With Michael Rosenbaum leaving the series, there's no doubt that season 8 of Smallville is in need of a charismatic new villain. However, when it was announced that one of Superman's most notorious foes, Doomsday, would be featured in the show, I immediately thought it was a terrible idea. Doomsday is a huge, hulking alien behemoth that would be impossible to put on screen with Smallville's limited budget, and he's also a character that Clark Kent didn't meet until adulthood. In fact, Doomsday is most well-known for being the only character to ever kill the Man of Steel, which happened in 1993's "Death of Superman" comic. Smallville may need a new baddie, but can the show possibly do the character justice?
Needless to say, this wouldn't be an easy look to pull off on the small screen. If Smallville had the budget of a Hollywood motion picture they might be able to create Doomsday through CGI, or put an actor in a giant suit, a la The Thing in the Fantastic Four films. I doubt that Smallville will go either of these routes, possibly because it could look extremely cheesy if not done correctly. They're bound to cast either an adult with a bodybuilder's physique to pass as Doomsday, or some sexy hunk in his mid-20s that will excite female viewers. Both of these ideas give me hives.
The other problem with Doomsday is that he's not known for his complex personality. The great thing about Lex Luthor is that he's such a layered, multi-dimensional character. He's the type of intriguing villain you can easily build seven seasons of a show around. Doomsday, on the other hand, is known only for his insane strength and his inability to be killed. He's basically the Hulk on steroids. While his immense power made for an epic and exciting battle with the Man of Steel in the comics, I'm not sure how that can be duplicated in the series.
The only way I can see Smallville's version of Doomsday working is if he's not a primary character. The CW has also announced that a sexy female villain will be hassling Clark (Tom Welling) in season 8, which sounds much more promising and plausible. Perhaps she can be the primary threat, which would leave Doomsday as more of a recurring sparring partner. This would make more sense for the character, and also provide a strong physical menace for Clark.
Considering that Doomsday is famous for killing Superman, I have to wonder if the Smallville producers plan to take the story in that direction. It would make for a fairly awesome mid-season cliffhanger if Clark met his end. I'd actually like to see his friends try to move on without him for a while, which was a story covered fairly well in the comics. What would Smallville be like without Superman?
I'm not going to completely write off the inclusion of this new baddie until I see how the character is handled in the series. However, I do fear the worst. After all, bringing in a big name villain is only a good idea if they add something significant to the story. I don't know what the new Smallville showrunners have in mind for Doomsday, but if they want to keep comic book geeks like myself happy it better be good.