As of the release of Doomsday Clock #3, we are now a quarter of the way through DC Comics highly anticipated event, and yet there are more questions now than before the series started.
Fans have all kinds of theories about the ambitious 12-part book, mainly based on the hints and Easter eggs in “The Button,” “Superman Reborn” and “Oz Effect” storylines. In 2017, it became clear that the Rebirth and Watchmen universes were somehow colliding. More specifically, various glowing blue clues scattered throughout DC’s various series made it hard to ignore Dr. Manhattan’s involvement in some of Rebirth’s biggest mysteries.
The most important question is still where did ten years of the DCU go? While many are sure Manhattan essentially “stole” the decade, nobody knows why. However, perhaps the real mystery to focus on is why Manhattan saved Superman’s father, Jor-El, and put him on Earth. One theory we’ve been mulling over is whether Jor-Elis essentially the DC Universe’s Ozymandias analog. To properly illustrate our logic we need to start with the themes and ideas found in both Watchmen and Rebirth.
First off, the characters in Watchmen (Rorschach, Nite Owl, The Comedian, Dr. Manhattan, Ozymandias, Silk Spectre) are analogs for superheroes whose adventures were originally published by Charlton Comics (The Question, Blue Beetle, The Peacemaker, Captain Atom, Thunderbolt, Nightshade). While the characters from the seminal graphic novel were never considered part of the DC multiverse, their Earth-4 counterparts were. Put simply, the Watchmen characters are darker versions of heroes that exist in the DCU. It doesn’t take much coaxing, then, by Doomsday Clock writer Geoff Johns for us to accept that Watchmen universe actually is part of the DC multiverse.
Further, when DC finally decided to expand Watchmen universe in 2012 with their Before Watchmen line, they opened up a way for Watchmen characters to one day interact with DC’s proper universe. In Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan miniseries written by J. Michael Staczynski, with art by Adam Hughes, it is established that Manhattan can create, traverse and destroy alternate timelines. It all has to do with quantum observation. The conclusion of the story even has the character demonstrating the ability to create life.
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