On December 27th shelves in comic book stores across America were stocked with the next chapter of DC’s most recent achievement, Doomsday Clock. Even I am finding myself surprised by exactly how good the start of this run has been and I encourage everyone, including those who think Watchmen should have been left as is, to give Doomsday Clock a shot.
Usually I like to keep these pieces as spoiler free as possible but with a new year comes change and I have decided to include some because what’s happening in this comic series is too interesting to go undiscussed. So if you haven’t read it by now, now would be the time to click on another fine article from us here at Nerdbot.
So let’s dive in!
We start the issue with Marionette and Mime, fresh off a jail break, getting dressed in their costumes while telling the story of a robbery. Frames switch between the past and present culminating in the appearance of Dr. Manhattan who shows up to end the ravenous crime spree they had been on. Marionette’s pregnancy strikes a chord with the Doctor and he spares their lives.
Once in full attire, the two criminal mimes join Rorschach and Ozymandias aboard Archie, the Night Owl’s iconic vessel that has now been upgraded for the Quantum Tunnels that allow travel between dimensions. War has begun. The right button pushed at the right time avoids a deadly explosion and the group crash lands in Gotham City, in the current DC Universe.
Cut to Bruce Wayne eagerly trying to get out of a Rorschach Test. The next couple pages set the scene for a dilemma involving Wayne Enterprises and Lex Corp. Also in this world we see society isn’t too big a fan of the Batman.
Rorschach heads for Wayne Manor. After a little detective work, manages to discover the Bat Cave. What I like here is Rorschach sees all the trophies Batman has kept from his victories over his foes and feels that Batman is some kind of monster for doing so. Eventually he comes face to face with the Caped Crusader giving us what we’ve all been waiting for… a “First Contact” so to speak.
I smell a bromance…
Veidt goes to see Lex Luthor. It is worth noting that Luthor doesn’t seem too impressed with Ozymandias. I will say the smartest man alive looks as though there’s something behind his motivations and whatever his plan maybe, I doubt it’s entirely selfless.
Their brief meeting is interrupted by the Comedian. Yes, Edward Blake is alive in this world and he makes the grandest of entrances by shooting Luthor in the chest. What a cliffhanger!
There is something about Lex Luthor and Adrian Veidt on the same page that just… makes sense.
Okay, so there’s a watered down, bullet point description of issue #2 which is done specifically in hopes that you’ll go out and read it for yourself.
Now, you are reading the above text correctly, the Comedian shoots Lex Luthor. I know what you’re thinking… didn’t Blake’s death basically ignite the Watchmen story? Yes, and hopefully by the end of Doomsday Clock we will have an explanation. But until then, let me lay this on you… Ozymandias has some theories on the whereabouts of Dr. Manhattan and one of them includes the super human taking on a new form. So does that mean Dr. Manhattan has been living a new life as the Comedian? We’ll see. The guy can do just about anything so shape shifting I don’t believe to be unreasonable.
However, for a plot twist I enjoyed as much as I did this one, I hope the payoff is worth it and not corny. With any continuation of Watchmen, you’re always going to be walking a fine line and I’m going to keep faith in Geoff Johns to not turn Doomsday Clock into a pot luck where characters appear for sales sake. We got all of two frames of the Comedian so it’s a little premature for pessimism. I just can’t help it. I’m trying to be better, it’s like a New Years resolution thing. And yes, if it’s great, I’ll proudly eat my words and praise the last three pages of issue #2 as the definitive way to leave an audience wanting more.
We get an interesting reveal regarding Rorschach. If you remember my coverage of issue #1, I hinted at the notion of a second Rorschach. We’ll that has been confirmed. Dude, I know it’s obvious but I didn’t want to jump the gun too early. He’s still the same ruthless crime fighter as before only what’s different about Rorschach 2 is he is not Caucasian. During a scene where he eats Batman’s breakfast we can see the bottom half of his face. Ozymandias may have given us Rorschach Part Deux’s real name when he called him Reggie. I’m okay with the move. Out of the original Watchmen cast I always felt Rorschach would be the easiest to continue. Just be a hardass, eat beans, and have a mask. Maybe we’ll get a little depth to him, maybe we won’t. Where we are at in the story I don’t feel requires too much on Rorschach and I feel the page space is best left for other exposition.
What’s great about Rorschach and Ozymandias in Chapter 2 is their encounters officially mark the Watchmen cross over into the DC Comic Universe. Here’s where the ball will really start to roll. I’m sure the meat of the plot is still to come but for this moment I consider the integration a success and the build up we’ve been waiting for since DC Rebirth #1 has been worth our whiles. The telling of the events coupled with a sort of slow burn I feel fits the mold of what was done in the 80’s. Granted Alan Moore may not approve but I can’t understand how any fan of the graphic novel would not, at the way least, be intrigued by Doomsday Clock.
I’m happy we get to see the worlds of Watchmen and DC Rebirth finally collide. Can’t wait to see what happens next!
The saga continues 1/24/18.
Nerdbot Rating: 8.5 out of 10
By Adam Chmielewski
Photo Credits- DC Comics
How are you liking Doomsday Clock? Let Nerdbot know in the comments!