I’ll say up front this is a wacky theory as a result of my losing sanity from hours of indulging in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice speculation. Interviews, comics history, Reddit, and other geek sites continue to provide insight as to what could happen in Zack Snyder’s opening of the Justice League cinematic universe.
But while I was at the New York premiere of Batman: Bad Blood, director Jay Oliva name-dropped the anime Dragon Ball Z as a huge influence — something fans already picked up on years ago after seeing Zod fight Superman in the climax of Man of Steel (Oliva worked on the film as a storyboard artist). My brain went haywire after hearing Oliva talk about Dragon Ball and I mentally stumbled upon a ridiculous theory: Is Doomsday the final form of Bizarro, which starts from Lex Luthor experimenting on Zod’s corpse?
Let’s back up.
It’s obvious Lex Luthor obtains Zod’s corpse (Michael Shannon reprising, which must have been his easiest paycheck), but based on the trailer that aired during Jimmy Kimmel Live! back in December, it is speculated that Luthor uses Zod to create Doomsday.
Or something that looks like Doomsday. If it looks like a duck …
But what if — and I reiterate this comes from the vague Dragon Ball Z connection — “Doomsday” isn’t Doomsday, but the final form of Bizarro?
Bizarro is a famous Superman nemesis not only because he’s pretty much exactly Superman on a roid rage, but because he’s also not a typical villain. He’s got a long history, but modern interpretations have made him Lex Luthor’s science experiment from hell: a living zombie that looks and fights like Superman but with barely a fraction of the cognitive awareness. Bizarro is a tragic figure, a rabid animal to be put down more than a malicious being.
Doomsday, a powerful archenemy of Superman who actually “kills” him (kinda) is a weird but bold choice to make in what is technically just the second Superman movie. I don’t see why Doomsday can’t be unleashed on a relatively inexperienced Superman, but it is rebelling against mythology.
In Dragon Ball Z, enemies like Frieza Cell, and Buu go through forms like video game characters who level up, each iteration more dangerous than the last. The popular meme “This isn’t even my final form! (which was never actually spoken in the anime)” is a hilarious and easy way to explain it.
Zod being turned into Bizarro who transforms into Doomsday would be equally radical but also audience-pleasing: If you’re going bold already, might as well go all out, right?
I don’t know if director Zack Snyder or screenwriters David S. Goyer and Chris Terrio were Dragon Ball Z fans (doubt it), but film being a collaborative process means maybe Oliva — a frequent director of DC’s animated features who also worked on Dawn of Justice — piped up or threw it in their suggestions hat during a brainstorm session.
Snyder himself may have already debunked the theory. In a recent interview with The Daily Beast, Snyder mentioned Doomsday by name.
“Well, you have Doomsday, right? He doesn’t just crawl out of the ground. He has his own mythology, right? So that has to be explored … To us it really made sense to give [Doomsday] to the audience now. I really wanted to make the audience a promise that … though I’m super excited and happy and fulfilled by the conflict of Batman and Superman, there’s also a bigger world to start to think about.”
It’s difficult to pick apart Snyder’s obnoxiously vague quotes, but at least we won’t wait for long to find out. Dawn of Justice comes out March 25, barely a month from now. And heck, if you’re a Bizarro fan, this week’s Supergirl must have been a fun treat.
Now, I’m going to go lie down.