People may have been understandably worried when DC first announced Doomsday Clock, a sequel to Watchmen that bridges the story with the DC Universe, but as the series reaches the quarter mark, things are going strong. In issue three, writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank continue to build a crazy, world-sprawling story that preserves the intent of the original series while adding a modern twist to its themes of paranoia and conflict.
Issue number two saw the core Watchmen group crossover to the DC Universe and finally bring characters like Lex Luthor and Batman into the mix and issue three spends a lot more time focusing on these interactions. Despite the differences between all of the characters, Doomsday Clock never feels like a jumble of two worlds, but an organic combination of the distinct settings. The characters from both worlds have their own problems and conflicts to manage, making it hard for readers to align themselves with one group over the other because everyone has understandable motivations.
This series is a clear commentary on what it means to be a hero in the modern world. Taking place a year ahead of the current DC Rebirth timeline, the story depicts a world where people are no longer accepting or tolerant of the metahumans’ presence and seniors fondly look back at figures like Teddy Roosevelt and Joe DiMaggio who did good without powers. The so called “Supermen Theory,” supported by the fact that the United States have 97% of the world’s metahumans, claims that the American government spurred about the development of both superheroes and supervillains, causing citizens to panic and other governments to try their own experiments. Not even Batman, an individual the world knows has no powers, is spared from the anti-hero sentiment bubbling up on the ground.
None of the panic would be as palpable without Frank lending his incredible artistic talents to the project. Not only does he masterfully use the nine-panel grid that Watchmen methodically utilized, but he has an eye for detail and facial expression that is unmatched in the comic industry. So much of the characters personalities come through how they move and take in things around them, and Frank has the ability to turn even the smallest action into an opportunity to explore what makes these individuals tick.
This book is much more than just a fresh look at Watchmen’s characters, it’s a true sequel. Replacing the Tales of the Black Freighter comic from inside Watchmen are the Carver Coleman detective movies that weave throughout the issue and symbolically move the story forward. One of the most interesting parts of Doomsday Clock is the inclusion of new Watchmen characters Marionette and Mime. The villainous couple have appeared in every issue, but they are given a lot more room to grow here and their story line is set to lead into some interesting, clown-filled places very soon.
If you’re only going to read one comic series this year, make it Doomsday Clock because both Johns and Frank are pulling out all the stops and turning in some of the best work of their careers. Just like the original Watchmen, Doomsday Clock is a slow-burning look at why we value superheroes, and if they deserve the blind admiration they so often get. It’s clear that this book is more than just a cash grab or way to keep the Watchmen characters in the public eye. Johns is crafting a dark, engaging story packed full of obscure DC history that has a lot to say about how the world perceives heroes.
Final Score: 9/10
The 7 Coolest Things Batman Keeps In The Batcave
Batman is more than just a man with a crazy costume; he’s a man with a crazy costume and a Batcave. Hidden underneath Wayne Manor is a series of caves that stretch across the entire city. If there was no cave, Bruce would have never seen a bat as a young child and been stricken with fear. No cave = no bat = no Batman. So, the cave is pretty essential here, folks.
Over his 75 year history, Batman’s acquired quite the collection of trophies to put on display. Unfortunately, Bruce doesn’t keep any of these mementos on the mantle in Wayne Manor, so he has to shove everything into the Batcave. Sorry Adam West, but the Batpoles are so 1960.
Hit Next to learn more about the seven coolest things in the Batcave!