Doomsday Clock #12 review

We’ve waited a long time, but, finally, Doomsday Clock gives DC fans what they’ve been waiting for.

Yes, the return of the Canterbury Cricket, leading his World of Flashpoint comrades Mrs Hyde and Godiva, and fellow British heroes Knight and Squire, into battle.

There was other stuff too. The also long-awaited confrontation between Superman and Dr Manhattan.

A fateful meeting between Batman and the second Rorschach.

The final fate of Mime and Marionette. The return of the Thunderbolt. Whatever happened to Carver Colman. Oh, and..

… the return of the Justice Society of America and Legion of Super-Heroes.

In the case of the latter, mind, it’s as much a debut as a return, this being the latest version of the future’s greatest super team rather than a previous iteration.

The issue continues last time’s meditation on what Superman means to the newly named ‘DC Metaverse’ and the answer is… everything.

The parallels between Superman’s story and Moses have always been there; I’m less keen on Superman as messiah… still, writer Geoff Johns’ codification of Superman’s significance to DC Comics into in-universe super-significance will likely never be mentioned again. Likewise, the intriguing predictions about the future of the DC Universe. This story says the 5G business teased endlessly at the Bleeding Cool website isn’t coming next year, or the year after, but six years from now… to be honest, the 12th of Never would do nicely. You will notice that reference to Wonder Woman having fought alongside the JSA in the Second World War… that’s either the comics lining up with the hit movies, or John Byrne’s time travelling Hippolyta back in continuity.

What’s more likely to power future stories is another return by characters long gone, an undoing of a particularly cruel piece of meddling by Dr Manhattan.

Speaking of whom, I’m not sure what to make of the ending – he steals the son of Mime and Marionette (apparently OK as they’re already pregnant again) to be raised as a new kind of hero for his own world, a hero to bring hope, a cross between Superman and himself… a SuperManhattan. It’s meant to be a glorious new beginning, I guess, but strikes me as merely creepy.

Oh, and the Supermen Theory, which claims that Dr Martin Stein was part of a secret government project creating metahumans such as Metamorpho and Firestorm, is still out there, which has me frowning. But is there an implication here that it’s a load of pants?

I do hope so.

I enjoyed this series a lot. It’s extended the Watchmen story with excellent new characters Mime and Marionette, given us another look at Dr Manhattan, Ozymandius and the Comedian, finally putting a certain toy back in the box so as not to disturb the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons classic. While I do have the odd quibble with the final issue, I appreciate that changes in the DC hierarchy meant Johns likely couldn’t wrap things up as originally planned. Overall it’s been an intriguing read with fantastic visuals by illustrator Gary Frank, colourist Brad Anderson and letterer Rob Leigh – the nuanced expressions, expansive and action-packed spreads, sharp colour palette and letters recalling Gibbons’ own in Watchmen. Johns’ story would never have been as successful without such talented partners.

And best of all, it’s explained and resolved the DC Rebirth problem, bringing back some of the most glorious concepts in the company’s lore. I’d say Doomsday Clock has been a good time.

18 thoughts on “Doomsday Clock #12 review

  1. I enjoy many of the storytelling elements in this series, but I hate that so much time was wasted in the attempt to mimic the original Watchmen. We all get it, it’s a classic that influenced so many of today’s comics writers, but imitation isn’t really the sincerest form of flattery. A lot of that space in this series could have been dedicated to filling out the story itself rather than on silly bits of an old Hollywood film.

    I also see, so clearly, how this was meant to be the trigger for a new era of DC comics, but with the delays, the sales have drooped and Bendis and Snyder basically had to take up the reintroductions of the Legion and JSA and basically spoiled this ending.

    No doubt Snyders current 300 year long event will rewrite most of the multiverse stuff this was supposed to put in place.

    I’m not disappointed with the art or the writing, except for the decision to emulate the original, but this is just an example of a good piece of work being ruined by delays.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll have more to say later, but I wanted to point out John’s reinterpretation of Gran Morrison’s distilled Superman origin: “Doomed planet. Desperate scientists. Last hope. Kindly couple.”

    I like John’s version better: “The rocket arrives. A child is loved. Superman is made.”

    That’s when I knew this had all been worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Clark was now Superboy again and Ma and Pa are back! Don’t reall give a hoot past that. Well, except that this is the best Johns ending I think I’ve ever seen. Truthfully with how his Events always seemed to roll into the next it might be the only ending he’s done that actually ends. Best of all there is none of the gore his stories normally revel in…

    And BTW, for such an unabashed DC history lover, how has Johns never gotten that the DC he loves had no place for arm ripping or shark attacks graphically portrayed? It’s a bit of his toolbox I’ve never gotten. I also never got how he could turn the Legion’s future into a dystopia but that’s something else…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Speaking of whom, I’m not sure what to make of the ending – he steals the son of Mime and Marionette (apparently OK as they’re already pregnant again) to be raised as a new kind of hero for his own world, a hero to bring hope, a cross between Superman and himself… a SuperManhattan. It’s meant to be a glorious new beginning, I guess, but strikes me as merely creepy.”

    I guess modern interpretations would make this seem as you’ve stated, but it does follow along with the classical origin for the archetypical hero since Heracles. A child of extraordinary abilities, raised by surrogate parents who care for him as their own.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoyed this on the whole, though with everything happening with Snyder’s “oh my god how much longer is this going on” event I can’t help thinking that this story will simply become something that other writers vaguely refer to; it may become part of the metaverse itself, something to be nodded towards but ultimately ignored, much like the original Hypertime.

    reference to Wonder Woman having fought alongside the JSA in the Second World War… that’s either the comics lining up with the hit movies, or John Byrne’s time travelling Hippolyta back in continuity.

    I think the whole 5G thing has Wonder Woman appearing in the 30s now, so it’s likely that iteration to come that’s being referenced.

    And did John Byrne have Hippolyta time travel to become Wonder Woman? I’d always thought that was something Morrison did in JLA?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so naffed off with the neverending Justice League story that I’ve not even read this week’s yet… I think it’s advertised as the end of the storyline, but it’s going straight into a Batman Who Bores vs Luthor 2.DOH mini series. No thank you.

      Like

      1. Spoilers… it’s not even the end of the story. It looks like there’s another issue before we move into the entirely skip-able mini-series that’s coming after.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Hippolyta time traveled to become Wonder Woman with the JSA. It was detailed in Wonder Woman #130-133. Hippolyta was also Wonder Woman with the JLA, starting with issue #18.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t understand how this fits with Bendis’ Legion exactly. Are they different universes, one where Clark Kent is Superboy as a teen and inspires the legion, and one where his son Jon is Superboy and joins the Legion? If Clark now remembers the Legion why is it the new version that joins him in the battle? Confusing to me at least.

    Like

    1. I’m guessing that this was supposed to be Johns’ Legion from Legion of Three Worlds etc but the Bendis Fourboot got pasted in after they became the current iteration.

      Like

      1. I certainly get the confusion; I’m happy to overlook any contradictions because the Rebirth DC Universe seems to have been a slightly shifting beast ever since it debuted a few years ago. I figure it’s like that short period post-Crisis on Infinite Earths when continuity was still plastic.

        Like

  8. I just closed my eyes and held that blissful thought Mart…it was lovely thank you!
    Merry Christmas and happy new year to you and yours. Thank you for another great year of your thoughts and look forward to more in 2020

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.