Review: Doomsday Clock #1 By Geoff Johns & Gary Frank For DC Comics

Review: Doomsday Clock #1

That Annihilated Place

“We had a chance.  But they blew it.  All of them.” – Rorschach

Published by DC Comics

Written by Geoff Johns

Art by Gary Frank

Colours by Brad Anderson

 

The Plot

It’s November 22, 1992 and the world in an uproar.  People are on the hunt for Adrian Veidt, Ozymandias who is guilty of the crimes he committed during the original Watchmen series.  The whereabouts of others such as Nite Owl, Rorschach, and Silk Spectre are unknown as well.  We learn that the narrator is none other than Rorschach who is in prison searching for some help.  Rorschach finds her, a villain named the Marionette, but she has an extra request in order to assist him.  They locate her not so better half, the Mime, who has a few issues of his own.  They leave the prison and travel to meet up with Rorschach’s partner, Ozymandias.  He laments his mistakes and reveals the mission that they have to complete in order to save the world.  On another world, Clark is asleep and he relives the night that his parents died (which was originally told back in the New 52 Action Comics series) while he was at the prom.  Clark awakens with Lois a bit startled as he comes to a strange realization.

The Breakdown

I really appreciated going into this title because I have a feeling that in 20 years, people will be talking about this comic when they list off their all-time favorites.  I understand that ardent Alan Moore fans may want to avoid this title.  However, I’ve been looking forward to this title since DC Universe:  Rebirth a year and a half ago.  I trust Geoff Johns and his approach to the DCU and that he wouldn’t take using the Watchmen lightly.  Add Gary Frank and it’s made me excited for this title to come out.  They pack a lot into 30 pages of story and this is partly due to how the book is formatted.  The layouts are similar to the ones back in the original Watchmen comic and I really enjoyed that.  I’d rather see this than the abundance of splash pages found in comics today.  The prison search with Rorschach was a good scene because it builds upon the world created in the Watchmen series by introducing new characters and revisiting familiar elements.  Rorschach’s inner monologue was both entertaining and telling.  The interactions with Rorschach, Marionette, and Mime are good with a mix of conflict, discomfort, and humour.  Johns does a good job at setting up a world going chaotic without spending a great deal of time on it.  Ozymandias was perhaps my least favorite character in the original series and not because of his role, but I just found him the least interesting.  However, in Doomsday Clock he’s been a bit humbled by his experiences, but he’s still as arrogant as ever.  His interaction with Rorschach was interesting as it subtly hinted at some changes from the last time we’ve seen these characters.  I’m looking forward to seeing how they’re going to go about their mission and how Marionette can help.  The brief scene with Clark at the end was effective at giving us a sneak peek into how Superman has been affected by Dr. Manhattan.  It’s going to be interesting to see why he’s been targeted and what Dr. Manhattan’s end game is.  Frank’s art was superb and I was fully expecting that.  I’m glad with the amount of lead time the creative team had with this series.  The Mime doesn’t have any dialogue, but manages to say a lot with the expressive art of Gary Frank.  His storytelling was very good in this issue and the art was very consistent with some panels really standing out.  I couldn’t imagine a better team to handle this title, period.  This issue provides some answers such as what happened to the world since 1985 and gives us more questions with Rorschach as well as the fate of the other characters.  I really enjoyed this comic.

BUT…

But nothing, I had no problems with it as this was as solid a book as you can get from cover to cover.

The Verdict

Buy It.  If I had to rate it, it would be a solid 8.5 or 9 out of 10.  This book has the look and feel of the original Watchmen series, but it will still integrate seamlessly into the DCU.  Johns does a great job of establishing the story and leaving the reader wanting to see more.  I don’t think there will be any filler issues in this series and am already waiting for issue 2 to come out.  The approach and time given to this series has made it feel important and the team really delivered in this one.  DC is really bringing their A game to the table and I’m glad that they pulled it off.  The scope of the conflict will be grand and it will have some serious ramifications on the rest of the DCU.  I’ve spoken with other comic enthusiasts and they remember different titles or storylines that were big such as the original Crisis, Watchmen, the Sandman…or even titles that were great over the years such as Y: the Last Man, etc.  I wasn’t old enough to read some of these titles at the time when they came out, but this is a title that will fit into the conversation someday and I’m glad that I can enjoy it as it’s coming out.

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