Review: Doomsday Clock #2 By Geoff Johns & Gary Frank For DC Comics

Review: Doomsday Clock #2

“We’re all considered criminals now.”

Places We Have Never Known

Published by DC Comics

Written by Geoff Johns

Art by Gary Frank

Colours by Brad Anderson

The Plot

The story begins with Marionette and Mime getting their costumes on much to the chagrin of Rorschach.  At the same time, there are flashbacks of a previous bank job.  The job escalates until Dr. Manhattan arrives.  Back in the present, Ozymandias is trying to get the Owlship prepared to track down Dr. Manhattan.  He also reveals the role of Marionette in his plan to retrieve Manhattan.  They are hard pressed for time as things are getting worse on their world.  Meanwhile in the DCU, Bruce Wayne is taking an…interesting test in order to complete a psychological exam, which was Lucius Fox’s idea.  Lucius is concerned about Bruce’s focus as Gotham has turned against Batman and Lexcorp is threatening to take over Wayne Enterprises.  Ozymandias and co. arrive in Gotham and decide to seek out the two smartest people on the planet in order to get some help to find Manhattan.  Rorschach is able to use his skills to track down one of them while Ozymandias finds Lex Luthor.  They are having a discussion until they are interrupted by a surprise visitor.  Over at the Batcave, Rorschach and Batman come to face to face.

The Breakdown

Now this was another solid issue.  The pacing in this series has been just right for me so far.  The first part with Marionette and Mime was well done and I’m glad they got to the point fairly quickly as to why Ozymandias felt the need to include her.  Mime’s reaction to Dr. Manhattan seemed true to the character even though he was introduced just one issue ago.

I’m looking forward to seeing how their “escape” pans out next issue as it will give us some answers about them and their potential abilities.  Ozymandias continues to be a much more interesting character in just two issues of this series than he was throughout the Watchmen series.  His interaction with Lex was well done because he wasn’t interested in matching wits or getting an upper hand, he legitimately wants to save his world and isn’t engaging Lex in any petty manner whatsoever.  I’m wondering if he’s got Bubastis with him or if it’s some sort of Bubastis II considering the role that it has to play.  The part with Bruce and Lucius helped to set the tone with the rest of the series.  Bruce has to be willing to find a better balance between his two lives and this is addressed in this issue.  Batman cannot exist without Bruce Wayne and Lucius is very blunt about that fact.  Lex’s relationship with Bruce has become seemingly volatile, which kind of makes sense considering how they were a foil to one another in the Justice League.  It seemed just as contentious as his relationship with Superman as of late.  I thought that Rorschach’s take on Batman was interesting as he didn’t seem to care for his mementos.  Rorschach sees things very black and white so I’m looking forward to seeing how their interaction will go down next issue.  That surprise visitor at the end of the issue though, I did not see coming at all.  I have some ideas on how that’s going down, but I’m definitely wondering how or why this character is involved.  The art team did such a good job in this issue.  I like how Frank’s characters do have some differences between them.  I’ve read many nice looking comics where Bruce and Clark look virtually identical with the exception of a pair of glasses.  His work with Marionette and especially the Mime continues to be expressive and top notch.  Mime continues to not talk so it falls upon Frank to really make this character communicate with the reader.  Not only does Frank have to do this, but he also has to make this character engaging at the same time.  I liked how Frank and Anderson did Manhattan in this issue, it fit well with the Watchmen series as they didn’t go with a heavy digital look for him.  His appearance was true to the original, but still had a slightly updated approach to it.  So far we’ve only seen a couple of characters from the original Watchmen universe and I’m good with that.  It makes this book seem more like an extension of that original series.  Laurie’s name was mentioned as was Dan’s, but so far they don’t have any place in this story.  If that’s how it pans out I have no issue with that because I’d rather have them not in the series if it’s just for the sake of having them in it.  There are still ten issues to go and a lot of story to tell, so it’s hard to say what will happen in this series.  Another strong issue.

BUT…

For a second I had to remind myself that this was taking place in the current DCU.  Batman is currently experiencing a bit of an epiphany in his current title and things seem to be on the upswing for him.  Everything seemed fairly dark for him in this issue and I was taken aback by that.  It is hard to say where exactly this fits in terms of the DC timeline because everything will be fast forwarded at the conclusion of this series.  Therefore, I didn’t let this ruin my enjoyment of this issue because I’m willing to give the creative team the benefit of the doubt.

The Verdict

Buy It…if I’m rating this issue I’d give it an 8.5/10.  This series isn’t gearing up to be some mindless blockbuster, which is why I’m glad that we haven’t seen some characters yet and that Johns is going with a slow burn.  The creative team continues to roll along and make a very strong book.  There isn’t a page where I think they left something on the table or could have done something better.  I’m looking forward to the next issue and seeing how the story will continue to unfold.

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