Doomsday Clock #1 (of 12)
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Gary Frank and Brad Anderson (colourist)
Publisher: DC Comics
Whether you like Doomsday Clock or not may very well depend on how sacrilegious you think it is for the Watchmen to be in the mainstream DC Comics universe.
Heck, for some of us, Watchmen was the superhero comic that proved the genre could be about more than just a bunch of super-heroes punching each other’s lights out. So it’s almost unthinkable that Dr Manhattan, Nite Owl, Rorschach, Silk Spectre, Ozyman-dias, and The Comedian would be sharing space with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the rest of DC’s superheroes.
For others, it’s a chance for us to see more of the Watchmen universe, some 30 years after the original series was published. Sure, the frankly uninspiring Before Watchmen series already gave us a glimpse of what happened before Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal series, but I personally wanted to see what happened to the world AFTER Ozymandias’ attempt to end the Cold War with his fake alien attack on New York that left millions dead. Was world peace finally achieved? Did he get found out? And where did Dr Manhattan go?
Some of these questions are answered in this first issue of a new 12-issue maxi-series, which DC has been leading up to ever since the idea of the Watchmen coming to the DC universe was first mooted during the launch of the Rebirth initiative. Most of it, however, is dedicated to re-introducing us to arguably Watchmen’s greatest character – Rorschach.
But wait a minute, didn’t Dr Manhattan vaporise Rorschach at the end of Watchmen to prevent him from telling the world the truth about Ozymandias’ scheme? Well, it wouldn’t be a Watchmen revival without its most iconic character, would it? Without giving too much away, let’s just say that this new Rorschach certainly lives up to the old one’s reputation, but there is something a little … off, about him.
Ozymandias is back too, and is facing all sorts of problems, both internal and external. And the world? Well, let’s just say the world has seen better days, shall we? Besides, the reference to the Doomsday Clock is there for a reason.
This isn’t a reboot of the Watchmen series. It’s more like a continuation, but one that spills over into another universe altogether. It’s not quite up to Moore’s standard, but Geoff Johns deftly manages to pay homage to the original Watchmen’s sombre tone and unique voice while making sure it’s not TOO hard for mainstream comics fans to get into.
By the time Doomsday Clock‘s first issue ends with Superman having what is apparently his first nightmare EVER, it’s plain to see that the both the Watchmen and DC universes will never be the same again.
Watch this space.