Doomsday Clock (comics)
|Publication date||November 2017 – July 2019|
|No. of issues||12|
|Written by||Geoff Johns|
Doomsday Clock is a 2017 superhero comic book limited series published by DC Comics, being written by Geoff Johns, with art from penciller Gary Frank and colorist Brad Anderson. It is the direct sequel to the comic book series Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, and also concludes the "DC Rebirth" storyline established in "The New 52" reboot.
Doomsday Clock is part of the DC Rebirth campaign and continues the narrative that was established with 2016's one-shot issue DC Universe: Rebirth Special #1 and 2017's crossover events "Superman Reborn", and "The Button", as well as Action Comics’ “The Oz Effect” storyline. It is also the direct sequel to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons's seminal work Watchmen (1986–1987), and introduces its characters into the DC Universe, alongside a few original characters designed for the book.
Doomsday Clock was revealed on May 14, 2017, with a teaser image displaying the Superman logo in the 12 o'clock slot of the clock depicted in Watchmen, and the series title in the bold typeface used for Watchmen.
The story in the book will include many characters but has a particular focus on Superman and Doctor Manhattan. Geoff Johns felt like there was an interesting story to be told in DC Rebirth with Doctor Manhattan; he thought there was an interesting dichotomy between Superman—an alien who embodies and is compassionate for humanity—and Doctor Manhattan—a human who has detached himself from humanity. This idea led to over six months of debates amongst the creative team about whether or not to intersect the Watchmen universe with the DC Universe. He explained that Doomsday Clock was the "most personal and most epic, utterly mind-bending project" that he had worked on in his career.
Johns also explained that Doomsday Clock is a stand-alone story with no tie-in material. However, it "will have an impact on the entire DC Universe. It will affect everything moving forward and everything that has come before. It will touch the thematic and literal essence of DC." So by the time the final issue is released, "the rest of the universe will have caught up to it — and the repercussions of the event will become known."
The first issue of Doomsday Clock was released on November 22, 2017, and is planned to last 12 issues. The series was originally scheduled to release monthly and end in December 2018, with planned breaks in March and August 2018. However, in January 2018, it was announced that the series would take a break in March and April 2018, before releasing again in May 2018 and switching to a bi-monthly schedule, with the series ending in July 2019.
On November 22, 1992, seven years after the events of Watchmen, Adrian Veidt's plan for peace has failed after the details of Rorschach's journal are publicized. Consequently, Veidt becomes a fugitive as the U.S. stands on the brink of war with Russia. As preparations for nuclear war begin, a new Rorschach breaks into prison to retrieve Marcos Maez a.k.a. Mime and Erika Manson a.k.a. Marionette. Rorschach takes them to the lair of Nite Owl and introduces them to his partner Veidt, who is dying of brain cancer. Veidt offers the couple the location of their son and $2 million if they help him locate Doctor Manhattan. Meanwhile in another universe, Clark Kent has a dream about the night his parents died in a car crash. Clark's wife Lois wakes him, concerned, as she cannot remember the last time Clark had a nightmare. Clark states he does not think he has ever had one.
Marionette joins Mime, Rorschach and Veidt aboard the Owlship. Just as nuclear war between countries commences, Veidt activates a machine that transports the Owlship to the most recent location of Manhattan's electron particles. After crashing into an abandoned fairground and cuffing Marionette and Mime, Veidt and Rorschach explore Gotham City, noting the parallels between both universes. After conducting research at a local library, Veidt discovers that this Earth is going through its own political crisis due to a conspiracy theory accusing the U.S. government of creating metahumans, which has put them at odds with Russia and Markovia. Additionally, public opinion has turned against Batman while Wayne Enterprises is under threat of a takeover from LexCorp. Looking for allies in their search for Manhattan, Rorschach confronts Batman in the Batcave while Veidt confronts Lex Luthor. Veidt and Luthor are then attacked by a seemingly-resurrected Comedian, while Mime and Marionette escape in the Owlship.
In a flashback, it is revealed that Manhattan intervened in Veidt's murder of the Comedian and transported the latter to Metropolis. In the present, Veidt has a brief fight with the Comedian, and is badly injured while escaping. Meanwhile, Rorschach tries to convince Batman to help locate Manhattan by presenting him with the first Rorschach's journal. Batman tells Rorschach to make himself at home while he reads. In a retirement home, the elderly Johnny Thunder stares out the window during a thunderstorm while waiting for his family to take him out to dinner, but they never arrive. Elsewhere, Marionette and Mime explore Gotham and stumble into a bar in Joker's territory, killing several of Joker's men. After drinking a toast to finding their son, they decide to go in search of Joker. Rorschach has a nightmare of Veidt's engineered monster attacking New York. When he awakens, Batman tells him that he has tracked a temporal anomaly to Arkham Asylum. However, Rorschach discovers that Batman has tricked him when he is locked up in Arkham, being told by Batman that he belongs there.
While incarcerated at Arkham, Rorschach recalls his past as Reggie Long, the son of Malcolm Long. When his parents were killed by Veidt's monster, Reggie was driven insane by the monster's psychic trauma and ended up in the same mental asylum as Byron Lewis. Lewis befriends Reggie and gives him physical training so that he can defend himself. Shortly after Veidt's crimes are exposed, Reggie sets fire to the mental hospital. Byron states that the fire is "calling to him" and walks into the burning building. Using a map given to him by Byron, Reggie travels to Veidt's retreat in Antarctica to exact revenge. However, Reggie decides to spare Veidt when he shows remorse. Back in the present, Reggie is evaluated by a therapist named Dr. Mason Matthews. A "Jane Doe" in an adjacent cell, revealed to be the Pre-Zero Hour version of Saturn Girl, frees Reggie and escapes Arkham with him. Inside the Batcave, Batman tells Alfred Pennyworth that he now understands Reggie, having impersonated Dr. Matthews all along.
Lois and Clark agree that someone is behind the anti-metahuman conspiracy theory, which has triggered an international "metahuman arms race" where countries like Russia, the United Kingdom, France, Markovia, Israel, India, and China are establishing their sanctioned superhero teams. Veidt escapes from the hospital and returns to the Owlship, where he is confronted by Batman. As they flee the Gotham police, the two argue over how their respective heroes treated their worlds, with Veidt believing Manhattan came to the DC Universe because of its heroes' simplistic "pulp hero" morality. Batman falls out of the Owlship and into a rioting mob. Lois confronts Lex, who denies being behind the "Supermen Theory," but claims that a metahuman and former member of the Justice League did create superbeings for the government. Johnny leaves his rest-home and travels to Pittsburgh to locate Alan Scott’s Green Lantern at a ruined steel factory. Despite the Comedian hot on their trail, Mime and Marionette locate Joker, who has a beaten Batman delivered to him. Saturn Girl agrees to help Rorschach find Manhattan and together they save Johnny from a group of junkies as they ask what the lantern is.
Wheelchairing a bound and unconscious Batman through Gotham Sewers, Joker leads Marionette and Mime to a secret meeting of the supervillain community. With the Riddler as host, the villains discuss the ongoing “Supermen Theory” and its effects on the metahuman community, with Tattooed Man mentioning Sanctuary screwing up his predecessor, Sonar stating that many Green Lantern villains are now off-world, and Doctor Poison mentioning the rumor that Wonder Woman was forcefully dragged back to Themyscira. Things get hostile as the villains are unevenly divided on taking Black Adam’s invitation to Kahndaq, and Firestorm villains Typhoon and Moonbow are accused of being government stooges. Suddenly, Comedian appears and starts an all-out brawl with every villain in the meeting, with Typhoon being one of his many victims. As the villains scatter, Mime suggests splitting to distract the Comedian; but Marionette refuses, not wanting to be separated again. All this time, Mime has been reminiscing on Marionette's childhood where her father hanged himself when threatened by crooked cops, and she befriended a young Marcos. The next morning, Comedian confronts the duo while they are in bed together in an effort to locate Ozymandias, but he is joy-buzzed by Joker, who has taken a liking to the couple and becomes interested in "meeting this Doctor Manhattan." Meanwhile, Japan, Iran, and Australia join the "metahuman arms race." At the Department of Metahuman Affairs, the suspicions surrounding Typhoon and Moonbow are revealed to be true, confirming at least part of the Supermen Theory. The Director orders for Typhoon's body to be retrieved for study.
In an opening narration, Doctor Manhattan reveals he has prevented Alan Scott from ever becoming Green Lantern by moving the lantern away from him, effectively removing the Justice Society of America from history. Rorschach, Saturn Girl and Johnny Thunder meet up with Ozymandias at the Owlship. Imra reveals she was sent back in time to cleanse an anomaly in time that threatens Superman. Using Ozymandias' pet lynx cat Bubastis II (revealed to have been cloned from the original Bubastis that Doctor Manhattan disintegrated and containing a sliver of his power) and the Lantern Battery, Ozymandias transports to Manhattan’s location at the Joker’s “funhouse” where the Comedian is. There, Batman has broken from his bonds and is in a battle with Marionette and Mime. Leaving Johnny and Imra on the Owlship, Ozymandias and Rorschach confront the others inside. Batman confesses that he was wrong about Reggie, a comment Veidt agrees to. Bubastis II begins glowing and, moving him closer to the Lantern, Ozymandias uses the energy to summon Doctor Manhattan. He proceeds to separate the Watchmen group from Batman and Joker, telling Ozymandias that he isn’t returning back to their world since he’s in the middle of an experiment with this one. Several revelations are revealed: Ozymandias was going to bring Laurie Juspeczyk with him, but she refused, leading Ozymandias to take Marionette and Mime instead. Marionette herself wasn’t killed in the robbery years back because of what her child would become, and she is again pregnant. Furthermore, Ozymandias lied to Rorschach about having brain cancer and only said this to get his help. Doctor Manhattan reveals he came to the DC Universe looking for a place among them. As he peered into the future, he saw nothing. Doctor Manhattan returns the team back to Batman and Joker in the funhouse, where Rorschach proceeds to attack Ozymandias. In a fight with Batman and Joker, Reggie rips off the mask, declaring that “Rorschach is dead.” The injured Ozymandias makes it back to the Owlship, where he attacks Imra and Johnny before declaring he can save everything and everyone. Mime and Marionette exit with both Comedian and the Lantern battery, while Batman picks up Rorschach's mask. All around the world, nationalized teams of metahumans carry out missions on behalf of their governments. Superman is the only hero allowed to freely travel internationally anymore as his heroic actions speak for themselves. In the midst of all of this, Black Adam and Creeper attack Israel, a dangerous escalation of the situation. The so-called Super War appears imminent. Doctor Manhattan returns to Mars, reflecting on a vision set one month in the future: a confrontation with Superman that results in the end of everything or the end of Doctor Manhattan.
|Comic Book Roundup|
Doomsday Clock has been well-received. On the review aggregator Comic Book Roundup, it holds an average rating of 8.5 out of 10 from professional critics, based on 279 reviews (as of October 2018).
- Schedeen, Jesse (May 14, 2017). "Geoff Johns Continues DC Rebirth Saga in 'Doomsday Clock'". IGN. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
- Vasallo, Michael (October 5, 2017). "DC Comics Confirms 'Doomsday Clock' Is A Sequel To Watchmen". Heroic Hollywood. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
- Mithaiwala, Mansoor (October 5, 2017). "DC Confirms Doomsday Clock is a Watchmen Sequel". Screen Rant. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
- Sagers, Aaron (May 14, 2017). "Exclusive: DC Comics' Geoff Johns reveals teaser, details on Watchmen/Rebirth title Doomsday Clock". SyfyWire. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
- Polo, Susana (July 20, 2017). "Doomsday Clock is a countdown to the future of the DC Universe". Polygon. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
- Arrant, Chris (January 22, 2018). "DOOMSDAY CLOCK Switching To Bi-Monthly Schedule". Newsarama. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
- Doomsday Clock #1 (November 2017). DC Comics.
- Doomsday Clock #2 (December 2017). DC Comics.
- Doomsday Clock #3 (January 2018). DC Comics.
- Doomsday Clock #4 (March 2018). DC Comics.
- Doomsday Clock #5 (May 2018). DC Comics.
- Doomsday Clock #6 (July 2018). DC Comics.
- Doomsday Clock #7 (September 2018). DC Comics.
- "Doomsday Clock #1 Reviews". ComicBookRoundup.com. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
- "Doomsday Clock #2 Reviews". ComicBookRoundup.com. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
- "Doomsday Clock #3 Reviews". ComicBookRoundup.com. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
- "Doomsday Clock #4 Reviews". ComicBookRoundup.com. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
- "Doomsday Clock #5 Reviews". ComicBookRoundup.com. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
- "Doomsday Clock #6 Reviews". ComicBookRoundup.com. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
- "Doomsday Clock #7 Reviews". ComicBookRoundup.com. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
- "Doomsday Clock Comic Series Reviews". Comic Book Roundup. Retrieved June 14, 2018.