DC’s Doomsday Clock has ticked its final tock. Yes… this over two year project integrating the Watchmen into the current DC Rebirth Universe has come to an end.
Personally I never thought I’d ever see two different continuations of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ landmark graphic novel reach their conclusions in the same month. Both HBO’s Watchmen and Doomsday Clock, though derived from the same source material, had two completely different goals, and the execution to reach said goals was done phenomenally for their respective mediums.
One undeniable similarity between the show and the comic series is the concept of saying goodbye to Dr. Manhattan. In Doomsday Clock, Superman is the last thing Big Blue sees before darkness, which we’ve known about for a while now and at the conclusion of the previous installment, the stage was set for a showdown between two of the most powerful forces graphic literature has ever seen.
Which is where we begin… Dr. Manhattan is about to square off with the Supes when they’re interrupted Anchorman style by the Russian Metahuman outfit who’ve come for some Moscow Massacre (Issue #8) retribution. Of course they don’t know what really happened but that’s no reason to let a good battle go to waste. So the first blast of energy is made and we’ve got ourselves a good old fashioned Metahuman street brawl.
Dr. Manhattan pretty much stands there watching as Superman puts on a clinic of heroism. However, the observance turns to inspiration as Superman, who just figured out that Dr. Manhattan is responsible for the death of his parents (remember he’s altered the timeline) casts the emotions aside and saves the naked blue being from a would be assailant. The profound act of selflessness has a big time effect on Dr. Manhattan who finally intervenes. Naturally he does so in a very Osterman like fashion by traveling to the past and undoing what was previously done. A few black frames later and the Justice Society of America is reborn, paving the way for generations of costumed heroes, all the way to the 31st Century. Superman saves his parents from their deaths, then the new universe meets the current universe and a triumphant army of Metahumans restores order to a world on the brink of war.
Wait! You know there are major implications for the future, not only for the Metaverse, but DC Comics as a whole. Here’s where is gets a little complicated. All this meddling in the past sparked the creation of a new additions to the DC Multiverse or Metaverse or whatever. To put it simply; new world… new Superman. This should hopefully explain how different DC runs like “The New 52” and “Crisis On Infinite Earth” can cohesively exist under the DC banner. There’s even a nod to another potential Marvel-slash-DC crossover in 2030 called “Secret Crisis” where Superman battles Thor but I have yet to read any confirmations online that such an even will take place.
An additional tease involves something called “5G” that’s not the next wave of cell phone technology. No, “5G” is a rumored DC project which is supposed to chop up the entire DC Comic Universe into four specific periods while creating an opportunity to usher in a new crop of heroes. Still, nothing confirmed yet but it will be an event to keep an eye on.
Now that evil has been defeated, it’s time for Dr. Manhattan to leave this world… again. He restores both the DC Rebirth Universe and the Watchmen Universe to their prior states of harmony. Manhattan zaps The Comedian to 1985 where he finds himself falling from a window by which he has just been thrown through. No change there. Ozymandias finally faces the music for his diabolical, and failed attempt to save humanity. He may have a whole different punishment ahead as it’s implied a young girl named Cleopatra Pak may be Veidt’s daughter. Our new Rorschach (Reggie Long) visits the graves of his parents in hopes of one day making Rorschach stand for a greater good.
As for Dr. Manhattan himself, Jon Osteman’s tenure as the world’s only Superman is no more. Before he goes, two key things take place; all nuclear weapons in his universe were destroyed. This insures another threat of nuclear destruction is off the table completely while achieving what Ozymandias could never do. Then before fading away forever, he transfers his powers (just like the show, we think) to Mime and Marionette’s baby (I knew they would actually mean something to the story at some point), names the child Clark, and drops him off with the Hollis’… or Dan Drieberg and Sally Jupiter living under secret identities so that our young Superman could grow up in a loving household the same way our Man Of Steel did.
See… he cares about people after all.
Alright, so there’s definitely a ton to unpack here. Issue #12 had way more to offer than I had originally anticipated though I feel the amount of exposition was one hundred percent appropriate. I can remember reading a quote from Geoff Johns on the DC Rebirth’s Wikipedia page about how one of the reasons for even “rebirthing” an entire comic universe was to reveal the secrets within it. I feel the final installment of Doomsday Clock did just that and included some of the greatest spectacle of graphic literature in 2019.
Believe me, there are many questions to be answered and I’m sure some of them will be addressed in the coming months. I’m particularly interested in what role the rest of the Watchmen cast will play going forward. Are are heroes due for more appearances in the DC Rebirth Universe? Or was Doomsday Clock a special one time only type thing? At this moment I’m not entirely sure what I would like from Geoff Johns in the future, but I do know that DC delivered one hell of a ride.
And I would like to thank everyone for accompanying me on this journey.
By Adam Chmielewski
Photo Credits- DC Comics
What do you think of Doomsday Clock’s epic conclusion? Let Nerdbot know in the comments!!