As expected, Geoff Johns teased the next chapters in his and Gary Frank's "Watchmen meets the DC Universe" epic Doomsday Clock during the writer's spotlight panel at New York Comic Con.
“Doctor Manhattan finally made an appearance and revealed a lot about where the book is going,” Johns told the NYCC crowd. “When he sees nothing ahead but Superman, what does that mean? That’s the question that’s posed, and the question Manhattan’s determined to know.”
Of course, Superman isn't the only thing Doctor Manhattan has to watch out for. Ever since readers first learned that the nigh-omnipotent Watchmen hero was responsible for rewriting all of the DC Universe's continuity in 2016's DC Rebirth one-shot, we've also followed the story of a character believed to be Legion of Super-Heroes founding member Saturn Girl, who has also been a resident of Arkham Asylum in the modern day. In Doomsday Clock, she's broken out, teamed with the new Rorschach and JSA member Johnny Thunder, setting out on a collision course of her own with the blue-skinned would-be-god.
It makes sense, then, that both the Legion and the long-missing Justice Society of America would be brought to the forefront as the series enters its second half/ And as seen on the cover art Johns debuted during his panel, both teams' current DC Rebirth status will be focused on in some of Doomsday Clock's upcoming issues.
The cover for Issue #10 is perhaps the most striking of the bunch. Gary Frank's art depicts a Legion flight ring, floating in space above what appears to be Mars, aka where Doctor Manhattan goes when he needs some alone time. Several drops of blood are floating alongside the ring, frozen, but still working with the ring's golden hue to evoke Watchmen's iconic blood-spattered smiley face button.
One of the variant covers focuses on Nathanial Dusk, a fictional Hollywood serial that has been running in the background of the series thus far. There's obviously significance in the fact that Johns and Frank have transformed an obscure DC detective into an old time movie franchise for the series, though what exactly that is remains to be seen.
The final cover is a bit meta, and indicates the JSA mystery will be brought to the forefront of Doomsday Clock's story. On it, we see a young boy reading a copy of All Star Comics #3, the 1940 debut of the Justice Society of America. however, on the comic's cover we see Doctor Manhattan addressing the team, and obvious addition to artist Everett E. Hibbard's classic cover.
Doomsday Clock's latest issue revealed that Manhattan rewrote DC history in such a way as to prevent Alan Scott from becoming Green Lantern. This is in addition to the fact we learned last year, that Jay Garrick, the original Flash, has been stuck inside the Speed Force since Manhattan recreated the DC Universe in 2011 as the New 52. In Doomsday Clock, we've seen that Johnny Thunder clearly remembers his former teammates, despite them having been wiped from existence; is it possible he's the young boy reading the comic on the cover? Johns wasn't saying, but it would make some level of sense, and explain why he seems to remember heroes that never actually existed in this continuity.
Doomsday Clock #8 is scheduled to arrive in stores Nov. 28.