REVIEW: DOOMSDAY CLOCK #1 Author: Ryan Lower (Follow @LOWER_RYAN)
Date: November 22, 2017
SYNOPSIS: DC Comics presents to you a 12-issue maxiseries from the critically acclaimed team of writer Geoff Johns, artist Gary Frank, and colorist Brad Anderson. See the WATCHMEN characters and the DC Universe come together for the first time!
The clock is ticking.
20 years after Rorschachís journal was discovered, the story of Watchmen picks up with this monthís Doomsday Clock #1, by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. The two have collaborated before (Batman: Earth One, Superman: Secret Origins, just to name a few), but arguably nothing as big and pressured as this project.
We kick off the story on November 22nd (coincidence?), 1992 with the world in an uproar over finding out Adrian Veidt (Ozymandias) had created an ultimate evil which resulted in the murder of millions of people. While riots break out in the streets, and prison, Rorschach (what?!) helps bust out two convicts: The Marionette and The Mime. After negotiating with some important leverage, he takes them to Nite Owlís layer and reveals who is behind their escape: Ozymandias himself. With his own clock ticking, he reveals they need to bring back the god, Dr. Manhattan. The issue ends with Superman having a nightmare, perhaps the first time heís ever had one.
Doomsday Clock #1 plays as a good set-up issue. There isnít much action, and a dense plot isnít included. Instead, Johns takes his time settling us into this world. He quickly addresses the (understandable) reaction of the world to this revelation that Veidt was behind the ďalien attackĒ. He also takes his time introducing us to these new character, Marionette, Mime, and Rorschach. Surely, fans will be scratching their heads over the return of the series favorite, who was blown up in issue #12 of the original Watchmen run. Donít worry, itís addressed here very bluntly. Iím interested in finding out who exactly this Rorschach is, but weíll all have to stay tuned.
This issue demonstrated patience. I had a reaction that I can only imagine readers had after picking up Watchmen #1 in 1986: ďIím intriguedĒ. The best stories plant the seeds and allow time to grow. I firmly believe thatís what is happening here. I appreciate Johnsí move to focus on characters in this first issue, as they will most likely be who we cling onto for the next year. But, where does the DC universe fit into all of this? Why does Superman only appear in the last few pages? Where is Batman? Answers are coming. Considering Batman is in possession of the button (and was included in 2 major stories concerning it in the Rebirth era), his time is coming.
As for the art: love it. Gary Frank is very detailed, clear and descriptive in his settings. I loved the layouts as well, clearly a nod to the original series. The 9-panel page has sort of become the Watchmen format, and Iím okay with it. Even if this issue felt slow to you, I find it hard to not be wowed by the art.
Doomsday Clock #1 is a great series starter. The foundation has been laid, and Johns will clearly build on it over the next year. I enjoyed getting to know new characters, reunite with others, and anticipate including others that we know. Pick up this issue before time runs out. - Ryan Lower
A lifelong Batman fan, Ryan Lower grew up in the midwest reading, watching, dreaming of The Dark Knight.
His favorite Batman stories are THE LONG HALLOWEEN, THE DARK KNIGHT and anything from BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES.
He currently resides in his own Batcave in Chicago.
Follow him on Twitter @LOWER_RYAN.