Doomsday Clock #7, Annotated, Part 2 – The Justice Society, Fire Trolls & Bubastis

[WARNING: This post contains SPOILERS for Doomsday Clock issue #7, 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 and beware of SPOILERS. Part 1 covered Doctor Manhattan's tweaks to the the timeline, Saturn Girl's background and mission and the Easter eggs in the Joker's lair. This Part 2 will be more wide-ranging.

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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.

Lantern Lore (Page 1)

Alan Scott's origin from Secret Origins #18
Green Lantern Alan Scott's origin, from Secret Origins #18 by Roy Thomas and George Freeman

Artist Martin Nodell (with writer Bill Finger and editor Sheldon Mayer) created the Green Lantern, and related his origin in his debut, July 1940's All-American Comics issue #16. Thus, the date "July 16, 1940" combines that cover date and issue number. For what it's worth, the Grand Comics Database says the issue went on sale May 17, 1940. Roy Thomas and George Freeman retold Alan Scott's origin in September 1987's Secret Origins issue #18, this time incorporating modern details like Alan's connection to the Green Lantern Corps and Guardians of the Universe. (We covered these in issue #5's annotations.)

The Song Dynasty (960-1279) represented an era of great cultural, technological, scientific and social advancement in China. We're not exactly sure how that relates to the story of the Green Lantern, since it's not mentioned in either account of Alan's origin. However, certainly the Song period would have provided ample opportunities for a "hopeful mystic" to make a lamp out of a meteor.

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Indeed, according to December 1991's Green Lantern issue #19, Green Lantern of Sector 2814 Yalan Gur – also mentioned in issue #5's annotations – was deliberately sowing chaos and discord in ancient China so that he could better shape Earth's destiny. Yalan Gur ended up being destroyed by the people he sought to rule, but his life-force merged with his power battery. The battery itself then crashed to Earth as the green meteor which, ultimately, once again became a green lantern. Anyway, the absence of Yalan Gur may have led to the benefits of the Song Dynasty.

In Secret Origins issue #18, Thomas and Freeman stated specifically that "Gotham mental patient Edward Billings" was housed in Arkham Asylum (of course). However, where D-Clock states that he found the lantern in April 1940 and was cured by May, Secret Origins has a few years pass between his leaving Arkham and Alan's train accident.

Winter 1940's All Star Comics issue #3, featuring the Justice Society of America's first appearance, went on sale November 22, 1940. Of course, November 22 was already an important date on the Watchmen and Doomsday Clock calendar. That said, All Star issue #3 (written by Gardner Fox, edited by Sheldon Mayer and pencilled by a whole lot of artists) didn't represent the JSA's first case. Instead, Paul Levitz, Joe Staton and Bob Layton told the JSA's origin in August-September 1977's DC Special Series issue #29. It involved the combined efforts of America's super-people to stop Hitler from conquering the world with the mystical Spear of Destiny.

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Appropriately enough, a couple of years later Levitz and Staton told the story of the JSA's retirement, in November-December 1979's Adventure Comics issue #466. The short version is that in 1951, a Congressional committee subpoenaed the JSA in order to question them about a foreign agent who tried to kill them. In order to satisfy themselves that the JSA was themselves credible, the committee demanded that the heroes unmask. They refused, and disappeared in a flash of light. In real-world terms, the Justice Society's final published adventure (apparently) was in February-March 1951's All Star Comics issue 57. The JSA returned in June 1963's The Flash issue #137, the second team-up of the Golden and Silver Age Flashes following the landmark "Flash of Two Worlds" (September 1961's issue #123).

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