Star Trek: The Next Generation’s most infamous episode had Worf looking like a Superman villain.
Star Trek: The Next Generation is a show that is a landmark in science fiction and not always for good reasons. The show is almost as famous for the worst of its episodes, as it is for its best. While such ideas are wholly subjective, when certain titles pop up, certain sections of the fanbase roll their eyes.
That’s the case for the season seven episode “Genesis”, which many people think is the worst Star Trek episode of the season, if not the series. Personally, I liked it. I liked seeing the weird body-horror creations they came up with for the devolved characters.
Specifically for what they did with Worf. The Klingon was changed from his usual self, the honor-bound, warrior, into some dark, depraved, violent beast. That beast form is one of the more impressive makeup jobs the series did, but it had me wondering;
“Why does Worf look like Doomsday from the Superman comics?”
Doomsday, for those unfamiliar, was the alien weapon from Krypton that landed on earth centuries ago. When it awoke, it started a rampage that only Superman could stop. Ultimately the beast killed the Man of Steel at the same time Doomsday died. It was an amazing arc, that was seemingly undone by the fact both Kryptonians ended up surviving.
Now, the design of Doomsday does seem to have been borrowed for the creation of the devolved Klingon. The head ridges are similar, the spikes adorning the head and body, and the grey skin color all seem to be inspired by the Doomsday character.
Time-wise, this tracks, as Death of Superman came out near the end of 1992, while production of Genesis was over a year later.
There is no evidence to suggest the similarities are on purpose
I’ve searched for interviews with head make-up artist Michael Westmore to see if there were any inspirations for the designs of the Enterprise crew during their devolving episode and found nothing about the inspiration for Worf’s design.
It’s very possible that Westmore and the crew borrowed heavily from that Superman arc, it’s also possible that it was a coincidence. Right now it’s a mystery but hopefully, someone close to the scenes can help shed some light on what the inspiration was for Worf’s altered form.
If it was Superman-related, that would just be a neat tie-in that the two brands would be able to share.