In the New 52, instead of Superman dying at the hands of Doomsday, the battle between the two powerhouses looks like it will result in something very different.
If covers are any indication, Superman will change into… well… another Doomsday?
The "Superman: Doomed" crossover, which kicks off in April's Action Comics #30, is taking several of DC's Super-books toward the beginning of summer by matching the hero with the villain that killed him in the previous continuity.
To clarify, when DC rebooted its universe in 2011, the now legendary "Death of Superman" storyline was, apparently, wiped from existence. And although previous hints in Action Comics (and statements from DC executives) had indicated the hero died in the rebooted New 52 universe, it now looks like that might not have happened after all.
And although the "Doomed" storyline will definitively show what happens when Superman battles Doomsday in the New 52, the creators behind the storyline are emphasizing that, although there are elements that harken back to the "Death of Superman" storyline, "Superman: Doomed" is not "retelling" that story.
That became obvious this week, when DC's May solicitations for "Superman: Doomed" emphasized that Superman would be changing after his confrontation with Doomsday — and apparently, not dying. And while there is a "Men of S.T.E.E.L." team involved in the story (made up of Metallo, Ghost Soldier, Atomic Skull and Steel), they don't seem to be replacing a dead Superman.
Newsarama first talked to Superman/Wonder Woman writer Charles Soule to get the earliest details about the "Doomed" event, then our interview with Superman writer Scott Lobdell revealed that the "Doomed" story continues through his last issue, Superman #31. (Lobdell said the new Superman creative team of Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr. take over with June's issue #32.)
Now we're sharing our interview with Greg Pak (which was conducted before the release of May solicitations) to find out a few more clues about the "Superman: Doomed" storyline.
Newsarama: Greg, we've seen the new line-up for the Justice League, where Lex Luthor has become a superhero. What does this mean for Superman and Action Comics after Forever Evil?
Greg Pak: All will be revealed in the fullness of time! I'll just say Geoff Johns has set up a great scenario here and it's going to be a blast exploring the repercussions.
Nrama: The solicitation for Action Comics #30 in April indicates that Doomsday is dormant when he crosses over from the Phantom Zone in your issue. What can you tell us about that? And does your comic kick off his appearance?
Pak: We're launching a massive Doomsday story here that's unlike anything you've ever seen — with a Doomsday who does things you've never imagined. And yes, Doomsday's dormant state at the beginning of the story plays into all this. But I won't spoil it — I'll just say we've got a plan and it's building step by step to something huge.
Action #30 is indeed where we begin to reveal some big things about Doomsday's present state in the world, so don't dare miss it!
I'll also say that Charles Soule has laid some groundwork for all this in his awesome Superman/Wonder Woman book, which you should definitely be reading.
Action Comics #30 is also where Superman starts to get some real answers about the Ghost Soldier and the mysterious entity known as the Tower — and he'll be challenged to the core in ways that are directly relevant to the "Doomed" storyline.
Nrama: We've talked to Charles and Scott about the approaches they're taking to the "Doomed" storyline. How would you describe the approach you're taking in Action Comics?
Pak: Charles Soule, Scott Lobdell and I are working together to reintroduce Doomsday step by step. If I get too specific about exactly what I'm doing in Action, that could spoil the story. I'll just say that all of our books together are building a Doomsday story like nothing you've seen before, and it starts in Action #30.
You think you know who Doomsday is and what he does. But we're taking it to a whole new level — with action that will shock and thrill you and emotional consequences that will cut to the quick and force Clark to make the hardest choices of his life.
I'll also reassure the amazing fans who have been so supportive of artist Aaron Kuder and me during our Action run so far: this story continues and builds on the themes we've been exploring in the book so far. Nothing's being put on hold or shunted aside for the crossover — it's all building organically in this ongoing exploration of who Superman is and what he should be doing here on our crazy planet. So thanks for reading — and please keep on pre-ordering, amigos!
Nrama: Let's talk about the question of whether Superman has died in the past of the New 52. There were images and words shown in Action Comics during Grant Morrison's run that indicated Superman had been killed. Your "Villains Issue" about Doomsday also talked about Superman being killed by Doomsday. Will these things be included and clarified as part of the upcoming "Doomed" storyline?
Pak: We're telling a brand new Doomsday story set in the present. So we're not delving into the past or retelling the classic "Death of Superman" tale. This is a brand new story relevant to all the characters and storylines running through the books in the here and now, and it'll blow your mind with its repercussions and ramifications for the future.
I'll just say... what you think might be the whole story... is just Act One. It's going to be crazy, y'all, in a very good way.
Nrama: Since you're also writing Batman/Superman, will that book be dealing with Doomsday at all?
Pak: The Batman/Superman book will be telling different stories during this time period — and they will be awesome, so add it to your pull list too! But no, it won't tie directly into the "Doomed" storyline. But Batman himself will play a key role in the Doomsday story, so look for him in the books that are part of the crossover as well.
Nrama: Then to finish up, is there anything you can hint about what's coming for Superman now that Doomsday is being introduced into his world?
Pak: This is a job for Superman. He may literally be the only person in the universe who can handle it. But given the risks, does that mean he should? We're exploring what it means to be a hero — and the consequences that come when you make those hard choices.