Geoff Johns on Doomsday Clock #2's Shocking Return, Honoring Watchmen

On that note -- the Supermen Theory is new to readers, and you've said before that the story ends up about a year forward in the DC timeline. Is that about where we see things in issue #2 when the Watchmen characters land in the DC Universe?

Yeah, it's roughly around there. The series takes place over a matter of time. Everything that's happening now -- there's a protest in Gotham on Batman, and you'll see that a year from now in the comics. The DC Universe line of comics will catch up with Doomsday Clock when the series concludes.

Let's talk about the pairings we see in this issue. There are two big meetings here -- Rorschach and Batman and Ozymandias and Lex Luthor. The Rorschach/Batman dynamic has a twist to it, as Rorschach is in the Batcave and based on what he finds, he sees Batman as a villain -- actually, he uses the word "monster." That's an interesting perspective to see play out -- where did that idea come from? And do you see any common ground between the two?

It's all about the perspective of the characters, and really we're telling this story mostly from the perspective of Rorschach and Ozymandias and Mime and Marionette. We do cut away to the DC characters as well. I think the observations coming into this world, both from Rorschach and Ozymandias, are interesting, because they're coming at it with fresh eyes and the perspective from their world. Although their world is in a much different place, and it's years behind in the timeline, as Ozymandias says, "This world is both ahead of ours in many ways and behind ours in many ways." Which is true. But the interesting observation is, he's amazed by the number of men and women with abilities, and the dangers that composed, and we're seeing a secret conspiracy unfold right now that is going to connect to the whole story.

Rorschach's perspective is just going to be a real, kind of more grounded-world prospective. In his mind, why would anyone keep trophies like this? That's what serial killers do. He's got a lot of observations about Batman, and in issue #3 we'll see Batman's observations about him, which is going to be a lot of fun. Lex Luthor and Ozymandias I think have a really interesting relationship as well, between both of them. It's brief in issue #3, but you do get a sense of how these two interact and what they think of each other.

This book is so much more about the characters than about the plot. The plot is pretty straightforward. But the characters complicate the plot. That's really what I wanted to do -- you've got so many of these giant event stories that are about other universes, and they get big and macro, and the plot really is driving it. We really wanted the characters to drive it, which is why I wanted a very simple plot -- that's complicated incredibly by these complex men and women.

RELATED: Doomsday Clock: How The Watchmen Characters Arrive In The DC Universe

Seeing the Comedian appear is a surprise on many levels. Of course, that's a story that remains to be revealed, but what should readers be asking themselves about his presence here?

I think they should probably be asking themselves the same things as Ozymandias is asking himself.

Nite Owl and Silk Spectre are acknowledged in the issue, as perhaps living somewhat happily ever after. Do they play into this story at any point?

We'll hear a little bit more about them. And there are other characters within that universe, both new and old, that will appear. But our main characters are Rorschach, Ozymandias, Mime and Marionette. And Manhattan, of course. But you will hear a bit more about them.

When the Owlship arrives in the DC Universe, it looks like it lands in the same abandoned amusement park as seen in The Killing Joke. Is that just a visual Easter egg, or is there more to it than that?

The Joker will play a part in the story. That's all I'll really say. That's basically saying that the Joker is going to have a presence.

There's a commercial for "Nathaniel Dusk" films, which is a somewhat obscure reference to two mid-'80s DC Comics miniseries. What can you say about that? Was it a nod to the same era of DC that Watchmen came from?

I'll only say you'll be seeing a lot more Nathaniel Dusk in this series.

Gary tweeted out an image of Sgt. Rock -- there's a lot of characters, forgotten characters and also major characters. As we kind of peel apart the DC Universe, we're going to be diving into the reality of the DC Universe. We're going to be looking at eras and characters and corners that are a little bit unexplored in my mind. Again, it's about looking inward rather than looking outward. Starting with even a glimpse of the Nathaniel Dusk films that we see here, and the mention of the Supermen Theory. There's stuff going on with Rex Mason and Kirk Langstrom. There's a lot of other things brewing in the world that will start to become more and more clear and more and more apparent in how it ties into the bigger story. But the backdrop of the DC Universe is as important as anything else.

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