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November 28, 2017

DC Comics Reviews: Doomsday Clock #1

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Written by: Eric
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Doomsday Clock #1 
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Gary Frank
Colorist: Brad Anderson
Letters: Rob Leigh
Cover: Gary Frank & Brad Anderson

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or not a hardcore comics fan you may not have known that DC acquired the rights to the 1980’s cultural masterpiece Watchmen.  You may also not know that DC has spent the last few months building, across its many titles, toward the inevitable integration of the Watchman world and characters into the mainstream DC landscape. Finally the long anticipated Doomsday Clock Issue No. 1 has hit the shelves, written by the masterful Geoff Johns with art by Gary Frank!

Years ago, the world was on the brink of politically driven destruction when the rogue hero Ozymandias/Adrian Veidt, the smartest man in the world, created an elaborate doomsday ruse to garner peace and cooperation.  Rorschach, through the information he recorded throughout the story of Watchmen, exposed Veidts ruse to the world ultimately undoing everything Veidt set to accomplish. Doomsday Clock opens with the inner monologue of Rorschach, a character who Watchmen readers will remember was obliterated by Dr. Manhattan at the end of the original story, and is a pretty nice homage to the opening of the original book.  It serves as the reader’s introduction into the current state of the world.  A world once again on the brink of politically driven destruction.

At first glance, Doomsday Clock would lead you to believe you’re reading a book that may have been created in the 80’s.  Gary Frank does an amazing job melding his style to the look and feeling of the original Watchmen.  I was immediately transported back to my first time opening the graphic novel and taking in the art style of Dave Gibbons and that’s a great thing. Doomsday Clock even mimics the old school 9 panel standard of the comics of the Golden Age.

While issue 1 introduces us to some of it’s players, if you’re not a fan of the original Watchmen you won’t notice the subtle clues that inform on the characters.  I found one particular piece of inner monologue regarding Rorschachs disdain for recording things to be very revealing when you remember that the original story unravelled because Rorschach meticulously recorded EVERYTHING.  Something that will be lost on those who never read the original. With the introduction of this new Rorschach comes the introduction of two other characters, Marionette and Mime, a husband and wife villain team seemingly associated with the original Watchmen storyline.  Johns use of these characters as potential stand-in’s for the missing Owlman and Silk Spectre isn’t terrible but their quirks are a little over the top and annoying.  Especially in the case of Mime.

The biggest moment however comes in the finale of the issue where we dive into the dreams of the Man of Steel.  Here we see the death of John and Martha Kent in a way we’ve never seen before and while it is revealed to be only a nightmare it opens up the floor to a lot of new questions for DC and Superman fans. Only further issues will reveal these things to us.

After months of buildup and for some odd reason DC has determined that it’s time to begin the integration of the Watchman during the Batman Metal event.  One can only infer that with this timing, The Watchmen or more specifically Dr. Manhattan, may prove to be a catalyst in Batman Metal somewhere toward the end.  I believe my biggest criticism with this issue is that it’s boring. The narrative is strong and that’s not to be denied.  Geoff Johns is a world builder and has a track record to prove it, but Issue 1 didn’t do anything to grab me as a reader and as excited as I was to get started was as enthused as I was to read something else.  I think the problem here is that as with Watchmen, Doomsday Clock will have to be judged when the story is complete instead of issue by issue and I think i’ll do just that.  3/5

Eric Snell


One Comment

  1. Klue

    I was excited about this back when Reverse Flash was Fighting Batman and the pin showed up but now I’m a bit nervous about picking this up. I just don’t want a walk down memory lane with this one. Something brand new would be nice. Might have to just wait for the trade.

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