Doomsday Clock #1
Doomsday Clock #1
- Back in the Watchmen Universe for the first time in 30 years
- The aftermath of Watchmen
- A New Rorschach
- Ozymandias is back
- Geoff Johns and David Frank step into some VERY big shoes, and fill them adequately
- Brad Anderson's colors perfectly recreate the gritty look of the original
- It's a 12 issue miniseries, so it's a "slow burn" story
- The DC Universe doesn't appear till the final pages, and it's not quite clear what's going on
"That Annihilated Place"
It is here at last. Quite possibly the most anticipated series of the year, Geoff Johns’ incredibly ambitious Watchmen sequel/DC Universe REBIRTH payoff book: DOOMSDAY CLOCK!
In the interest of keeping spoilers to a minimum, this review will not be very long or detailed, but before I go any further, let me tell you that the book is very, very good and you should get in on the ground floor of this story.
Now then, let’s handle the basics. THIS IS THE PART WITH THE SPOILERS. I AM GOING TO GIVE YOU TIME TO STOP READING IF YOU DON’T WANT ANY SPOILERS.
SPOILERS BEGIN NOW!
Ok. If you’re still reading, I am assuming you all saw the prior warning, so let’s dive in. First spoiler (although this was revealed last month at NYCC): DOOMSDAY CLOCK BEGINS IN THE WATCHMEN UNIVERSE! That’s right, for the first time in over 30 years, we are back in the world created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. This first part of a twelve-issue series is set one year after the end of Watchmen. It shows you the immediate aftermath of that series’ finale. As many of you will remember, at the end of Watchmen, Rorschach has been killed by Dr. Manhattan, who has subsequently left Earth. At the end of Watchmen, Rorschach’s journal finds it’s way to the New York Frontiersman, to a journalist by the name of Seymour David.
Second Spoiler: THERE IS A NEW RORSCHACH! As Doomsday Clock begins, we find that Rorschach’s journal HAS in fact been published, and the result of that is the crumbling of Ozymandias’ carefully crafted plan. This results in anger and anarchy in the streets as public sentiment turns against him. Meanwhile, a very familiar looking figure heads down the hallway of a prison, looking for a particular prisoner. He finds her, and, after breaking out her husband, the criminal known as the Mime, he tells her that he and his partner need their help. In exchange, he will tell them where to find their son. Oh, by the way, the new Rorschach is AFRICAN AMERICAN!
Third Spoiler (And, this is the really big one): RORSCHACH’S PARTNER IS OZYMANDIAS! So, for those of you wondering what happened to Adrian after the events of Watchmen, it turns out that his plan was a huge success, and the lie he told ushered in a new era of peace and prosperity. That is, until Rorschach’s journal was published and people found out. Suddenly, Adrian had to go into hiding as the world fell apart. So, to find out he is now partnering with Rorschach is interesting to say the least. Anyways, it turns out that he has enlisted Rorschach and the others to help him find Dr. Manhattan.
Fourth Spoiler: THE UNIVERSE DR. MANHATTAN LANDED IN AFTER WATCHMEN WAS THE DC UNIVERSE! Dr. Manhattan’s words from the end of Watchmen, concerning leaving that universe for a “less complicated one” are followed by a look at Superman and Lois Lane in their home in the DC Universe. Superman has just had a nightmare about the night of his parents’ death, something he cannot ever remember doing before.
This is going to be a “slow burn” storyline, I have a feeling, with all of the pieces carefully slotted into place as it progresses. It is a welcome return to writing for Geoff Johns, coming back to finish what he started in DC Universe: REBIRTH. And, although obviously not exactly the same, Johns’ writing is evocative of the original, not feeling foreign or out of place. You feel reading it like it is, in face the same universe.
As daunting, or possibly even more so, is the task of matching Dave Gibbons’ extremely specific art style. I am happy to say that Gary Frank is equal to the challenge. The “nine-panel” page format returns and, again, helps to establish this as part of that world. The figures and settings are also drawn to mirror the original. But, the “glue” that helps hold it all together is the coloring by Brad Anderson. Although the technology of coloring has evolved a ton in the 30 years since Watchmen was published, it is to Anderson’s credit that he is able to find colors that match the originals gritty look almost exactly. The book looks absolutely beautiful.
IN THE END: Really, what do you think I’m going to say here? It’s the sequel to Watchmen and the answer to all of the REBIRTH questions. And, on top of all of that, it’s REALLY GOOD. GO BUY IT NOW!