Some of us have probably seen the Doomsday Clock Ashcan that’s been circulating around the internet for the past few days. I've really been looking forward to this, as the integration of the Watchmen Universe into the DCU is the thing that most interested me about Rebirth.  The actual Doomsday Clock maxi-series is still a couple months out but I thought I would go ahead and set up a spoiler thread for it and post a few comments on the preview. If you haven’t read the ashcan you can access it here.  I’ll leave a little bit of spoiler space before commenting.
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Doomsday Clock Ashcan Edition

The issue starts off with a scene that’s very reminiscent of the original Watchmen maxi-series. It’s not a 9 panel grid, but it’s similar in style and tone. Gary Frank gives us dystopic scenes of chaos in the streets as Geoff Johns provides narration in a style that’s designed to mimic Rorschach’s narration in Watchmen. But, the year is 1992 and if this is the world of Watchmen, Rorschach would be dead. Right? 

Johns tries to add some political overtones to the narration. Painting both left and right wing perspectives in an extreme way.  I found this a little clumsy but it gets the message across.  The political climate seems to have deteriorated since we last visited the world of Watchmen.  Johns seems to want to reference the current divisiveness in real world politics.  In the original Watchmen, the Comedian tells us the American Dream came true. In this story we learn that this is the “American Nightmare.”  The world is in chaos and on the brink of war.  Why?  What triggered all of this?

Well, apparently Ozymandias’ plot to unite the world hasn’t actually worked out after all. Indications are that Rorschach’s journal has been found and published and this has thrown the world into complete chaos.  Adrian Veidt is a now a wanted man and we see a military attack on his arctic stronghold. He’s nowhere to be found but we do see an x-ray that appears to show that he has a brain tumor?

In the final pages we learn that war with Russia is imminent and we cut to a very familiar looking prison setting. Amid the panic a riot seems likely as one of the prisoners is attempting to force his way out of his cell. Suddenly his escape attempt is interrupted by a mysterious stranger.  On the next page we see Rorschach? Alive?  Could it be that he wasn’t disintegrated at the end of Watchmen but was instead transported to the future? And what does any of this have to do with the DCU? I guess we’ll have to wait to find out.

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The real conflict is if readers can judge this for its own merits and not just attack DC, the creative teams and other readers for "desecrating" Watchmen.

In my view, The Button didn't deliver on its hype and made me very dubious about the quality of Doomsday Clock but we shall see.



Philip Portelli said:

The real conflict is if readers can judge this for its own merits and not just attack DC, the creative teams and other readers for "desecrating" Watchmen.

In my view, The Button didn't deliver on its hype and made me very dubious about the quality of Doomsday Clock but we shall see.




The Button was ridiculous but I think Johns knows he can't get away with a stunt like that again. I expect Doomsday Clock will be more of an attempt to do something big and impactful.

IMO, Watchmen is the greatest comic of all time so I'm conflicted about any attempts to follow it up. I guess I've come to think of these follow ups as occurring on a parallel earth that is identical to the Alan Moore earth but separate from it.

I think Watchmen is an amazing work, and its stature is such that things like Before Watchmen or Doomsday Clock can't diminish it, any more than the further adventures of Sherlock Holmes has diminished Arthur Conan Doyle's work. 

Having read the ashcan, I feel like the narration is a little hammy, but I'm certainly still interested.

It's the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S. and I just bought and read Doomsday Clock #1.The teaser at the end of Watchmen showing Seymour about to pull Rorschach's journal from the pile of mail apparently paid off, with the expected results. Pax Ozymandias is over and Veidt is the world's most wanted man. It's made clear that someone else has taken over the role of Rorschach. So far Nite Owl and Silk Spectre are not involved. Geoff Johns is doing a fine job writing this and Gary Frank's art is the perfect choice.



Richard Willis said:

It's the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S. and I just bought and read Doomsday Clock #1.The teaser at the end of Watchmen showing Seymour about to pull Rorschach's journal from the pile of mail apparently paid off, with the expected results. Pax Ozymandias is over and Veidt is the world's most wanted man. It's made clear that someone else has taken over the role of Rorschach. So far Nite Owl and Silk Spectre are not involved. Geoff Johns is doing a fine job writing this and Gary Frank's art is the perfect choice.


Yeas. I though Johns did about as well as we could hope for. Fortunately he's not letting himself be trapped in the creative culdesac that plagued the "Before Watchmen" books. The Mime and the Marionette (based on Punch and Jewelee?) didn't really feel like Moore charcters to me but I'm interested in them and looking forward to seeing what Johns does with them. A little disappointed that the original Rorscach isn't here but it's probably for the best.

I'm confused by the Superman sequence at the end. It can't be a coincidence that Doomsday Clock occurs in 1992 on Earth-Watchmen. This is the year of "Death of Superman" in DC continuity. But where does this Superman fall within ANY continuity? I'm no Superman expert but weren't his parents dead in pre-Crisis continuity and alive in post-Crisis? And I don't remember them ever dying in a car crash.

One theory was that Doctor Manhattan didn't kill Rorschach but instead sent him someplace else or some when else. So he may well return.

You know, the Kents' car crash seemed new to me, but also rang a bell. I think maybe it's been referenced before (maybe on The CW?) and we just haven't seen it. Or maybe it is entirely new.

And I'm with you, 'Tec, in that the current Superman is a bit fuzzy around the edges to me. He's sort of a combo Superman, right? Part post-Crisis, part New 52? That means some irreconcilable elements in his past that haven't been established one way or the other yet. In short, I have no idea when or how the combo-Superman's parents died.

I like that they didn't resurrect Rorshach, and instead rang in someone that he (and we) have met before. (Well, if it's who I think it is, which seems like a pretty sure thing.) It makes sense, and it works.

Gary Frank is doing the best work of his career, and that's saying something.

I also thought Mime and Marionette were based on Punch and Jewelee (sometimes spelled Jewlee) from Silver Age Charlton Captain Atom comics. That is as how it should be, since all the other characters are based on old Charlton characters. Charlton's 1960s "action heroes line" is full of lame character ripe for this sort of treatment, including The Ghost*, Dr. Spectro, The Red Knight, Praying-Mantis Man, Mr. Thunderbolt, The Giant Mummy Who Was Not Dead, The Eye of Horus, Magno, Mentor the Magnificent, The Scorpion, The Madmen, Dr. Kong and myriad alien/extra-dimensional races. You can find even more if you trace Blue Beetle back through his '40s incarnation.

(*The Ghost was actually kinda cool.)

So far, Johns is channeling the spirit of Watchmen, without slavishly repeating it. I enjoyed the first issue, even though some part of me felt a little guilty.

I just finished reading the second issue. Anybody else?

Not yet. Went to see the Doctor Who Christmas special in the theater last night.

Didn't realize it was already out!

It was a Wednesday release this week.

Captain Comics said:

Didn't realize it was already out!

I read it -- my LCS is taking the week off, but I decided it was worth double-dipping with Comixology for this one. 

I'm still really impressed. Loved the flashback to Marionette & the Mime's heist!

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