Doomsday Clock #5, Annotated Part 1 - Death of Superman, JSA & More

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Doomsday Clock #5 by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, in stores now.

Over its first four issues, Doomsday Clock has been patching together the worlds of Watchmen and the main-line DC superhero universe, with a little real-world commentary layered in. If these annotations do nothing else, they can demonstrate the depth and breadth of influences upon which writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank appear to have drawn. We've covered a lot so far, from Hollywood history to physics and medicine; but today we plunge into the deep end of DC Comics' post-Crisis On Infinite Earths output. In other words, we hope you love the 1980s, because you're going to get a concentrated dose of it before we're done.

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We will warn you -- and we don't think this is necessarily a spoiler -- that there are a capital-L-lot of superheroes name-checked in this issue. Things might get a little dry towards the end, but we think we know the hidden meaning behind the various lists; and we'll try to entertain you along the way.

Doomsday Clock issue #5 was written by Geoff Johns, drawn by Gary Frank, colored by Brad Anderson and lettered by Rob Leigh. Brian Cunningham was the Editor, with Amedeo Turturro as Associate Editor.

I'm Not Dead And I Want My Cat (Pages 1-4)

Not a caracal
Silk Spectre meets Bubastis in Watchmen #4

The cover and Page 1 bring us the same image of Ozymandias' brain tumor that we saw first in issue #1. There it led into the Watchmen world's end-times emergency alert system-slash-state-run news network. Here it transitions into the doctor's flashlight, but without more context it seems a little random. The Metropolis hospital doesn't have Veidt's medical records, and the scene is told from Veidt's perspective; so perhaps it's Veidt flashing back to his diagnosis from February 10, 1992 (on the Watchmen world calendar) as he starts waking up.

"Hyperconsciousness" may be a DC-Earth condition related to near-death experiences (NDEs), but as far as our Earth is concerned, there could be multiple explanations for the light into which you're not supposed to go. People can also be "hyperconscious" or "hyperaware" if they are extremely tuned into their surroundings and cognizant of every little detail around them.

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The "federal problem" mentioned on Pages 1 and 2 shows an escalation in law enforcement's dealings with super-people. Naturally, we are used to seeing local authorities (Commissioner James Gordon, Captain Maggie Sawyer, etc.) enforcing the laws against the villains who live in their cities. This can produce a patchwork of different approaches to policework, each ostensibly tailored to be most effective for the particular population. The involvement of federal agencies like the DEO and/or the FBI concentrates those efforts and makes them more centralized, since the federal government's authority supersedes that of a local police department. Put simply, as we saw in "Arrow" Season 6, if the FBI comes into Gotham City and decides to arrest Batman, there's not much Gordon can do about it.

On Page 4, the Metropolis Animal Control officer thinks Bubastis is a caracal, a type of cat native to Africa, Asia and India. It does have tufted ears and a history with the Egyptians. However, in Watchmen issue #4 Veidt explains (on page 21) that Bubastis is a genetically-altered lynx. We can forgive the confusion, since the caracal is sometimes called the desert lynx.

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