SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Doomsday Clock #3, by Geoff Johns, Gary Frank, Brad Anderson and Rob Leigh, on sale now.
The Watchmen have arrived in the DC Universe, and these Charlton Comics pastiches have wasted little time making their presence known. Rorschach has already managed to somehow infiltrate the Batcave – though not before chowing down on the Dark Knight’s pancake breakfast – and Adrian Veidt and Lex Luthor’s meeting of the minds quickly escalated into a butting of the heads. In Ozymandias’ defense, though, perhaps the encounter between the two smartest men of their respective worlds would have been a bit more amiable if not for an unexpected interruption (and gunshot) by Eddie Blake, aka The Comedian.
This, of course, was shocking for several reasons, the least of which being the question of how he arrived in the DCU, since he wasn’t traveling with Ozymandias and Rorschach. More importantly, though, is the question of how Blake is even alive, at all. His murder at the hands of Ozymandias was very much the catalyst for the events of Watchmen, as the subsequent investigation by the original Rorschach is what ultimately led to the discovery of Veidt’s sinister machinations. However, it doesn’t take long for the answer to this mystery to present itself in the pages of Doomsday Clock #3.
The issue begins in a familiar penthouse suite; walls splattered with equal parts blood and gin. We watch as Veidt mercilessly beats Blake senseless before hoisting him high above his head, sending his body crashing through the window and falling towards the unforgiving pavement below. Except this time, instead of painting the streets with his blood, we see The Comedian crash into the ocean, swallowing a mouthful of saltwater before realizing he needs to swim back to the surface.
Blake paddles to shore, huffing and puffing along the way, and upon reaching the beach, he collapses, either from exhaustion, pain, or both. However, before he’s able to fully catch his breath, an unmistakable blue word balloon appears, offering a simple greeting: “Hello, Blake.” We then see the bloodstained smiley face button fall to the sand, as a pair of blue legs appears standing behind an obviously confused Blake. “…Doc?” he asks.
It should come as little surprise that the nigh-omnipotent Doctor Manhattan, who Eobard Thwane referred to as “God” in “The Button,” is responsible for not only preventing The Comedian’s death but transplanting him into the DCU. In fact, it doesn’t take Ozymandias long to deduce this, either, as we return to the very place we left him and Blake in issue #2. “Clearly, Jon had something to do with this,” Veidt shouts as he and Blake exchange blows. Unlike their last encounter, though, the pair is much more evenly matched, which begs the question of whether bringing The Comedian to the DCU is all Doctor Manhattan did for Blake.
Then again, it’s entirely possible Veidt’s illness has taken more of a toll on his body than he’d care to admit. In any case, The Comedian is clearly a crucial cog in whatever sort of proverbial machine Doctor Manhattan has constructed in the DCU. What, exactly, his long term role is remains to be seen, but Johns and Frank are clearly not finished with him yet.