[WARNING: This post contains SPOILERS for Doomsday Clock #8 by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, on sale now.]
As Doomsday Clock hits the two-thirds point, the endgame isn't much clearer but the sense of looming dread remains. Because Issue #8 focuses almost exclusively on DC-Earth superheroes, in some ways it is the least Watchmen-esque installment so far. Arguably, though, that gives the issue's events even more impact.
In putting together these annotations, we noticed a lot of characters and situations were set up back in issue #5, so this may be a good time to catch up on the miniseries so far, and that issue in particular. We don't think it's too spoilerrific to say that, although by this point we shouldn't have to warn you there will be plenty of spoilers from here on out.
Doomsday Clock issue #8 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, with Amedeo Turturro as Associate Editor. As if you didn't know, it is based in no small part on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen.
Obvious Watchmen Content (Pages 1, 3, 6)
Ozymandias is in the Oval Office on Page 1. The 2008 miniseries DC Universe: Decisions showed Martin Suarez, a Democrat, being elected President of DC-Earth's United States. However, as of July 2011's Action Comics issue #901, the President was Barack Obama. While DC is not as world-outside-your-window as Marvel, its in-universe POTUSes have been both real and fictional. Just off the tops of our heads, we know that John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton each appeared in DC books published during their respective terms of office. However, starting with President Lex Luthor in 2000, DC went through a series of fictional leaders of the free world, including Pete Ross and Jonathan Horne. This may mean that George W. Bush was never President on DC-Earth, which kind of blows our minds. Anyway, since DC-Earth also has to deal with an elastic timeline, we're not sure who's POTUS during Doomsday Clock.
Page 3 contains the first of two hard-to-miss Watchmen callbacks. Last issue Rorschach mailed his predecessor's diary to Lois Lane, and this issue she reaches for it, not unlike the New Frontiersman's Seymour at the end of Watchmen issue #12. Likewise, when the overstressed Firestorm unloads on hapless Muscovites on Page 6, it's a clear reference to Doctor Manhattan's outburst in Watchmen issue #3.