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.
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.
Finally - The Return of a Classic JSA Device (Pages 21-22)
At long last, Page 21 reveals the power battery of the original Green Lantern, created by Bill Finger and Martin Nodell for July 1940's All-American Comics issue #16. At first Alan Scott's ring and battery were powered by the Green Flame of Life, but a couple of later stories sought to reconcile the Golden Age GL with his cousins in the Green Lantern Corps. First, an arc in September 1978-January 1979's Green Lantern issues #108-112 established that the Green Flame came from magical Starheart energy that the Guardians of the Universe collected. Later, December 1991's Green Lantern issue #19 changed this so that the meteorite from which Alan fashioned the lantern was partially made of an ancient Green Lantern, Yalan Gur, who abused his powers. Yalan Gur died high in Earth's atmosphere, and his lantern absorbed his life-force before crashing to the ground.
Page 22 has a couple of obvious Watchmen parallels. The beating Johnny takes reminds us Hollis Mason's death in Watchmen issue #8, while the mob taking down Batman is similar to the police dogpile on Rorschach in Watchmen issue #5.
Saturn Girl's Page 23 assurance that "they were all going to overdose" reveals very specific knowledge of the future. How did she know where to find Johnny Thunder? Since we see now that the "light" they wanted (back on Page 6) is the Green Lantern, we suppose that it could have drawn Saturn Girl and Johnny Thunder to it. The lamp on Page 6 is attracting its share of bugs, just as the lantern does on Page 24.