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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My guess is that Rorschach II is the kid who was reading the Black Freighter comics in Watchmen.

I wondered about the Nathaniel Dusk stuff too. It seems to be a counterpoint to the Black Freighter story but I agree there must be some sort of tie-in to the main story.

I really like Marionette and Mime. Maybe my favorite thing about the whole series.  And their inclusion, I think, is one of the ways that Johns has made this more than just a tribute or a pale imitation.

Detective 445 said:

My guess is that Rorschach II is the kid who was reading the Black Freighter comics in Watchmen.

The kid and the newsstand guy were shown as blasted by Ozymandias' fake alien. Unless Doctor Manhattan saved him too.



Richard Willis said:

Detective 445 said:

My guess is that Rorschach II is the kid who was reading the Black Freighter comics in Watchmen.

The kid and the newsstand guy were shown as blasted by Ozymandias' fake alien. Unless Doctor Manhattan saved him too.

I'd guess that the kid dying in the blast was Moore's (or Gibbons') intent, but someone could make a case that he was sheilded from the blast by the newsstand owner. They are shown in a few panels with their bodies still intact.

I didn't really notice this before but Rorschach's flashback/dream in Doomsday Clock #3 shows him driving into the city during the giant squid attack, so I guess maybe he is a new character that we haven't met before.

Good point about the new Rorschach, Detective. I hope it's true and NOT the young kid reading Black Freighter in the original, because as noted above, we saw him and the newsie die together. As we've seen with Eddie Blake Watchmen deaths are no longer a certainty, but the two dying together formed a thematic image that had been repeated numerous times throughout the series -- and I'd hate to poke a hole in that visual theme, one of the things that set Watchmen apart. That is, if I'm remembering a'right what that looked like.

Incidentally, I didn't mention before that when Blake confronts Ozymandias, he says something to the effect of "I was drunk and confused before, but I'm ready for you now." I don't see that as a difference. We saw Ozymandias handily defeat Rorschach and Nite-Owl II before (and wasn't Silk Spectre II there as well?), and both of them were sober and ready. I don't see any way The Comedian is going to best Ozymandias, unless the latter is flattened by his tumor. Which is probably what will happen, since it's a gun on the mantlepiece. I hope that's not the case, as I'd rather be surprised. But I hope Johns doesn't make Blake the superior fighter, which would disappoint me.

I also like Marionette and Mime, and as I've already mentioned, I'd love to see more ersatz Charlton characters. However, in the first issue we saw a nuke hit a city (presumably New York), so it's possible that Earth-Watchmen has been wiped out. I hope that's not the case for a variety of reasons.

Also, the new Rorschach found the Batcave fairly easily, which is actually in his skill set, as we saw in Watchmen #1. But since Luthor also figured it out, maybe the old clock entrance may need to be replaced!

I'm willing to bet that a dying Blake will be redeposited in the air outside his apartment, falling to his death, by the end of Doomsday Clock. That's Dr. Manhattan's whole deal, right -- he can see time as it plays out, and he can affect actions, but at the same time he's bound by the determinism of the events already having happened in the future. So Blake may have some interstitial time on DC earth, but at the end of the day, he's going to wind up splattering on that street. Because it's already happened; there's nothing Doc M. can do about that. And I'm pretty sure Johns understands that. 




Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

Because it's already happened; there's nothing Doc M. can do about that. And I'm pretty sure Johns understands that. 



Yeah, DC seems willing to trample on sacred ground to some degree. But to alter the continuity of the original story. I think that's a line they don't want to cross.

I mean, you can argue that even a retcon alters the continuity in a sense. But it doesn't alter the reported facts; it just changes their circumstances. 

But I think Johns will want his story to adhere to those facts, because that's what a fan of the work would want. And he's a fan. He's similar to Roy Thomas in that way -- probing the works, and putting his own stamp on their legacy, to the point of inserting events and rationales and unseen consequences -- but not wanting to  alter what's already canon. (As opposed to someone like James Robinson, who I think loves those old books, too -- but is more happy to pick and choose what facts to keep and which to discard if they got in the way of his story.)

DC #9 is finally here, and it’s a pretty big one.

I recognized everybody in all the ships, even though some were in some iterations I hadn’t seen before. The only one that gave me pause was the chick in the generic black unitard who seems to have Nightshade’s powers, so that must be her latest look. How many people recognized Robby Reed in his Human Starfish form? Sockamagee! 

I wondered at all the paranoia at Superman’s silence. Can’t Lois Lane just write a Daily Planet story saying “He’s in a coma”? Or go CNN? Tweet? Instagram?

i can well believe that Creeper and Metamorpho are government-created, as that actually enhances their lame Silver Age origins. I’d happily toss in Hawk & Dove, Question and most of the Doom Patrol (including Beast Boy). Firestorm’s origin was already OK — at least as OK as Barry Allen’s — but this idea makes it better. Man-Bat I have a harder time buying, as it requires too much re-invention that doesn’t fit at all with what we know.

How does this retcon fit with the Oolong Island gang? T.O. Morrow, Doc Magnus, Ivo, etc.? Pretty good, I expect.

The battle on Mars went about as you’d expect, but it’s only Round One. Round Two should include The Trinity, which will make a difference. Sure would like to The Spectre v. Dr. M!

I bought issue #9 yesterday but i haven't read it (nor the comments above) yet. One thing occurred to me about this series, despite its constant lateness. Usually, when comics offer multiple covers, there is almost always one clear choice I prefer. I haven't been able to say that about Doomsday Clock, though. Every month issue, I have a difficult time deciding between the two.

Yeah, both covers are usually terrific. I've tried to go with the Watchmen-style "first panel" option wherever I can, but my shop hasn't always given me that choice. And the alternate this time, with the costumes, was particularly good. (Especially if I think of it as a panel showing Dr. Manhattan finally trying to decide what to wear")

I read this earlier, and it was really good. I was actually trying to identify all of the ships soaring for Mars. I know I have seen all (or most) of them before, but I couldn't do it. Great attention to detail, Johns and Frank! I love that J'onn J'onzz was the first to speak on Mars (of course he was), and I like that the Trinity were all absent. The DCU has plenty, PLENTY of firepower without Superman and Wonder Woman and Batman. I know that's not how it's being played here, and that those three will probably be the ones to eventually reign in Manhattan, but between all of the superhuman abilities in that crew, they should be able to really hold their own.

And Cap, isn't that Nightshade's original look?

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