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Comic Book / Reign of Doomsday

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Reign of Doomsday (also known as Reign of Doomsdays) was the last Superman Family team-up prior to the 2011 DC reboot which worked as the Grand Finale for the Post-Crisis Superman and his world.

As Superman is going on a walkabout through America and Lex Luthor is pursuing godhood, Supergirl, Superboy, Steel, the Eradicator and Cyborg Superman are attacked by Doomsday clones who are not only highly adaptative but also seem to copy their skills.

One by one, the Supers are defeated and taken to a pocket dimension located inside a spaceship where the Doomsday clones begin a deadly "hunter-and-prey" game. The situation seems dire until Superman comes along and starts coordinating the team.

Unfortunately, one of the Doomsday clones has evolved, developed sentience and gained hatred towards all living beings. Calling himself Doomslayer, he intends to use their spaceship to simultaneously kill the Super-Family and turn Earth into space dust.

The story was told in the next issues:

Reign of Tropes:

  • All-Loving Hero: When they are running away from the Doomsday clones, Superman insists on bringing the original Doomsday along with them in case that they can learn something from him. Supergirl guesses that is not the only reason, though: Superman feared that the other Doomsdays could hurt it.
    Supergirl: That wasn't the only reason you had us bring Doomsday, was it, Kal? Even the thing that killed you— you were worried the other Doomsdays might harm it.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Doomsday storms and seizes control over the JLA Watchtower to kidnap Cyborg Superman.
  • And I Must Scream: Doomslayer spends years trapped in a vertical tunnel located beyond normal time-space.
  • Antagonist Title: The story is about a Doomsday clone's attempt to destroy Earth.
  • Apocalypse How: Doomslayer intends to bring about a planetary extinction event by blowing Earth up.
  • Badass Boast: Doomslayer introduces himself with a boast.
    Doomslayer: The course of this station must not be altered. Earth must be destroyed. On this depends the future.
    Superman: Who are you?
    Doomslayer: I am the Death of Doomsdays. I am the Doomslayer.
  • Big Bad: The Doomslayer becomes the main villain after Luthor is disposed of early on the story. Doomslayer is a genetically altered Doomsday clone who, after gaining sentience and superior knowledge, seeks to eradicate Doomsday and all life on Earth.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The spaceship where the Superman Family is trapped hides a pocket dimension inside.
  • Blood Knight: Supergirl actually enjoys engaging Doomsday because she can cut loose and fight without restrain for once.
  • Clone Army: Lex Luthor creates an army of Doomsday clones to capture the Superman Family, lock them away in a dimensional maze and hunt them down.
  • Colony Drop: Doomslayer's world-ending plan involves crashing a spaceship into Earth at terminal speed.
  • Continuity Nod: Superman guesses Luthor had access to Doomsday's body when he was working for General Lane. The beginning of New Krypton saw Doomsday being defeated and Lane forcefully recruiting Luthor.
  • Dull Surprise: When Doomslayer cruelly and easily tears Eradicator apart, the Superman Family is supposed to look shocked and horrified. Nonetheless, Kenneth Rocafort gives them empty, barely-reacting expressions, like they were thinking "Oh. That happened."
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Doomslayer intends to crash his starship into Earth at terminal velocity to blow the planet up.
    Lieutenant: We have an incoming signal, approaching from Sunward, blueshifted so hard—!
    General: Blueshifted?
    Lieutenant: It's approaching lightspeed, sir! And it's headed straight for Earth! Please understand, anything of that mass hits Earth at that speed—!
    General: The short version, Lieutenant.
    Lieutenant: Sir, we are ten minutes away from a planetary extinction event!
  • Eldritch Location: The Superman Family is locked away in a pocket dimension, bigger than the spaceship where it is stored in, featuring an endless maze of tunnels and shafts which literally go on forever and still turn back on themselves. Also, time flows differently in each area. Supergirl tosses one Doomsday clone into one shaft, and the monster spends years trapped inside. When he emerges out of the shaft, it has been minutes from the Supers' perspective. Also, the place has no door or exit anywhere.
    Superboy: I... think I lost him. These corridors, they seem to—
    Steel: Not "seem". They literally go on forever. My sensors... The interior of whatever this place is... It's unbounded. Every corridor turns back on itself. There isn't a door anywhere.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Doomslayer attempts to trigger a planet-wide extinction event.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: The Doomsday clones hunt and imprison Supergirl (Superman's cousin), Superboy (Superman's half-clone), Steel (hero inspired by Superman), Eradicator (Superman's ally) ... and Cyborg Superman, long-time Superman's villain whom all of them hate because he is an irredeemable psychopath and gleeful mass murderer. When the group wonder why they are stuck with him, Supergirl guesses Luthor expects him to hinder their teamwork by causing conflict.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Doomslayer was originally a mindless Doomsday clone created by Lex Luthor to distract and hound the Super-Family while he carried another evil scheme out. Nothing the Supers had not faced and beaten several times before. Then, he gains sentience, extra-knowledge, and an undying hatred towards all living beings which leads him to attempt to blow Earth up.
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: Supergirl points at the Cyborg-Doomsday when she shouts that he will not hurt her home because he will NOT get past her.
  • Good Is Not Soft: When the Super-Family -plus Cyborg Superman- are trapped inside a dimensional trap together with a bunch of Doomsday clones, Superman decides they cannot deal with the Doomsdays' savagery and Hank Henshaw's craziness at once; so, he swiftly rams his arm into Henshaw's chest and pulls out his central node. As Cyborg Superman's feels his systems shutting down, Kal-El reassures him that he will probably reactivate him later.
    Cyborg Superman: Doomsday— The day of our destruction— It's finally here!
    Superman: Three more of them. Right. There's no time for that Cyborg's nonsense now! (Ripping Henshaw's core from his chest) Your central node. I'll put it back— when we've won here. Probably.
  • Grand Finale: This storyline and The Black Ring (running simultaneously across separate books) served as this for the Post-Crisis Superman, wrapping up most of the plot threads that the series had left hanging before the 2011 reboot. Major events included: Supergirl coming to terms with her Superpowered Evil Side, the capture of the Cyborg-Superman, the last team-up between Superman, Supergirl, Superboy, Steel and the Eradicator (who performs a Heroic Sacrifice), the return, and final defeat of Doomsday, and of course, the last battle between Post-Crisis Superman and Lex Luthor, ending with Luthor being imprisoned in the Phantom Zone. With the majority of Superman's other foes already dead, imprisoned, or in the Phantom Zone, the series ended on a high note before the reset button was hit.
  • Holding Out for a Hero: The reaction of US Government to learning that a spaceship will crash into Earth at terminal speed within ten minutes is... broadcast a worldwide message to Superman or any hero, asking them to do something. Though, to be fair, it isn't like there is anything a normal human force can do in that situation.
  • Hologram Projection Imperfection: Despite being state-of-the-art technology created by their universe's most brilliant minds, Dr. Mid-Nite and Dr. Fate's holographic projections glitch and are translucent.
  • Hope Spot: Superman's arrival cheers up and encourages the team... until they find out their ship is about to crash into Earth at terminal speed. And it is being controlled by an incredibly powerful and intelligent Doomsday clone.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Lex Luthor traps the Superman Family in a dimensional maze so they may be hunted by a pack of ferocious, mindless Doomsday clones.
  • In Medias Res: The first issue begins with Steel getting pummeled by Doomsday, then it cuts to Steel learning about The Death of Superman several years ago, and then it narrates how Steel heard about Doomsday going on a rampage and suited up fifteen minutes ago.
  • It's All About Me: Cyborg Superman feels thrilled when he thinks he can beat Doomsday and prove he is better than Superman. Then Doomsday started beating him up, he is saved by Supergirl... and he tries to kill her because she is winning, and he cannot stand the idea of being inferior to her.
  • Killed Off for Real: Doomslayer completely rips apart the Eradicator's energy body. Since that version of the character was destroyed right before the reboot, he was never brought back.
  • Let No Crisis Go to Waste: Lex Luthor finds an abandoned wrecked, alien ship drifting near the Sun and retrofits it into an inescapable death trap for Superman and his allies.
  • The Man Behind the Man: After six issues, the Superman Family learns that it was Lex Luthor who sent the multiple Doomsday clones after them to keep them busy while he carried his scheme out.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": All members of the Superman Family -including Superman- become wide-eyed and scared when they see an army of Doomsdays rushing towards them.
  • The Maze: The inside of Luthor's spaceship is a dimensional labyrinth full of tunnels and shafts which simultaneously go on endlessly and twist around.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: Cyborg Superman lifts his clenched fists upwards when he gleefully shouts Luthor has put in place "The Reign of the Doomsdays!"
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Supergirl tosses one Doomsday clone into a vertical shaft to get rid of him. As trapped in the tunnel, the clone evolves into a more powerful, more intelligent form, develops a ferocious hatred towards all living beings, and cooks up a scheme to destroy Earth using the spaceship where they have been imprisoned.
  • Not Enough to Bury: Doomslayer tears down Eradicator, whose energy body is dissolved into nothingness.
  • Obligatory Earpiece Touch: Supergirl, Superboy and Steel are given comm devices so Superman can coordinate the war against a group of Doomsday clones, even though neither Kara nor Kon need communicators at all, and all of them touch their earpieces when they talk to each other.
  • Offhand Backhand: Doomslayer barely notices he has just backhanded Superman into the floor as he strides towards the Eradicator.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Doomslayer puts in motion a plan to blow Earth up, driven by his hatred towards all kinds of living beings.
  • Opponent Switch: Slightly weaker clones of Doomsday were specifically designed to take out Supergirl, Superboy, Steel, and the Cyborg Superman. After getting curb-stomped the first time, they switched and defeated them.
  • Planet Destroyer: Doomslayer is a sapient clone of Doomsday determined to destroy the planet Earth and everyone on it so that all knowledge of how to create Doomsday clones is lost.
  • Race Against the Clock: Superman and his allies are trapped in a spaceship which is speeding towards Earth at terminal velocity. The Superman Family have only ten minutes to defeat a squad of Doomsday clones hunting them and disable the spaceship before Earth, the spaceship and them become cosmic dust.
  • The Reveal: Doomsday's body was stolen and cloned by Lex Luthor. The Superman Family was not attacked by a single Doomsday but different incarnations.
  • Security Cling: When Superman manages to break into the space station imprisoning the Super Family, Supergirl lunges at him and hugs him.
  • Series Fauxnale: Invoked. This story was intended to be the grand finale for the Post-Crisis Superman, right before the 2011 reboot.
  • Survivor Guilt: Supergirl is dying due to the psychological damage caused by losing her parents and her civilization again. A computerized Dr. Fate tells Kara that she is suffering from survivor guilt and she shouldn't let guilt kill her and she has to forgive herself.
    Doctor Fate: In you, Supergirl, can you imagine the poison, the pain, the dark that resides in your psyche?
    Supergirl: Wait, you're saying I'm manifesting this change in me?
    Dr. Fate: Color of costume, color of eyes? Not much change outwardly, the rest... the bulk of it is your attitude. Recently, the loss of your planet all over again. And your father. And your mother. I'd say you have a pretty obvious case of "Survivor Guilt".
    Supergirl: And it's killing me?
  • Talk to the Fist: Supergirl cuts Doomslayer's rant off by asking if he has not yet figured he is not going past her before punching his face.
  • Tempting Fate: The Eradicator believes he cannot be killed thanks to his energy body. Doomslayer takes less than one minute to permanently destroy him.
    Eradicator: Guys, get out of here. I can delay him. I'm made of energy, I can't be—
    Doomslayer: You're in ERROR! I have given myself the power— and I have always had the RAGE— to KILL far stronger than YOU!
  • There Was a Door: Superman bursts through the hull of the spaceship where the Superman Family is imprisoned.
  • Throat Light: Eradicator's eyes and mouth glow with an inner red light as Doomslayer is tearing his energy body apart.
  • Thrown Down a Well: Lex Luthor traps the Superman Family in a dimensional maze located inside an invisible abandoned spaceship located on the far side of the Sun. Luthor also throws into his trap a bunch of Doomsday clones, so the Supers are being permanently hunted down. However, Supergirl throws one Doomsday down an endless tunnel, and it does not return. Superman ponders they may have found a way to get rid of the Doomsdays.
  • Title Drop: When Cyborg Superman discovers Luthor has created an army of Doomsday enhanced clones, he exclaims.
    Cyborg Superman: "[Luthor] seems to have put in place... The Reign of the Doomsdays!"
  • Trap Is the Only Option: Superman must rescue his family from a pocket dimension hidden inside a spaceship drifting on the far side of the Sun. Superman realizes Luthor meant for him to find and walk into the trap, but he must go into it to rescue them all.
    Superman: There's an event horizon inside. A private universe. Luthor was betting on me following them, trapping myself in there. So I have to make a leap of faith. To simply gamble that I'll discover something Luthor doesn't know. I'll take that bet!
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Cyborg Superman attempts to murder Supergirl after she has saved him from Doomsday. The reason? His injured pride cannot cope with the fact that he has been rescued by her.
  • Unnaturally Looping Location: Due to the space-warped nature of the space-ship maze, you can go into a tunnel, fly in a straight line, and still end up in your starting point.
  • Villainous Legacy: Early on the story, Lex Luthor suffers an uncertain doom which takes him off the board possibly permanently; but his evolved creation, Doomslayer, nearly succeeds in killing the Supers and destroying Earth.
  • Waking Up Elsewhere: Superboy gets knocked out by Doomsday. When he comes to, he finds himself trapped in an invisible space station on the far side of the sun together with other members of the Superman Family.
  • The Worf Effect: Doomslayer appears and right away shows off his power by ripping the Eradicator apart.
  • The X of Y: Reign of Doomsday
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Supergirl throws one Doomsday clone into a tunnel. Several minutes later, they run into him again, now stronger, smarter and calling himself Doomslayer. Because they are imprisoned inside a pocket dimension where time and space make no sense, the clone spent years trapped inside the tunnel, raging and evolving.
  • You Killed My Father: As fighting Doomsday, Supergirl screams that she hasn't forgotten who her cousin's killer is.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Supergirl informs the Cyborg-Doomsday that he will not hurt her home because he will NOT get past her.
    Supergirl: Haven't you figured it out yet?! You don't get past ME— You don't get to hurt my HOME — And you are going — DOWN!