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DOOMSDAY: Greg Pak Brings The Superman-Killer Into The New 52 For ‘Villains Month’ [Interview]

Formally announced earlier this week, September will see every title in DC Comics’ “New 52″ superhero line temporarily rebranded in the idiom of of the publisher’s legion of super-villains. Among them will be June’s Batman/Superman #3.1, whose villain de jour will be Doomsday in a story written by Greg Pak (Marvel’s Hercules, Vision Machine) and drawn by Brett Booth (Nightwing). Tony S. Daniel provides the cover, which you’re seeing here for the first time (it will be sold in the 3D motion style seen here).

Created by Dan Jurgens specifically to (temporarily) kill Superman in what became one of the best selling American comics of all time, fans have always given Doomsday kind of bad rap as a big dumb monster. Although they never escaped the shadow of the bombastic Death of Superman story in 1992, Jurgens followed up with a number of stories over the years that delved much further into the mythology of the character, whose sci-fi-style origins were revealed to be in the distant past of Superman’s home world. There in fact were so many latter day Doomsday stories that DC eventually collected them into a 400-page omnibus (that’s since gone out of print and now runs for hundreds of dollars).

Being a Doomsday fan, I was pleased to have the chance to ask Batman/Superman writer Greg Pak some questions via email about the character’s first appearance in DC’s rebooted continuity.ComicsAlliance: Greg, as I’m sure you predicted, the first question about your Doomsday book is about the version of Doomsday we’ll see in it. Is this to be Dan Jurgens’ Doomsday, the monster who killed Superman, or has the character been recreated the character for the New 52?

Greg Pak: Exactly who or what Doomsday is remains a mystery in the New 52 — and the awesome mandate editor Mike Cotton has given me is to explore the different stories that have grown over the years about this fearsome monster. Some of these tales may be bald-faced lies. Some may be fairy tales or myths — perhaps with a grain of truth. But I can promise that at least one of these stories will be true. The question is — which one???

CA: If this is a decidedly new version of Doomsday, who’s behind him? Did you recreate his story? Who designed his look?

GP: I’ve been talking with editors Mike Cotton and Eddie Berganza as well as various smart, Superman-related writers such as Scott Lobdell about the character and some of the stories that DC Universe characters might have heard or told about him. The book is being drawn by the always amazing Brett Booth, who’ll have the pretty sweet opportunity to design several different Doomsdays for the different stories within the book.

(click image to enlarge)

CA: Did Superman die in a fight with Doomsday at some point in the new DCU’s past, or is this issue their first meeting? A “Together again for the first time!” kind of thing, kind of like the premise of the Batman/Superman book you’re writing?

GP: Good question! Which I cannot answer directly right now for fear of spoilers! But we may see some hints regarding those possible events in the pages of this book.

CA: Without giving everything away, can you tell us about what happens in this special issue?

GP: A little girl asks her father about this terrible monster named Doomsday. And the two of them trade scary bedtime stories. And then the other shoe drops.

CA: Is this story to be told from the point of view of Doomsday, with him as the central character rather than Batman or Superman?

GP: The stories are narrated by the father and the daughter, who of course may have their own reasons to tell the stories the way they do. And yes, the father and daughter are key DC Universe characters of special interest to Superman fans.

CA: Given that the book is called Batman/Superman, does Batman play a role in the Doomsday takeover issue? I can’t recall if Batman has ever stood face-to-face with Doomsday in any universe.

GP: We’re concentrating more on the Superman side of things for this particular story. But now you’ve got me thinking about Batman and Doomsday… in the fullness of time, my friend, in the fullness of time!

Following this email exchange, the solicitation copy for Batman/Superman #3.1 was revealed to me as follows:

Long before Superman fought the unstoppable monster known as Doomsday, the beast’s reputation for death and destruction haunted The Man of Steel’s home world of Krypton.

The issue goes on sale this September from DC Comics.

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