Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Doomsday Clock


Today’s post? COMIC BOOKS!!!


Yes, I know the State of the Union address was last night but I really don’t want to talk about Li’l Donnie at all*


*I am writing this before the State of the Union address takes place. If Li’l Donnie goes egregiously off script, I may need to reconsider. 


But on to important things!


COMIC BOOKS!!!


Doomsday Clock




Wow! This has been an intense read. I admit I was in the camp that Watchmen was sacrosanct and needed no follow up. But if you’re going to do it and drag those characters into the main DC universe,  Doomsday Clock works. Geoff Johns is doing some of his best writing here, weaving a narrative of nuance and intricacy. It may not be as tight as Alan Moore’s original work but Johns is clearly inspired by Moore. Like Moore’s pirate comic within a comic Tales of the Black Freighter, Johns is using a stoy with in a story, scenes of a film featuring Nathaniel Dusk who appeared in a pair of mini-series back in the 1980s by Don McGregor and Gene Colan. In an echo of Watchmen’s nuclear brinkmanship, the nations of Earth in the main DC Universe are on edge due to something called the Superman Theory. It posits that since Superman’s arrival, the plethora of super powered beings that emerged after that are p[art of a US government plot since so many of them are American. The other nations of the world are in an arms race to catch up. Just as Moore’s Watchmen was deeply influenced by the politics of the time he wrote it, Johns is refracting his story through the prism of current politics.  





Johns does introduce two new characters in the Watchmen universe, villains Mime and Marionette. As the rest of Watchmen were based on Charlton characters, it appears this pair is based on Punch & Jewelee, a married villain couple who caused trouble for Capt. Atom in the Charlton line. Mime and Marionette are messed, by turns goofy psychopaths and murderous sociopaths. Johns is clearly having fun writing these two.




Rorshach is back. OK, not Walter Kovacs but a black man named Reggie who channels the first Rorshach’s single minded ness but lacking his absolute certitude. I’m still not sure what to make of the ending to issue #3 where Batman tricks Rorshach into a cell at Arkham Asylum and leaves him there. 







I’m going to have to wait to get answers. The book is going on bi-monthly schedule. Which is fine by me. Better to just say that a book is bi-monthly than to insist it’s monthly and keep missing deadlines. And artist Gary Franks probably needs the time.  He’s providing some outstanding visuals with an incredible amount of detail .  


One more thing about Doomsday Clock. It fills up 32 pages with story and art as well as back up text features that supplement the story, much the same way the original Watchmen did with book excerpts, news articles and more. 

So if you're keeping your distance because the word of Alan Moore is not to be refuted and Watchmen is sacred text, that's cool. I dig where you're coming from. 

But if DC dragging Watchmen into their DC multiverse seems like a dick move, Geoff Johns and Gary Frank are still doing amazing work. 



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