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.




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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To me, Phil Jiminez is what you would get if you removed the Kirby influence from Geroge Perez's stuff. 

Growing up, I was a huge Perez fan.  His early art is pretty raw and lacking in fundamentals but it's full of dynamic energy and power.  This is what attracts me to Kirby's art as well.  In the 70s, Perez was pretty much at the mercy of his inker.  Joe Sinnot made him look like the Marvel House style, Pablo Marcos gave him an organic illustrative quality.  Some other inkers ruined him.  In the 80s, Perez really started focusing on hyper detail and rendering but still wasn't there on a fundamental level.  But his 90s Avengers stuff with Kurt Busiek is pretty accomplished in my opinion.

As for DC #9.  I thought it had some interesting moments:

Yes Gary Frank's decision to over render all the faces is puzzling.  Everyone looks like extras from the Walking Dead.  Which would be fine if this was a horror book.  Ironically, everyone already looks so corpse-like that when Frank gets to draw Deadman, he actually makes him look healthy by comparison.

The showdown between Doc Manhattan and the heroes was fun.  I especially liked when he squared off with Captain Atom (his Charlton counterpart) and Firestorm who I guess would be his DCU counterpart.

But why was Green Arrow congratulating Firestorm after Captain Atom nuked Doc Manhattan?

And Doc Manhattan's encounter with the magic based heroes was interesting.  Although the original Watchmen comic featured a magician-villain, I don't think magic actually existed in that universe. So the idea that the DCU heroes are simply harnessing "scraps of creation" is intriguing.

Detective 445! welcom photo welcomeani.gifwelcom photo welcomeani.gifwelcom photo welcomeani.gifBACK!!

Thanks Sensei!  I haven't had much time to contribute in the last year or so but I have been lurking from time to time.  I'm hoping to be able to post a little more often now that my schedule is calming down.

By the way, this is brilliant. This is exactly it.

Detective 445 said:

To me, Phil Jiminez is what you would get if you removed the Kirby influence from Geroge Perez's stuff. 

Anybody read issue 10? This was great! It's a really interesting way to look at the various changes to DC's timeline over the years.

yes! I enjoyed it greatly but haven’t organized my thoughts vis-a-vis “meta verse”.

This might be the most "meta" comic book ever published!  In a roundabout way, it sort of reintroduces the idea of hypertime.

Yeah, it's kind of a new name for an old thing, but this kind of lays it out on the line exactly what's been going on, while attributing parts of it to (namely) Anit-Monitor and Extant, but I'm sure the same is said for Superboy Prime and whoever caused Final Crisis (can't actually remember, although it's my personal favorite).

And if you count the other "Crises" of the DCU, probably Dr. Light and Wally West. (Okay, I'm kidding.)

(So far.)

By the way, I must admit that I have never read any of the early Justice League/Justice Society "Crisis" stories. This could possibly account for those as well.

One thing I thought was interesting and/or confusing:

Johns tells us that the Metaverse (or something that controls it) continually erases and reintroduces Superman at various times or is pushing his genesis forward in time over and over again.  But then he shows us a scene where Superboy travels to the future to meet the Legion.  But if Superman's genesis is continuously pushed forward then wouldn't he already exist in the Legion's time?

In any case, Johns seems to have solved the problem of how Superboy could be a part of the Legion while also keeping John Byrne's "Superboyless" Man of Steel origin intact. 

Detective 445 said:

But if Superman's genesis is continuously pushed forward then wouldn't he already exist in the Legion's time?

There's a prejudice toward "now" in all time-travel stories that doesn't take that into account, or just ignores it. The same question occurred to me in this season's Flash finale, where the object that was keeping Reverse-Flash in jail in the far future was destroyed in the present, but instead of now never existing up to Reverse-Flash's time, it dissolved at the moment we last saw Reverse-Flash. So it existed in the future, despite being destroyed in the present, right up to the minute it kcould most dramatically make its exit. That doesn't make a lick of sense, unless "now" is special is some way.

You probably already thought all that through and your question was rhetorical. But it's all that explains how an always progressing Superman origin hasn't already overwritten "presents" beyond our own -- somehow our "present" is the Master Moment in Time and the future hasn't happened yet, even to those who've already lived it (the Legion). 

And how does the Legion feel about knowing that the 21st century is the Master Time that can wipe them out, or restore them, willy-nilly? Or do they somehow not know? Is it possible that every"present" is its own Master Time, and when events in our time wipe out the Legion in our future, they don't get wiped out in their own "present," but continue to live in some sort of Hypertime?

This is gradually leading me to the conclusion that time isn't linear, and it all happens at once, with different perspectives on what "happened" -- because nothing does. Everyone has their own perspective, from their own timeline.

Ow. Head hurting now.

After having Doomsday Clock #10 for four days (and having skimmed it), I finally had the time and clarity to read it in a single sitting. It's fascinating. I think it's the most compelling issue so far.

I definitely agree. This is the one I've been waiting for. It is almost "standalone" in its importance. I liked the refereces to Nathanial Dusk and don McGregor. I liked the meeting at the duner on the anniversaries of Superman;s first apearance (very "Hob Gadling" from Gaiman's Sandman). I really like the new cosmology of the "meteverse." One nitpick: Johnny Thunder didn't know the significance of "Cei-U" at that time.

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