Season 2 of The CW’s Superman & Lois premiered Tuesday night, and with it came a tease fans of the Man of Steel have been waiting for. Earlier in the episode, a mysterious earthquake rocks Smallville. The season 2 premiere ends with a return to the mines outside of town, where the earth beneath Smallville is rocking as if being battered by a superhuman force. Before the credits roll, a large gloved fist punches through the rock, evoking one name from any Superman fan — Doomsday.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Superman & Lois showrunner Todd Helbing confirmed that the emerging fist at the end of the season 2 premiere does, in fact, belong to the Arrowverse’s version of Doomsday. Visually, the tease is meant as homage to the cover of 1992’s Superman: The Man of Steel #18 — the powerful villain’s second appearance. Just as it was in Doomsday’s introduction in the source material, you don’t see him in his fully, spiky, Hulk-inspired glory right away. In Superman: The Man of Steel #17 you only see his arm. In the following issue, you see him from head-to-toe, but covered in a strange suit. It isn’t until his third appearance — in Justice League America #69 — that we begin to see the spiky Doomsday beneath. His battle with the eponymous team does little to affect him, but it does tear away at his clothes.
According to Helbing, the gradual reveal of Doomsday in Superman & Lois will mirror that of his introduction to the comics in 1992. Helbing said that in the episode airing next Tuesday, January 18, we’ll see a little bit more of Doomsday. Finally, on January 25’s episode fans will get the “full reveal,” at which point we’re guessing Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman is in for a big headache.
This won’t be the first time fans have gotten a live-action version of Doomsday. Henry Cavill’s Superman, Ben Affleck’s Batman, and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman kicked off their first DCEU team-up battling Doomsday in the climax of 2016’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. But as far as how the character looks, the version most faithful to the source material was in SyFy’s Krypton.
We’ll have to wait and see what Superman & Lois has in store for us as far as the villain’s appearance, powers, and origin. Helbing has made it clear fans shouldn’t expect an exact match to the source material. The showrunner explained to EW, “There’s so much lore [and] mythology in the Superman universe that we feel it’s our obligation to tell a unique story.” Of course, at a bare minimum, the new version of Doomsday will need to share at least one thing with the original — the potential to put Superman in the ground.
Doomsday first appeared as part of DC Comics’ 1992-3 line-wide event The Death of Superman. The story culminates with 1993’s Superman #75 in which the battle between Superman and Doomsday ends with the deaths of both. Of course, Superman would eventually return, but both the story and the villain made unforgettable marks on the character’s mythology.
You can see the next bit of the Doomsday reveal next Tuesday on The CW’s Superman & Lois. Season 2’s second episode will air at 8 PM EST. If you need to catch up on the series, the entire first season of Superman & Lois is streaming on HBO Max.