Doomsday Clock #8 Annotated, Part 2: Watchmen Callbacks & Timeframe Questions

Black Adam And Big Blue (Pages 9, 11-12)

Happily ever after
Black Adam and Isis, from the cover of 52 #12 by J.G. Jones

On Page 9 we see the Creeper for the first time on-panel, following his alter-ego Jack Ryder's appearance in Issue #5. We had already seen Giganta in Issue #6's big villain meeting. That issue's text pages established her connection to Black Adam. Page 11 introduces us formally to Sandstorm, also mentioned first in Issue #6's text pages. Incidentally, Black Adam spent much of 52 (2006-07) trying to build a coalition of super-powered individuals to challenge the United States' perceived monopoly on super-people.

Black Adam's family in ancient Egypt was murdered, so the statues of children on Page 10, Panel 1 may represent his sons. However, the statue on the right looks a lot like his 21st Century wife Adrianna Tomaz, a/k/a Isis. Isis was killed by diseases from Pestilence, one of the artificially-created Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Her brother Amon, a/k/a Osiris, was murdered by Yurrd, another Horseman representing Famine. Isis comes originally from the Saturday-morning live-action TV show of the same name, where she was played by Joanna Cameron. Although the show aired alongside the "Shazam!" live-action series, Isis wasn't initially considered part of the DC Multiverse. Her first comics appearance was in September-October 1976's Shazam! issue #25. Adrianna Tomaz first appeared in September 2006's 52 issue #10, and she became Isis two weeks later in issue #12. Osiris' first appearance was in December 2006's 52 issue #23. Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and Mark Waid co-wrote 52, with Keith Giffen on breakdowns. Chris Batista pencilled issue #10, Eddy Barrows pencilled issue #12 and Drew Johnson pencilled issue #23.

We're not quite sure when Black Adam entered into the "agreement" Superman mentions on Page 12. The text pages of Issue #5 note that after battling the Shazam Family in Philadelphia (as shown in the "Shazam!" backups in certain 2012-13 issues of Justice League), he returned to Kahndaq. From there it gets murky. In the pre-Flashpoint timeline, following his genocidal rampage during World War III (chronicled, unsurprisingly, in the 52 tie-in miniseries World War III), Adam was stripped of his powers and imprisoned in his Teth-Adam identity. Although he was soon back to his old self, we're not aware of any subsequent agreement. Issue #5 does mention "confrontations with more of America's metahumans," but nothing more specific. Therefore, the agreement may be in the future of the current DC Universe.

Mentioned on Page 11, Bashar Hafez al-Assad (born September 11, 1965) has been President of Syria since July 17, 2000. He succeeded his father, Hafez al-Assad, who ruled from 1971 until his death in 2000. On our Earth, Russia has been giving military aid to Syria since 2015; so a similar situation on DC-Earth could explain Black Adam calling Assad "the Russians' puppet."

Superman has fought Black Adam a few times over the years, but most recently Adam fought Ultraman, the evil Superman of Earth-3, in the pages of 2012-13's Forever Evil.

NEXT PAGE: Doomsday Clock #8: The Justice Society Mystery Deepens

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