Doomsday Clock #2
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank
Published by DC Comics
A review by Stacy Dooks
Well, that was unexpected.
I have to say that when I first heard about Doomsday Clock, I was initially fairly skeptical. Revisiting the characters and events of Watchmen didn’t seem like a good idea to me, but the strong debut issue made me rethink my hesitancy and opt to give this series a chance. So far we’ve had surprises aplenty as the morally gray heroes of the Watchmen universe dealt with the aftermath of the events of the 1986 classic, but now Doomsday Clock #2 finds these grim and gritty heroes exchanging one stage for another, moving from the bleak world of Moore and Gibbons to the more colorful earth of the DC Universe proper.
The intriguing thing about Doomsday Clock is it’s not only a sequel to Watchmen, but also a continuation of the events of DC Rebirth. What’s been interesting about watching Johns and Frank work is that they play around with what the reader might expect. Rorschach and Ozymandias in the DC Universe? No problem, the Justice League will handle them in about five seconds right? Not exactly. But surely they’ll see that this world is much brighter and more optimistic than their darker reality, right? Not exactly. If Dr. Manhattan is our primary antagonist for the series then it’s pretty obvious the good doctor has been doing his best to make the world of DC Comics comparable to his own in terms of tone. This is a nice bit of metatextual commentary that I’m very interested to see Johns explore as the series moves forward. The text pieces at the end of each issue provide some context for what’s been happening on each parallel Earth, and I’m intrigued in just how comparable both worlds have become to one another.
The book’s art remains impressive as always, with Gary Frank building on Dave Gibbons’ designs and providing new characters whose looks are of a piece with the characters created in 1986. There’s some nice visual work with the batsignal and the Owlship that is easily one of the series’ most striking images so far. He also provides not one, but two pieces of art that are jaw-dropping: one in terms of suprise, the other for being something I think we’ve all wanted to see since Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns dominated the spinner racks. I won’t dare spoil either, but needless to say they’re going to generate a lot of discussion in the weeks to come.
Buy It! Doomsday Clock #2 takes the already strong opening of the previous issue and ups the ante with some interesting developments that are sure to surprise. If you’re at all interested in what’s been happening in DC Rebirth you should definitely check it out. Recommended.