steel #17.” The Ultimate escapes, is named Doomsday by Booster Gold, and then kills Superman. Doomsday also dies in the process. He comes back a bunch more times, and often fights Kryptonians.
In case it isn’t clear by now, Doomsday is pretty much just an unstoppable killing machine with bones poking out of his body. He lives only to destroy, just like Adam Strange (Shaun Sipos) mentions in the episode.
Doomsday Vs. Zod
There’s a little bit of a twist here. DC Comics has gone through multiple reboots, and one of them called The New 52 showed a slightly different connection between Doomsday and Krypton. In it, Doomsday attacked the planet out of nowhere, and only General Zod was able to stop him by sending him into the Phantom Zone prison.
Years later, Zod is sent there himself, and somehow Doomsday is released. Turns out, it’s all due to the machinations of Brainiac. Without reading too much into this, Geoff Johns was one of the main architects of the New 52, and has a heavy hand in Krypton… So we may see some riff on everything there.
Whatever is coming next, it means bad news for Kandor.
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