DOOMSDAY CLOCK #12
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Gary Frank
Colorist: Brad Anderson
Letterer: Rob Leigh
The day has finally come, DOOMSDAY CLOCK is finally over. I almost didn't think this day would ever come. It's been 2 years since issue 1 came out, so at times when reading this series it felt hard to follow. Which isn't to say I didn't like it, I just think it might have been a little detrimental to it's success. I originally planned to do a review of the entire series once I did a full re-read, which I may still do, but I just had to get my thoughts about this conclusion off my chest.
When this series was first announced it caused a lot of talk amongst comic fans. Some people thought that DC shouldn't use the Watchmen characters with the heroes of the DCU and some thought it was an awesome idea. I fall into the latter. I though it was an awesome way to explain how the Watchmen universe "infected" the DCU and made it darker. It was very meta. But it didn't stop there. It also used Dr. Manhattan to explain all the changes brought on because of New52. At first I thought "Yes! this will be a way to eventually return all of the characters and time line that was lost because of FLASHPOINT". I'm a diehard DC fan and while I loved some New52 stuff, it also took a lot of my favorite properties/characters and did away with them. What proceeded though was something else, something interesting and somewhat of a reflection on our society today.
On the surface this book show the final "battle" between Superman and Dr. Manhattan. All while the world is in complete chaos. Manhattan has seen his visions end, thus assuming either Superman kills him or he himself destroys the universe. Even though he goads Superman into fighting him by tell him how he "stole" friend/mentors he never "knew" or even his parents, the Man of Steel still shows why he's considered the symbol of hope. Superman pleads with him "Maybe the darkness you see... Maybe it takes EVERYTHING you have to SAVE your world. Maybe you make that choice".
The conversation between Reggie (Rorschach) and Batman is where Johns seems tot comment on the "divide" we face in society. He talks of a world drowning in hate and anger. Now I'm not entirely sure he's referring to today's world. But I can't help but feel like he's talking about the US and the divide as a result of the man sitting in the White House. I won't get political here, but I just felt like this was worth talking about, even if it's brief.
Ok back to the comic.
It's the preceding pages that really won me over on this issue. What we see next is the return of things most of us DC fans had thought were lost. The Kents return, Superman was now Superboy in his past and more importantly we see the return of the Legion and JSA. I know some of you may be thinking " But we already saw them return in JUSTICE LEAGUE and in their own title". You're right, and this is where I became a little frustrated, is this why the book was even later then it should have been, those Legion designs are Ryan Sooks. Then you start to wonder how much DC editorial might have had a hand in the lateness. But that's a thought for another day. That double page spread by Gary Frank was a sight to behold. Seeing all of these characters on one page brought the biggest smile to my face. Frank is an absolute master of the medium and I'm so glad he drew this series in it's entirety.
But the "returns" aren't it everybody, what comes next is even more exciting as it is confusing. Manhattan has restored what he took and then begins to describe the Multiverse to us. You see every time there's a change in the Metaverse, the Multiverse grows to preserve every era of Superman. He's the focal point of everything. It always starts with him. That's why we have Earth 2, Earth 1(which is now Earth-1985), Earth 52, and so on. We are given tease of possible futures, as we see heroes from across generations united. Johns talks of events happening n 2020 and 2025. Teases of a new crisis, I mean there's enough here to get all you DC diehards excited. It flashes possible futures where the Multiverse resets, always starting with Superman's rocket landing in a field.
The Watchmen characters eventually return to their world, except Mime and Marionette. How this will play out in the future is something that definitely intrigues me. With the world put back together, Manhattan seems to be somewhat content and that last page of the book is sure to garner a lot of questions. But I won't spoil it.
This book has been a rollercoaster of feelings/emotions for me. Geoff Johns, Gary Frank and Brad Anderson promised a story of epic proportions and in the end they delivered. While at time sit may have felt somewhat hard to follow, due to the release schedule, the quality of the writing/art has always been flawless. Now all I hope is that these 3 gentlemen can continue on to another project and continue to dazzle us with their work.
As for the story and it's impact on the DCU line of books, remains to be seen. I hope this story is integrated and they pick up on some of Johns' plot points. If they do... we're in for one hell of ride. If not, then that's ok too. Either way this has been one of the most intriguing DC stories I've ever read and I highly recommend it to any of you DC or non-DC fans. The best part is that it can now be read in it's entirety. So what are you waitng for? Go out and get it.