Doomsday is best known as Superman’s killer, but he never would have been able to do so without upgrades provided by the Green Lanterns. In 1995, DC published Doomsday Annual #1, which pulled back the curtain on the enigmatic Doomsday, revealing bits of his violent and gory history–including a run-in with the Green Lanterns and their handlers, the Guardians of the Universe. In the fight that ensued, Doomsday was defeated–but in the end received upgrades that allowed him to later kill Superman.
Doomsday entered the scene with a vengeance in 1992’s Superman: The Man of Steel #17. Breaking free of an underground cave, Doomsday would embark on a rampage, destroying everything in his path. Eventually, the creature would come into conflict with Superman, and after a grueling cross-country fight, Doomsday was seemingly killed–as was the Man of Steel. Doomsday’s origin remained a mystery for another two years, until 1994’s Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey, which revealed the creature actually originated on Superman’s home world of Krypton. The product of genetic engineering, Doomsday was created to adapt to anything. Doomsday’s murderous instincts were sharpened across a lifetime of brutal deaths and rebirths, and Doomsday Annual #1 presented a cross-section of them–including one particular run-in with the Green Lantern Corps.
The Green Lanterns (Accidentally) Doomed Superman
In the story “In Blackest Night,” written by Roger Stern and illustrated by legendary Green Lantern artist Gil Kane, Doomsday has arrived at Oa, the home world of the Guardians of the Universe–the bosses of the Green Lantern Corps. The Guardians instantly sense the creature’s power and anger; one of them comes out to confront Doomsday, hitting him with the power of “a dozen hurricanes.” However, Doomsday is quickly able to regain the advantage.
The other Guardians encourage their comrade to draw on their energies, but the Guardian senses Doomsday is adapting to his attacks. The other Guardians advise him to withdraw, but he refuses, fearing what might happen if Doomsday attacks the Citadel and absorbs the power battery. The Guardian is clearly fighting for dear life against Doomsday, and in a last-ditch effort, unleashes all his energy on the creature, blasting it off planet. The Guardian was correct: Doomsday was feeding off his energies, and was growing stronger–and this same Guardian may have doomed Superman.
Fighting The Guardians Made Doomsday a Superman-Killer
Doomsday is thousands of years old, and the story is unclear as to when in his timeline he fought the Guardians, but regardless of when it was, Doomsday was not at the same power levels he was when he fought Superman. Doomsday was much weaker, and if he had not fought with the Guardian, and received the power upgrade, there is a good chance Superman would have been able to defeat him without losing his own life in the process.
Doomsday’s creators made what might be the universe’s premiere weapon, one capable of killing Superman and the aforementioned Hunter/Prey hinted the monster could even kill Darkseid. The genius of Doomsday is he can only be killed a particular way once, and will be invulnerable to that attack when he returns to life.
The Guardians of the Universe, the handlers of the Green Lanterns, inadvertently doomed Superman when they fought Doomsday, giving him a cosmic upgrade.
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