Doomsday is one of the most memorable and powerful supervillains from DC Comics. He is arguably Superman’s most powerful adversary and is one of the most destructive forces in the entirety of the DC Universe. In the comics, the beast has died severally in battle but was never truly killed. It may sound confusing but that’s the truth of the matter. This then begs the question, can Doomsday be killed or is he immortal?
Doomsday is immortal, in a twisted sense of the word. He has been killed severally but his extreme adaptive regeneration abilities allow him to resurrect every time he dies. He comes back immune to what killed him.
This article will further discuss whether Doomsday is immortal. We will probe Doomsday’s physiology to understand what is so special about the character that allows him to evade the totality of death once and for all. So stick around for what will genuinely be an intriguing piece.
Doomsday’s origin and physiology
In its infant days, Krypton was one of the most violent and inhospitable environments. Only the absolute strongest of creatures could survive in such a world. At the time, Krypton’s dominant life forms were said to be the most dangerous creatures in the entire universe.
Doomsday’s creator is a mysterious alien named Bertron. He sought to create the ultimate life form and bred an infant humanoid creature in his lab. He and his team sent the creature to the surface of Krypton where it would die, either from the harsh environment or the vicious creatures inhabiting the planet. Bertron named the creature Ultimate.
Each time, Bertron would use whatever of the lifeform’s remains survived to create a clone that was better and stronger than the previous. This accelerated its evolution. The process was repeated for decades, each clone being killed and remade better than the previous.
As such, the creature who would become Doomsday was forced to endure the agony of death thousands upon thousands of times. However, each death increased the creature’s biological memory and its body adapted immunity to whatever had killed it previously.
The agony of each death was recorded in the creature’s genes and this drove it to hate all life. Eventually, Doomsday became strong enough to endure Krypton’s inhospitable environment.
He hunted down all the predators that had killed him before. He didn’t stop until he’d killed every creature on the planet. Eventually, he went after and killed Bertron and his team for their roles in the vicious cycle of his deaths. Doomsday then escaped Krypton and went on a killing spree across several planets.
From the foregoing, it’s evident that Doomsday possesses unique physiology which makes him invulnerable to numerous forms of attack. But what exactly does this mean? Does it mean he is completely immortal?
Is Doomsday immortal?
Doomsday is, for all intents and purposes, immortal. While the DC Universe has its fair share of powerful beings, none of them can truly be described as immortal as Doomsday is. Don’t get it twisted, Doomsday is killable. If he went against a supremely powerful character, he could quite possibly be killed. The only thing is that he wouldn’t remain dead for long. Let me clarify.
Doomsday possesses the ability of infinite resurrection. This means he can utilize his incredible regenerative powers to resurrect himself after death. However, killing him is easier said than done. There isn’t much that can harm him. Even getting through his skin is an impossible task as he is incredibly invulnerable. Conventional weapons are useless against him, and so are powerful explosives, munitions, laser beams, and so on.
What’s more, thanks to his evolutionary process, Doomsday has very few internal organs. While this may seem like superfluous information, it reveals a useful capability of the character. It significantly reduces his ability to be mortally wounded as it’s supremely hard to kill something with no heart or lungs.
Doomsday is virtually impervious to all bodily trauma unless it’s a particularly powerful blow from Superman. He’s also proven to be vulnerable to certain forms of radiation but not more than once.
So, in a somewhat twisted sense of the word, Doomsday is immortal. This means he can be killed but can come back to life again, immune to what killed him in the first place. This can be described as Adaptive Regeneration.
What is adaptive regeneration?
The reason behind Doomsday’s inability to die for good is Adaptive Regeneration. This is the ability of a being to adapt to bodily harm as it regenerates. Adaptive Regeneration is a combination of Reactive Adaptation and Regenerative Healing Factor, both of which Doomsday honed during his time on Krypton.
Doomsday possesses Reactive Adaptation which means he can develop and adapt immunity to any attack that harms and kills him. This ability allows him to evade death the same way twice. For example, Superman killed him by punching him repeatedly. He came back thanks to his incredible healing factor and this time he couldn’t die from Superman’s punches. Theoretically, he can be harmed to a certain extent by something he died from before but cannot be killed by it again.
When it comes to Regeneration, Doomsday can sustain and maintain himself during battle. He can still take damage, especially when fighting other Kryptonians but he can recover and heal himself at a rapid pace. This ability is linked with the one we discuss next.
Is there a way to neutralize Doomsday forever?
Now that we have established that it’s practically impossible to completely kill Doomsday, one only can only wonder if there’s a way to neutralize him for good. The comics have afforded us an answer to this. There are several ways Doomsday can be neutralized including:
1. Ripping him in half
In Superman: Doomed, Superman rips Doomsday in half and while the latter was disintegrating, Superman inhaled his particles thus stopping Doomsday from regenerating and resurrecting.
2. Sending him to the future
In Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey, Superman uses Waverider’s temporal transporter (mother box) to send Doomsday to the end of time where entropy devours him.
3. Trapping his body in a constant state of teleportation
In Superman: The Doomsday Wars, with help from the Justice League Superman was able to trap Doomsday in a teleportation machine that could split his body up into four pieces. He was split into four transporter booths, never more than 25% integrated, and unable to think or free himself.
4. Trapping him in the Phantom Zone
In Superman: Rebirth (Action Comics Vol.1 #962), Superman lures Doomsday into a makeshift Fortress of Solitude and uses a Phantom Zone Projector to trap him.