The end is nigh - for DC's Doomsday Clock event that is. Written by Geoff Johns, penciled by Gary Frank, and colored by Bad Anderson, this massive event crosses Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and John Higgins' notorious Watchmen graphic novel with the DC Universe. At the center of this event is Doctor Manhattan and Superman - two titanic characters that most others think of as gods!
Doomsday Clock isn't a slugfest between overpowered characters - it's an intricate analysis of stories and comic books as a medium for introspective narratives. However this story ends, we imagine that it will have long-lasting effects on the DC Universe. Here are some of the best theories fans have cooked up as the clock continues to count down.
10 Everyone Dies
Honestly, this theory sounds pretty compelling in our book. Thus far, Doctor Manhattan's managed to beat the DC Universe's mightiest mages and Captain Atom (the guy he's based on) with ease! Need we remind you that Doctor Manhattan can't die from conventional means - if you disintegrate him, he'll reform himself in seconds.
There's a real possibility that Doomsday Clock could end with Doctor Manhattan killing the modern versions of every character we know and love. Johns could then have the Doc create a new DC Universe that mirrors the one he just destroyed - a premise that resembles DC Rebirth, come to think of it. Worse, Manhattan could simply bring an end to all sapient life and stop while he's ahead.
9 Superman Dies (And Jon Kent Replaces Him)
The Man of Steel is no stranger to facing down terrifying threats alone - just ask Doomsday, Darkseid, and Mongol for their testimonies. However, Clark's never encountered anything like Doctor Manhattan - a being that exists outside of time and space. Doomsday Clock could end with Superman giving his life to stop Manhattan, leaving a massive void in the hero community.
Jon Kent - Clark and Lois' son - could fill that void in time. Though Jon's just a kid at the moment, he could still defend Earth as Superboy until he comes of age and takes up the Superman mantle. Supes' death would certainly make Doomsday Clock all the more heartbreaking, but it could also serve as a milestone in Jon's character arc.
8 Superman Dies (And Ozymandias Replaces Him)
Ever since the Watchmen's cataclysmic conclusion, Adrian Veidt's had plenty of time to think over his actions. He's also witnessed his efforts to prevent World War 3 fail right before his eyes - a fact that primarily motivates his actions in Doomsday Clock.
Should Superman perish, we could imagine Adrian attempt to take up his mantle - possibly as a means of atonement for his past sins. Ozymandias isn't beyond using others like pawns on a chessboard - there are over three million souls who'd attest to that if they could - so we might not want to rejoice if Adrian becomes the New Man of Steel.
7 Mister Mxyz Is Behind It All
Some of you might think that we're joking with this entry, but long-time DC fans know not to count out Mister Mxyzptlk by now. Due to his impish appearance and cartoony demeanor, you might think that Mister Mxyz is a silly joke character who has no place in a story like Doomsday Clock.
As a counterpoint, we'd like to present Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? - a story in which Mxyz showed how monstrous he truly can be! Granted, we'd be disappointed if Doomsday Clock ends on a note that feels like Johns and crew are pulling our legs too. But Mxyz has layers to his character, so we won't count this theory out just yet.
6 The Spectre Intervenes
So Doctor Manhattan has already proven that he can't be affected by magic or characters similar to himself. But we wonder how Manhattan would fare against the divine? Doomsday Clock had mostly featured the Watchmen and the Justice League so far.
But what if the Spectre - the personification of God's Vengeance - entered the ring? Ever treats Doctor Manhattan like he's a deity, but we doubt his arms are long enough to box with the Almighty! And the Spectre is the Big G's, right-hand man!
5 Doctor Fate Gets Off The Bench
Doctor Fate is another powerhouse who's yet to appear in Doomsday Clock, as of this writing. Primarily, Fate uses magic to fight against the forces of evil. However, Fate's control over the mystic arts far exceeds the Justice League Dark's.
Conversely, Doctor Fate is an agent of the Lords of Order - beings that would likely step in if Doctor Manhattan becomes too unwieldy. Geoff Johns and his team have chosen not to fill Doomsday Clock with too many OP heroes. However, the series' final issues could be a great time for the cavalry to appear.
4 Lex Luthor Becomes The New Doctor Manhattan
Throughout Doomsday Clock, Lex Luthor has remained as active and sinister as ever. However, Luthor's also taken Ozymandias to task for his "save billions" plan, as well as uncover a number of unsavory secrets.
We don't know about you guys, but we think that stealing Doctor Manhattan's powers would be right up Lex's alley; after all these years, he may finally gain the means to end Superman once and for all! Plus Manhattan and Luthor are both bald, so Lex wouldn't need to change his appearance much to take the position.
3 Doctor Manhattan Reverts To Jonathan Osterman
One of the more fascinating aspects of Doctor Manhattan's character is his introspective nature; the Doc isn't beyond examining his past actions from an objective point of view. This cold dispassion drives most of Manhattan's actions throughout Doomsday Clock, but he's not completely heartless - as Marionette can attest to.
What is Doomsday Clock ends with Manhattan deciding that his powers bring nothing but suffering - and that he has a better shot at finding happiness as a mortal man? The Doc's greatest fear was that his powers enveloped his humanity - reverting back to Jonathan Osterman could undo all of that.
2 Doomsday Clock Ties Into The Watchmen Show
Hey, we wouldn't put it past DC and Warner Bros. to use Doomsday Clock as a glorified promo for Watchmen. All of the major players are present in both stories - in some way or another.
Depending on how it's handled, this could be a cool way to ensure that readers tune into the show. Moreover, Doomsday Clock ending on a cliffhanger of this magnitude could pave the way for DC characters to appear in this HBO show!
1 Doomsday Clock Kickstarts A Hard Reboot
DC Rebirth is a reboot in the sense that it undoes the damage the New 52 wreaked on the company's continuity. But Doomsday Clock could end with Manhattan or any of the story's other major characters, fundamentally changing the DCU.
Doomsday Clock could end with the DCU's timeline being reset to 1 - Action Comics #1, to be specific. We could see a version of the DC Universe in which they Watchmen were rubbing shoulders with Superman and Batman in their earliest stories. That'd be one hell of a way to enter into 2020, wouldn't it?