Well… it’s been over a year now.
It’s crazy to think that while you’re living it, time seems to go by so slow. But when you look back on it, time seems to be something that went by so fast.
I say this because over three-hundred sixty-five days ago I started coverage of DC’s Doomsday Clock and honestly, it feels like I just read the inaugural installment three weeks ago. So for everyone who has stuck through the series or have been reading the commentary I provide here at Nerdbot, thank you. Seriously, thank you.
Okay, we’ve got a pretty good amount of stuff to go over as Geoff Johns and company delivered yet another great chapter in the series. I felt the previous issue kind of brought things back to normal, returning our central characters to their true forms. Ozymandias is the bad guy again, Dr. Manhattan makes his debut, Rorschach 2.0’s on his own. All key components to set off a chain of events we’ve been waiting for since last November. And the latest book, entitled Save Humanity, brings it all together with an epic twist that takes Doomsday Clock to a whole new level.
Let’s begin with something called Superman Theory. It’s basically a DC Rebirth conspiracy theory claiming that there were no metahumans prior to Superman. But since his arrival, there’s been an exponential increase in superheroes and super villains, particularly in the United States. Certain people believe America is manufacturing metahumans then assigning them roles (good or bad), as some form of psychological expression of world dominance.
This has led to the metahumans arms race which until now served as more of a background tension element in the series. The same way the impending nuclear war between between the U.S. and Russia was in the original Watchmen. Doomsday Clock mirrors the atmosphere dynamic. Just like its predecessor, there comes a point where the background meets the foreground and tension introduced early on finally pays off.
Issue #8 begins with a break in at the White House. It’s Ozymandias. He’s back to his villainous ways, masterminding another plan to “save humanity” (in quotes for a reason). We don’t know the details but whatever going on, we’re seeing the beginning stages.
Then the focus shifts to Clark Kent and Lois Lane. While at the Daily Planet, a news broadcast reports on a metahuman named Firestorm, who has invaded Russian airspace. After a brief scuffle with their costumed heroes, he finds himself buried in a crowd of people. Panic consumes Firestorm, he shoots out an energy wave turning everyone to glass. The Russian Prime Minister calls the incident a terrorist attack. Superman, sensing danger flies out window on a mission to remedy the situation.
On the way, he stops at Kahndaq, home of Black Adam and hidden metahuman utopia. A place where those with powers can live in the open, and in peace. Firestorm is not there, though Black Adam welcomes him to spend his days there, free from the threats of the government. He also insults Superman (I thought they were friends) but before a fight breaks out, the Man Of Steel leaves. We’re not here too long because I believe Kahndaq will come into play later on in the story.
Superman locates Firestorm and doesn’t see a mad man. He’s sees a lost soul battling his inner demons. During the accident that fused Firestorm together with another person while also giving him powers, it also caused “The Professor” to take on a personality inside his mind. Kind of like a Green Goblin, Spider-Man 1 kind of thing. The man is good, the mind is bad. Superman helps him overcome the challenge, Firestorm changes a kid from glass back to his human form then decides to do the same for the crowd of people he accidentally glassified a few pagers earlier.
Superman takes Firestorm to the town square but Putin (yes that Putin) along with the Russian military are there having a press conference demonizing Firestorm. He accuses the United States of creating a metahuman army and announces Russia will do the same. Superman man tries to ease the tension but the soldiers starting shooting at Firestorm, who is in the process of changing everyone back. Glass breaks, people die, chaos insues. Superman manages to save a life but the damage has already been done.
The Batplane flies toward Russia and the Caped Crusader hopes to make contact with Superman before it’s too late. He screams “that’s not Firestorm!” then there’s an explosion of blue light.
We learned from the previous issue that Dr. Manhattan can’t see into the future beyond an encounter with Superman. It’s obvious he disguised himself as Firestorm but the “why” has yet to be revealed. The last image on the last page is Ozymandias, watching the chaos, a satisfied look on his face. So I’ll guarantee he’s behind it. Also, DC did kind of give it away…
I’m sensing Ozymandias’ plan to again save humanity is rooted in the elimination of metahumans. He gets the two most powerful ones to start fighting, it might spark a battle that kills millions to save billions. If the tide turns, and metahumans become the targets, Kahndaq could become the premier destination for those with powers. Maybe the impending war in Doomsday Clock isn’t the United States vs. Russia, maybe metahumans vs. metahumans vs. humanity? And the only way for us to be saved, is to fight?
There’s also a mysterious package addressed to Lois Lane and this throw back Justice League Of America thing going on that got recerenced during Issue #8. I have no clue where it’s going. We’ve seen it a few times, I feel there’ll be resolution but we’ll have to wait a little while longer. Whatever’s taking place here might even be a developing cliffhanger to take us to the next phase of DC Rebirth.
The events of Issue #8 I’m sure will set up the closing arc of the series. Personally I can’t even begin to predict what the future holds. This story could go anywhere. But I did want to mention how this was one of the best drawings of Superman I have seen in years. Gary Frank crushed it! The most quality rendition of the character since the Death Of Superman saga.
Now we have to wait until February to see what happens next. That sucks. But until then I wish you the best of holiday seasons.
Nerdbot Rating: 9 out of 10.
By Adam Chmielewski
Photo Credits- DC Comics
What did you think about the latest Issue of Doomsday Clock? Let Nerdbot know in the comments!!