Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Gary Frank
Colors: Brad Anderson
Letters: Rob Leigh
The end is near. The clock has been ticking. Doomsday is upon us. Doomsday Clock #1, DC’s controversial new event is finally here and with it an unknown outcome and a complete unknowing of what to expect and I loved every minute of it. Ever since the end of Rebirth #1 the countdown has been ticking to this moment, when finally all will be revealed as to what happened to the missing time in the DCU and who has been playing with the lives of the worlds finest heroes. There have been glimpses and innuendo, hints and red herrings but what has really happened is going to be explained, eventually, as Geoff Johns and Gary Frank bring us Doomsday Clock.
Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen holds a special place in many comic readers hearts. Some hold it as a sacred comic, the end all be all of the superhero experience, and show nothing but contempt for those who disagree and even worse for those who dare toy with the concept. I’m not one of these people. I appreciate Watchmen. I enjoyed Watchmen, not so much when it was first released as I was a little to young to get everything going on, but as I grew older and returned to it I enjoyed the story and what Moore and Gibbons were doing. I’ll even agree with the fact that it was a seminal work that changed comic book history (history, not comics themselves). Yet I don’t find it untouchable. I think DC has the right to play with its toys. It was a work for hire based on the Charlton Heroes DC purchased just prior to their groundbreaking, and greatest event of all time, Crisis on Infinite Earths. That being said I do not think DC should roll out the Watchmen cast all of the time but when the time is right they should feel free and when it comes to Doomsday Clock #1 the time is definitely right.
Doomsday Clock #1 might as well be Watchmen #13, as it feels more like a continuation of that story then than the beginning of a new tale. Gary Frank does an amazing job of blending his style in a loving homage to Dave Gibbons. His realistic style has the same feel as Gibbons artwork did during the original Watchmen story and his panel layouts are reminiscent of those classic issues. Geoff Johns is a master when it comes to writing a comic book and smartly doesn’t try to mimic Alan Moore, rather he channels the cranky old mystic but writes in his own style that works for what is being done within Doomsday Clock. This issue picks up a few years after the events of Watchmen #12, when Adrian Veidt, the former hero known as Ozymandias attempted to create world peace and ward off nuclear war between then United States and the USSR by faking an alien invasion that wiped out New York City. I say attempted since we find out here that it didn’t work and the world of the Watchmen is yet again on the brink of annihilation. But not to fear, Veidt has a new plan and a new ally in Rorschach, who is not the Rorschach we knew from before. What that plan is will play out over the course of this twelve issue tale and no doubt soon lead to an inevitable meeting with the DCU as we get but a glimpse of Superman in this issue. But that glimpse is heartbreaking, as Clark dreams of the worst night of his life, and in many ways that night is all Veidt’s fault.
Verdict: I cannot wait to see where Doomsday Clock goes. It has been some time since I was this excited for an event, and I love events. Geoff Johns and Gary Frank are brilliant choices to tell this tale. Doomsday Clock #1 left me wanting more, I need to know what is going to happen next, and I am anticipating what is to come. Doomsday Clock #1 is a BUY. Both old and new fans will enjoy this tale, an even those who find it sacrilege that someone other then Alan Moore is writing the Watchmen cast will find something to love in this issue. If you are one of these people get over yourself and go pick up Doomsday Clock #1, you’ll be happy you did.