Doomsday Clock Part 1 by Geoff Johns

details
Title: Doomsday Clock Part 1.
Writer(s): Geoff Johns.
Artist(s): Gary Frank.
Colourist(s): Brad Anderson.
Letterer(s): Rob Leigh.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Format: Hardcover.
Release Date: October 8th, 2019.
Pages: 224.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
ISBN13: 9781779501202.
My Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆.

Recommended reading order:
Watchmen by Alan Moore.
DC Universe Rebirth #1 by Geoff Johns.
Batman/The Flash (Vol. 3.5): The Button by Tom King.
Superman Reborn (Vol. 3.5) by Dan Jurgens and Peter J. Tomasi.
Superman: Action Comics: The Oz Effect (Vol. 4.5) by Dan Jurgens.
Batman: Detective Comics (Vol. 5): A Lonely Place of Living by James Tynion IV.

thoughts

DC Rebirth in 2016 was the latest relaunch over at DC Comics, allowing the DC Universe to kick things off fresh. Similar to previous reboots, this one had an overarching mysterious narrative that allowed it all to make sense. Through Geoff Johns’s one-shot story in DC Universe Rebirth #1, fans were given a vague idea of what is actually going on. And a lot of it might have something to do with Alan Moore’s Watchmen. As the years went by, very few attempts were made throughout the various ongoing comic book series to try and connect the dots but everything led to a long-awaited twelve-issue limited series written by Geoff Johns, penciled by Gary Frank, and coloured by Brad Anderson: Doomsday Clock. First released in two volumes, this is the most-anticipated story set after the events of Watchmen and, for the first time ever, colliding two distinct universes together.

What is Doomsday Clock Part 1 about? Set seven years after the events in Watchmen, Adrian Veidt’s secret is now known by all as he’s held responsible for the murder of millions of innocent civilians. Viewing life differently as regret fills his heart, he now has a plan to redeem himself but it requires finding Dr. Manhattan whose location remains unknown to everyone. For his plan to work, he retains the help of Rorschach, Mime, and Marionette, and flies off to the DC Universe where the trail went cold for God himself. However, the world there isn’t in its best state as chaos grows exponentially with rumors of a “Supermen Theory” being spewed upon the population. Is the American government really the one behind the creation of superheroes and supervillains?

I’m a die-hard fan of Watchmen. I love the concept, the ideas, the art, and the execution. It is flawless. There’s a reason why it was a stand-alone story written by the legendary Alan Moore. Although I was skeptical at the idea of seeing these two worlds collide, I wanted to believe that writer Geoff Johns would know what he was doing, that he’d give fans exactly what they want without disrespecting the original story. Was this story worth the wait and the risk of ruining what was once great? I think it was already a bad idea to collect this story into two volumes. This first volume suffers tremendously from setting up the characters and the world on which the story is founded. Upon finishing it, you’re left with a sense of loss, unable to grasp the purpose of the story, and where the intrigue is supposed to come from. The only idea that keeps you hooked lies in the premise, the very search-and-rescue (or is it destroy?) mission conducted by the Watchmen characters as they go looking for Dr. Manhattan.

Although the story plays upon a couple of interesting ideas, it could never truly lift off until it’s too late, leaving most of the reward for the reader in the second volume. The overall structure of this volume, however, follows very tightly the original structure found in Watchmen. From the nine-panel page configuration to the original and metaphorical transition from page to page, this volume won’t fail in capturing the artwork by Dave Gibbons. Even the colouring is exceptional, beautifully, and masterfully illustrating Gotham City. The character designs are also impeccable, leaving nothing to be desired. Writer Geoff Johns’s understanding of these heroes helps in making the story interesting enough to continue on but, unfortunately, leaves too much hanging in the following volume.

Doomsday Clock Part 1 is a world-building story-arc establishing the characters and the direction but fails to justify its narrative relevance.


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43 comments

  • So it would have been better to do it in one book and not two? That’s funny how when I read this I realize comics can suffer the same ailment classis books do too!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Would you believe that I have never read Watchmen yet? I know right? Blashphemy! Too bad that this one is a bit of a letdown. If you are, as you say such a huge fan of the original, I can imagine that being quite disappointing😔 Well..the good thing is: you can always go back and re-read the original Watchmen😊

    Liked by 1 person

  • All I could see when I looked at the cover was a creepy perv Superman looking at boobs. Add the whole “Watchmen” mythos and this is instant turn off 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  • I’ve heard a similar complaint from other readers. Doomsday Clock needs to be read through in one go. Why did DC release it in two parts? To make as much money as possible? Even though it detracts from the narrative flow of the story? Surely not.🤔 I started reading this in single issues when it was being released. Great art, but I lost interest in the story halfway through and stopped buying it. I liked the characters Mime and Marionette, but that’s about all I can remember about it. Oh yeah, and Rorschach in the Batcave… Great review Lashaan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I first learned that it was getting split in two in the collected edition, I was stunned. It made no sense to me. I’m assuming it really is just to make more money? They even planned to release the complete edition afterward…

      I collected these as single issues but I didn’t dare read as they released, preferring to wait for them all to release. I should have the review for part 2 soon though.

      I agree for Mime and Marionette, they were really well developed. Gives us lots to look forward for them. As for Batman himself, I wasn’t too much of a fan. What happens to him and how extremely “poker faced” he was here felt a bit too much. To be seen if part 2 will fix his character hahah Thanks for reading, my man.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, Batman was dark and dull in the first half of this story. I wonder if he cheers up a bit later on? I’m tempted to buy the Complete edition and read it in one sitting (if possible, because it’s loooong!) Looking forward to your review of part 2 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  • I see the allure for companies to try to follow-up and built off a very successful creation, but I’m usually disappointed by the results. Too often it seems the business side’s drive for profit overpowers the creative team’s ability to create. And I just think some things are better left alone, to stand as what they were meant to be. Just as I think many movie sequels were better off never made. I do wonder what Alan Moore’s thoughts were on this project.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, I think Alan Moore hates DC… A LOT. A lot of the movie adaptations of his comics don’t credit him because HE doesn’t want it to be associated to his work. There was a lot of tension between publishers and him back in the day too. I’m sure he believes this is an atrocity, to see his Watchmen collide with DC heroes.

      I’m not a huge fan of the idea too and I think a lot of it is out of pure desire for more money by capitalizing on the success of those past franchises. I just hope some can prove everyone wrong and make this “must-reads”.

      Like

  • Awww!! I am SO sorry that this collection ruined Watchmen for you!!! And 17 (was it? Or 12?) issues in A SINGLE POST is…ummm…a bit TOO much! 😅

    Well….at least one good thing came out of it – you gave us another delightful review! 😉😍🦋☔️🌻🌸🏆

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ohh noo, it didn’t ruin Watchmen for me. 😉 It is simply unfortunate that it had to take someone else’s creation and create a, for now, unnecessary sequel. 😀

      No, the whole series is 12 issues long. It is split into two volumes of 6 issues each. 😉

      Thanks for reading, Rain! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hmmm…I can understand! I mean…PD James’ Death comes at Pemberley (a sequel to P&P) felt…a bit…out there too you know! So…I get the feeling…a lil bit! 😇

        Liked by 1 person

  • Ow, too bad you weren’t convinced by this one! 😯 You mentioned the nine-panel configuration and it’s true that it feels kind of weird to see 9 boxes but… I can’t remember the normal thing 😂 Is it unusual to have 9 boxes? How much is it, usually? 12? 🤔 Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Great review Lashaan, you’re right about the split of Doomsday Clock into two volumes hurting the flow – clearly a money grabbing move by DC as the complete hardcover edition is already slated for release in October!

    I’ll check out your review for part 2 shortly to see what you thought of the rest of it and give you my overall opinion over there!

    Liked by 1 person

  • I like how clean and organized this looks. At first, I felt a little claustrophobic for the characters because of the boxes being so narrow but then I decided that I’m not a comic book character, so I shouldn’t care. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  • As others have mentions, splitting this into 2 books makes no sense. This would have been a perfect opportunity to do a hardcover Deluxe Edition like the Rebirth Deluxe Editions. What were they thinking? Now I don’t know what to do, buy the complete one as paperback? Get the two hardcovers? Very Frustrating. And it seems these two hardcovers are standard sized? Not oversized like the DC Rebirth Deluxe Editions?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Right? I think it mostly has to do with their expected publication dates and to make more money out of it. Otherwise, it’s best to go with a complete edition if you’re here for the story! The other editions are great for collectors though hahaha

      P.S. Thanks for these comments lately! It’s always so cool to hear from another comic book fan! Do you have a blog or something where I could check out what you’re up to too?

      Like

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