Title: Doomsday Clock Part 1.
Writer(s): Geoff Johns.
Artist(s): Gary Frank.
Colourist(s): Brad Anderson.
Letterer(s): Rob Leigh.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Release Date: October 8th, 2019.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
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.
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.