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Comic Book / Superman: Doomed

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Superman: Doomed is the third and final Superman crossover story arc of the New 52. Starting in May 2014, the story begins in the Superman: Doomed #1 one-shot and continues through the Action Comics, Batman/Superman, Superman/Wonder Woman, and Superman titles. It is written by Greg Pak, Charles Soule and Scott Lobdell. The Superman title wrapped up its portions earlier than the others and began a new storyline by Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr. Similarly, Batman/Superman was only involved in the arc for one issue before the book took a different direction. The story arc ends in the Superman: Doomed #2 one-shot, released in September 2014.

Based on The Death of Superman, Doomsday has reappared once again on Earth, forcing Superman to confront it. After a brutal fight, Superman is infected with a mysterious virus that begins to transform him into a Doomsday-like beast called "SuperDoom". As Superman seeks a cure to his condition, Brainiac enacts his plan to take over Earth.

Superman: Doomed contains examples of:

  • Alternate Universe: In the finale, Brainiac witnesses several past iterations of the DC Universe, such as Golden Age Earth, Flashpoint Earth, and Post-Crisis Earth.
  • Ambiguous Situation: SuperDoom is either a manifestation of Superman's violent side or Doomsday himself attempting to return to life in Superman's body.
  • And I Must Scream: After Lois Lane became one of the Twenty, Brainiac took control of her body to further his plan to conquer humanity, rendering Lois a prisoner inside her own mind. Clark frees her when he burns the Nanomachines Brainiac had implanted in her body to brainwash her.
  • An Arm and a Leg: During their brief fight, SuperDoom rips Cyborg Superman's right arm off. After SuperDoom goes to Earth, Cyborg Superman reconstructs his arm.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Superman defeats Doomsday and is infected with a virus that turns him into a Doomsday-like beast. It nearly happens to Supergirl, too. However Kara avoids that fate by not killing Cyborg Superman or her cousin.
  • Assimilation Plot: After Brainiac brings his mothership to Earth, he begins absorbing the minds of everyone in the planet.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Clark has a mental fight with SuperDoom to retain control of his body for the entirety of the arc. Clark only wins when using Brainiac's Psychic Powers to cure himself of the Doomsday virus.
  • Big Bad: Brainiac was the one who started the events of the arc to transform Superman into SuperDoom and invade Earth.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Lois was brainwashed into becoming a minion of Brainiac.
  • Cavalry of the Dead: Harrow and the Ghost Soldier summon their entire ghost army to attack Brainiac. They don't last long.
  • Clark Kenting: Aside from the Trope Namer, Wonder Woman disguises herself as "Diana Prince" with a trenchcoat and replacing her tiara with an Alice band.
  • Co-Dragons: Brainwashed Lois Lane and Cyborg Superman work for Brainiac.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Supergirl -then a Red Lantern due to the events of Red Daughter of Krypton- had a huge and disturbingly wicked grin when she met her cousin in space.
  • Chrome Champion: Steel. At first he wore Powered Armor as usual, but after suffering serious cellular damage from his brief fight with Doomsday, he coats his skin with organic steel to keep his cellular damage at bay. When Cyborg Superman destroys the spaceship Lana Lang is in, Steel covers her in organic steel to protect her from the vacuum of space.
  • Enemy Mine: The Justice League joins forces with both Lex Luthor and Harrow, enemies of Superman, to defeat Brainiac.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: One of Brainiac's attempts at Break Them by Talking on Superman in the finale is saying that when Supergirl kills Cyborg Superman, she will kill her own father, which will break her and cause her to first kill SuperDoom, then become a similar being herself, but only after the creature kills Brainiac and every human on Earth with him. Superman brings up a key problem with this plan: it relies upon the idea that Supergirl would kill Cyborg Superman, which she would not do, and does not do, instead merely incapacitating him.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog:
    • Lampshaded:
      Clark: If this were a horror movie... this is where the dog would growl.
    • As predicted, it is eventually played straight, as Krypto the Superdog growls at Superman when grey spikes similar to the ones on Doomsday begin to grow on his knuckles.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: Superman goes to the sun to supercharge his heat vision and unleashes a massive blast at Brainiac's mothership. Brainiac moves the ship out of the blast's way but realizes Superman never meant to hit him at all. The blast is caught by a huge satellite dish in the Fortress of Solitude in order to power up the Phantom Zone project and seal both Earth and Brainiac's mothership inside the Phantom Zone.
  • The Exile: After his mutation worsens, Superman decides to leave Earth. However, he returns after discovering Brainiac is invading Earth in his absence.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: As the coma virus spreads from Smallville to Metropolis, Lana calls Lois to warn her about it but she quickly deduces Lois is working for Brainiac as she is the only one awake in Metropolis while everyone else in the city is already comatose.
  • Forced Sleep: Brainiac has created a virus that caused the entire population of Metropolis to fall into a coma. Later, the infection spreads around the world, and even to the Watchtower II as well.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Lois exhibits these whenever she uses her telepathy.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • Fearing hurting somebody after his transformation into an out-of-control monster, Superman leaves Earth. Supergirl -who back then was using her rage to protect the galaxy as a Red Lantern- suggests he merely needs to learn how to channel his anger properly and takes him to a planet which is being devoured by a planet-eater so he can cut loose. When Superman objects he doesn't want to make everything worse she asks "How?"
      Superman: They're... evacuating?
      Supergirl: Yes. Something down there's destroying the Moon. Everyone here's about to die... unless you help them. What's the problem, Kal?
      Superman: I... I don't want to make things worse.
      Supergirl: I don't see how that's remotely possible...
    • As Brainiac steals every mind in the planet, the Justice League opens the portal to the Phantom Zone to seal both Earth and Brainiac's mothership inside to give Superman more time to take Brainiac down. Brainiac finds out, however, and disables the Phantom Zone projector.
    • As the battle continues, Superman and Wonder Woman take more desperate measures. Superman allows SuperDoom take control of his body again while Wonder Woman travels to the Phantom Zone to convince Mongul to let Warworld take on Brainiac.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: How Superman kills Doomsday.
  • Heroic Willpower: Through sheer force of will, Superman is able to keep his SuperDoom transformation in check.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the finale, Superman casts Brainiac and himself into a black hole. Subverted in the epilogue. The black hole ends up throwing Superman into deep space and it takes him sixty days to return to Earth.
  • Hope Spot: In the finale, Superman finds out exactly what Brainiac wants, just to have his wife and son back, and has Lois give it to him through the Reality Warper powers that show great importance in the plot itself, just to have peace and happiness at last. Upon getting them, Brainiac shows he does love his family... but then attacks Lois, destroying the illusion of their existence and saying that with the powers in himself, he can make them again and again until he gets them "right", showing just how far gone Brainiac is.
  • I Found You Like This: In Supergirl (2011) #34, Kara gets hit by a cloud of Kryptonite dust and passes out as flying. When she comes around, she finds herself in a fallout shelter, in company of a boy who introduces himself as Michael. As offering a bottle of water, Michael explains she crashed through his home's ceiling, and he took her to the basement so she could recover.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight/Resist the Beast: According to Batman, the virus infecting Superman can be controlled by a strong enough will. Wonder Woman urges Clark to fight the virus and he is able to keep his transformation under control.
  • It's Personal: Brainiac targeted Smallville and Metropolis as a way to get back at Superman for foiling his first invasion five years ago.
  • Knight Templar: The Tower is a clandestine group under Harrow's leadership that seeks to kill Superman, seeing him as a threat to the world. Brainiac ends up using their resources to free Doomsday from the Phantom Zone.
  • Kryptonite Is Everywhere: Literally, as Metallo detonates a cluster of bombs that spread trillions of tiny Kryptonite shards across Earth's atmosphere. Harrow later opens up trillions of tiny portals to send the shards into the Phantom Zone, cleaning up the atmosphere and allowing Superman to regain control of his body.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Averted. In Supergirl (2011) #34, Kara Zor-El runs into a disabled boy and wonders if his spine got damaged when she fought the Worldkillers in New York. She's starting to get upset but Michael stops it saying it was a car accident, no a hero-villain battle.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Sam Lane, who has been promoted to U.S. Senator, authorizes Metallo to attack Superman with Kryptonite bombs. The ensuing blast kills Metallo and covers the entire continent with a Kryptonite cloud, but Superman survives and the Kryptonite only makes his condition worse. Of course, Lane is only a hero in the sense that he does not want SuperDoom to destroy the world.
    • Also, just when Superman is leaving Earth to avoid further damage, he is attacked by the Red Lanterns. Fortunately, Wonder Woman steps in and convinces the Red Lanterns to let Superman leave in peace.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Averted. In the epilogue, Supergirl tells Superman that even after restoring the world's population, thousands still died through varied causes, such as heart attacks or car accidents. Among them are Lana's parents.
  • Not Quite Back to Normal: Superman is able to free Lois from Brainiac's control but Lois retains her psychic powers. As she continues using her powers, however, her skin becomes green again. In the finale, she is really back to normal.
  • Ominous Floating Spaceship: Brainiac's space fleet, but his mothership takes the cake. It's bigger than Earth.
  • One-Winged Angel: Lois becomes a female version of Brainiac, complete with green skin and armor.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Harrow has the ability to summon ghosts and render them tangible while Xa-Du can retain his physical form within the Phantom Zone due to his suit.
  • Phantom Zone: The Trope Namer appears.
  • Psychic Powers: As Brainiac's minion, Lois becomes a telepath. She loses the powers when she gives all of the psychic power in the plot to Superman, who uses it all up opening a black hole and giving the minds of all of Brainiac's victims back to themselves. The epilogue reveals that Lois forgot Superman's identity.
  • Reality Warper: Brainiac wants to become this, revealing the combined power of all the minds he has stolen will allow him to recreate his homeworld. Lois is able to transfer all this power to Superman, who uses it to free all the minds Brainiac stole. Then, he traps Brainiac and himself inside a black hole, after using what's left to cure himself of the Doomsday virus.
  • Recycled Premise: A Kryptonian is somehow cursed with a death field, killing those they love the most when approached. With little choice, the Kryptonian is banished to the Phantom Zone until a cure can happen. Sounds like Superman: Doomed, doesn't it? In fact it is the Supergirl cover story in Action Comics #306 published in 1963. The title of the story is "The Maid of Doom".
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Doomsday as always. Also, Superman when he transforms into SuperDoom.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Mongul and Non finally escape the Phantom Zone and arrive in the Fortress of Solitude, only to see Brainiac preparing to take Earth. They both decide that being stuck in the Phantom Zone is better than being bottled up by the Collector and quickly run back into the Zone. Later, Wonder Woman travels into the Phantom Zone and tries to convince Mongul get involved in the battle.
  • Suicide Attack: Metallo tries to kill Superman with Kryptonite bombs. Metallo is saved by and brainwashed by Brainiac, and Superman survives.
  • Tempting Fate: When Brainiac begins stealing every mind on Earth, Batman tells Luthor to seek refuge. Luthor boasts that LexCorp is shielded against psychic attacks, but Brainiac steals his mind seconds later.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: The virus causes Superman to snap at friend and foe alike.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Harrow, the leader of the Tower, asked Xa-Du, the Phantom Zone's first prisoner, for help in killing Superman. Xa-Du gave Harrow the technology to render ghosts tangible but Brainiac used the Tower's resources to free Doomsday from the Phantom Zone.
  • Vampiric Draining: Doomsday has evolved to a point where he can absorb the life force of everything within a hundred yards. When he becomes infected with the Doomsday virus, Superman acquires this. He is able to gain some degree of control over this power to free Lois from Brainiac's control.
  • Villainous Breakdown: When Superman becomes a Reality Warper, Brainiac goes nuts, having lost the power he was seeking for so long.
    Brainiac: No. No!
    Superman: Vril Dox. You've done enough to this universe. Now it's my turn. I tried to give you another way. I always try. Even when I was fighting against the monster you sent to kill me. But sometimes there is no other way. I killed Doomsday. Ripped it right in half. I'll have to live with that for the rest of my life. But I'm not going to hurt other people trying to turn back the clock. I'll live with it, and learn from it, and do my damnedest to do better next time. Just like I'll learn to live... with this. {summons a black hole while giving consciousness back to the people of Earth at the expense of his temporary Psychic Powers}
    Brainiac: You idiot! What are you doing?
    Superman: Just looking for a place for you, Brainiac.
    Brainiac: In a black hole?! It's going to pull us both in! Use the power — make it go away!
    Superman: Too late. Freed everyone. Power's gone. Just enough left... to close it after we pass through.
    Brainiac: Aaaagh! Don't you understand? This is your last chance to save yourself!
    Superman: Believe me, I'd love to... but I’d rather save them.
    Brainiac: Superman! Aaaagh! Wha— H-help!
  • Viral Transformation: After inhaling a large amount of the virus in Doomsday's blood, Superman begins to transform into SuperDoom.
  • The Virus: Doomsday's blood contains a toxin that causes anyone within a hundred yards to burst into flame. After Superman kills Doomsday, he inhales the virus from Doomsday's corpse to prevent it from spreading, which triggers his transformation.
  • Wham Shot: The final page of Superman: Doomed #2 has Brainiac witnessing various histories of the DC Universe in what appear to be Phantom Zone Pictures, including the pre-Crisis history, Post-Crisis, and Flashpoint, in an unknown location.
  • Wounded Hero, Weaker Helper: A cloud of Kryptonite enveloping Earth causes Supergirl to fall to Earth, crash into a house and pass out. She is found by a boy in a wheelchair, who drags her to his house's underground shelter, whose walls and ceiling were designed to stop nuclear fallout, so that she can recover.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Supergirl, currently a Red Lantern and using her anger to protect the galaxy, assumes Clark's just "getting in touch with his angry side" and can use his SuperDoom form for good.