Doomsday Clock #5 Review: The Legionnaire & The Detective

The new issue of of Doomsday Clock may be the most thrilling installment yet, but delays are harming Geoff Johns' storytelling.

Doomsday Clock

It’s been two months since the last issue of Doomsday Clock. Much like Frank Miller’s third Dark Knight Returns series, Geoff Johns’ new Watchmen spin-off will now be releasing once every two months instead of monthly. This is not an ideal way to take in the story as it requires a lot on the reader’s part. Doomsday Clock story is complex and sprawling. So, keeping track of all the different plot lines and characters can be different between issues. While normally it’d be best to wait for a collected edition, Doomsday Clock is just too good to wait for.

This issue picks up soon after Adrian Veidt’s attack on Lex Luthor. Despite his hospitalization, the events of the issue set him on a collision course with Batman, who has been reading Rorschach’s journal. That interaction is as thrilling as you’d expect, but somehow it isn’t the most compelling meeting to be found here.

The new Rorschach has joined forces with Saturn Girl, who you may remember belongs to the Legion of Superheroes. This plotline has been building ever since last year’s Batman and The Flash crossover, The Button. Without spoiling anything, it’s definitely worth the wait. The stark contrast Johns manages to draw between the characters is captivating, but he still manages to keep their relationship believably friendly and cooperative.

The Joker does make an appearance in this issue, as advertised. However, this is a brief moment meant to set up the next issue. Hopefully, you weren’t expecting a Joker-centric plot. This issue also brings in Superman in a more meaningful way, but the character is still kind of on the sidelines for Doomsday Clock.

Aside from the central plot progressing, it’s in this issue that readers will fully be able to understand exactly what is at stake. If you’ve had any reservations about Watchman crossing over with the DC heroes, that will certainly melt away here. The rising global tensions in the DCU perfectly parallel the dystopian Watchman universe. This thematically resonant conflict is every bit as scathing a commentary on modern superhero comics as Watchman was.

Then, of course, there’s that cliffhanger. Once, again Gray Frank’s art works in perfect tandem with Johns’ writing to crescendo into some amazing revelations and a devastating finale. The final moments of this issue will have you begging for more. Once again, this is exactly the problem that Doomsday Clock is currently facing.

It’s hard to believe that we aren’t even at the half-way mark of this series yet. The 12 issue series, which is set one year after the current DC Comics continuity, was intended to catch up with the other series in the DC lineup this November. However, these delays mean that clearly will not happen. In fact, the next issue is taking an even longer break, releasing in August. Surely it will be a long Summer, especially after this ending. Of course, the series is still excellent, but it’s hard to deny that these delays have lessened the reading experience.

Final Score: 8/10