Superman: Doomsday (as written in the package’s introduction) was “inspired by the best-selling graphic novel of all time, ‘The Death of Superman.'” I have heard of the Man of Steel’s death in the comics sometime in my adolescent years ( I can’t remember when!), but I’ve never cared to secure a copy of the said graphic novel/comic book/whatever(!). Basically, I’m not a Superman fan. So why did I still take time to watch this animated movie? Honestly, I just wanted to see how Superman (hid other name is Kal-EL) died. It’s that simple.
Retelling the movie’s premise, Superman’s arch enemy, Lex Luthor, initiated an illegal operation that aims to establish an energy source from the core of the Earth. In the process drilling, his workmen encounter and activates an alien spaceship that brings forth Doomsday, an “intergalactic” soldier that was programed for war. Doomsday, having no ability to recognize friend or foe, wrecks havoc from the drilling site to the city of Metroplis. As usual, Superman comes to save the citizens, only to encounter a foe that equals him in strength and abilities. In his last effort to save a little girl from the destructive hands of Doomsday, Superman grabs him by the waist and flies him to outer space. Then, he propels both of them back down to Earth, with the heated force of Earth’s atmosphere against Doomsday. They crash mid-city. Doomsday is deafeted, and so is Superman, as he laid in the arms of Lois Lane, his love, dying.
As the whole world mourned the loss of Superman, villains rejoiced and rose fearless in taking over the city. But of all villains, Luthor, who should have the first to rejoice, paid his respects to The Big S’ funeral. It turned out that he wanted to be the prime defeater of Superman; no one else but him.
Without his prime foe, as revealed further in the movie, Luthor clones DNA from Superman’s blood splattered in his previous fight with Doomsday. This clone, although possesses the strength and abilities, lacks the mind of the original. The clone snatches Superman’s body from his grave and secretly transports it to Luthor’s lab. The clone’s take on justice and goodness is twisted–killing a previously encountered villain for the death of a child in their previous bout and blaming an elderly for careless pet ownership. This leaves the President to take Superman into custody, even by force. But Superman is a super man. How would this turn out?
As the clone proclaims himself as the new protector of Metropolis, a surprising twist unfolds. The original Superman, did not die after all. It turns out that after killing Doomsday, when everyone thought he was dying, Superman’s body was just slowing down its processes to allow his body to heal. And thanks to a robot-friend from Kal-EL’s crystal cave, his body was quickly taken from the clutches of Luthor to be revived–a resurrection.
To cut the story short, Superman (with a new suit of black that enables him to absorb more sunlight for energy) faces the clone despite having restored just 67% of his strength, encounters a lot of beating, but turns out victorious after Lois fires a Kryptonite gun at the clone. The weakened foe is damaged by his own doings and so, returns the city’s protection to the original. In the next scene, Superman finally reveals his alter-ego, Clark Kent to Lois, albeit Lois already knew who he really is. The end scene shows Lex Luthor, in supportive devices, concluding that Superman, would seem not to die.
Now, I don’t know if the movie version is exactly the same as the graphic novel, but at least I got the idea of the supposed death of Superman from Doomsday. It was a good adaptation of a novel I have yet to see (or maybe not be able to see) and I guess that someday, it would come out as a live screen flick.