For Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Zack Snyder took inspiration from all parts of the two titular heroes past, recreating famous graphic novels in various ways - from individual shots to entire arcs. The most notable was The Dark Knight Returns, Frank Miller's 1986 take on an aged Batman taking on the Man of Steel in a gritty mission of vengeance.
The other major story the film lifted from was The Death of Superman, the 1992 mega-event that saw DC (temporarily) kill off the Last Son of Krypton. While the specifics of the death itself were somewhat different (in print Supes was pretty much beaten to death), it happened at the hands of the same being: Doomsday. Originally an ancient Kryptonian monster, movie Doomsday was a mutation of General Zod's corpse mixed with Lex Luthor's blood, only taken down when Kal-El impaled it with Batman's kryptonite spear.
New concept art of the god-killer by artist Constantine Serkis has found its way online (hat tip to ComicBook.com) that show the development of the film's creature.
[vn_gallery name="Batman v Superman Doomsday Concept Art" id="905835"]
Serkis' work looks to be further on in the design process for the villain than some other recently surfaced art, with his drawings more detailed and closer to the finished look for the creature. What the various pieces do show is that the basic concept of the creature as a more juvenile beast compared to the hulking monstrosity in print was present from the very start. That said, some elements of Serkis' work actually goes beyond the "cave troll" finished version we got. There's particular attention paid to Doomsday's bone protrusions, a key part of his comic book look that actually serve as his key weakness. These appeared briefly at the climax of his fight with DC's Trinity, but ultimately weren't overly focused on.
Warner Bros. had wanted to dramatise The Death of Superman since the 1990s - a famous failed attempt was the Nicolas Cage-starring Superman Lives - so it's not surprising that a lot of effort was put in making sure the vehicle of destruction was suitably realised; Doomsday is the film's big threat and needed to not be overshadowed by the titular bout.
Although he's killed at the end of Dawn of Justice, this isn't the last other-worldly creature in the DCEU - Wonder Woman will showdown against God of War Ares in her movie and the Justice League will be uniting to take on Steppenwolf - so there's going to be some more interesting creature designs to come.
Source: Comic Book
- Wonder Woman (2017) release date: Jun 02, 2017
- Justice League (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017
- The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021