SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Doomsday Clock #7 by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, on sale now.
After six issues' worth of grim foreboding, crossover service and sometimes fuzzy plotting, Doomsday Clock issue #7 snaps the miniseries back on track in a big way. It makes the stakes clear and then raises them. Mysteries are explained, payoffs start arriving, and the issue offers a glimpse at a marquee showdown.
As always, though, we're here to dig into the details. Therefore, grab your copy of issue #7, beware of SPOILERS – and get ready, because those details demand some deep thoughts. Although this issue answers some key questions, it also raises some others.
Doomsday Clock issue #7 was written by Geoff Johns, drawn by Gary Frank, colored by Brad Anderson and lettered by Rob Leigh. Amie Brockaway-Metcalf designed the text pages, Brian Cunningham was the Editor, and Amedeo Turturro was the Associate Editor.
Making The Rounds (Pages 1-2, 14-18, 22-23, 27)
Perhaps the biggest spoiler – which isn't really that much of one, since it had to happen sooner or later – is that Doctor Manhattan finally enters the narrative. After a couple of flashbacks, and plenty of discussion about him, he's now off the bench and ready to play.
It starts on Page 1, Panel 1, with Dr. M explaining how he got rid of Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern. It's chilling in its emotional remove, because basically Doctor Manhattan let him die. We know from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen that Dr. M has killed people outright, from gangsters to Vietcong; and we know he hasn't intervened as others were murdered (for example, the Vietnamese mother of Eddie Blake's unborn child). Perhaps most notably, we saw Rorschach beg Dr. M for death. In light of those actions and omissions, Dr. M might simply have treated Alan Scott's fate like just another quantum-level event – a coin flip with each result representing an equally valid future.
Dr. M also alludes to Alan's being part of the Justice Society of America, a group which formed shortly before Winter 1940's All Star Comics issue #3. (We'll discuss Alan and the JSA more in Part 2.) Mentioning the Justice Society along with GL/Alan suggests that Doctor Manhattan personally pruned the Golden Agers out of DC-Earth's history. However, in the "Button" crossover, original Flash Jay Garrick blames a mysterious group, not just an individual: "They took everything from me," Jay tells Barry Allen in Early July 2017's Flash #22. Complicating matters further is the presence of some key JSA members in the post-Flashpoint timeline. The JSA's founding members (i.e., as of All Star issue #3) were the Flash (Jay), Green Lantern (Alan), Hawkman (Carter Hall), Sandman (Wesley Dodds), the Spectre (Jim Corrigan), Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson), Hourman (Rex Tyler), and the Atom (Al Pratt). Joining later were Johnny Thunder and Thunderbolt, Doctor Mid-Nite (Charles McNider), Starman (Ted Knight), Mister Terrific (Terry Sloane), Wildcat (Ted Grant) and Black Canary (Dinah Drake). Wonder Woman was also a JSA member, both on the original Earth-Two and on DC-Earth in the form of Hippolyta; but that's a discussion for a whole other day.