Release Date: November 22, 2017
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Gary Frank
Page Count: 40
WHAT IS DOOMSDAY CLOCK AND WHY IS IT SUCH A BIG DEAL?
Doomsday Clock is the latest comic book event series to be published by DC Comics. Created by frequent collaborators Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, it’s a 12 issue maxiseries that is the next big stepping stone in the DC Universe. Expectations have been high for this series even before it was announced. In fact, two years ago, DC Comics relaunched its entire line under the DC Rebirth banner, starting with a massive issue titled DC Universe Rebirth Special #1, written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by DC’s biggest artists (including Frank).
The Rebirth Special was a big deal because it ended with a shocking revelation: whatever strange machinations were currently at work in the DCU somehow involved the characters of Watchmen, the brilliant 1987 comic book series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Watchmen is a classic, arguably DC’s most iconic graphic novel. It is viewed by many as a perfect piece of fiction that is equal parts a superhero epic and a deconstruction of the superhero story.
Although the seeds were planted in the Rebirth Special over two years ago, Doomsday Clock will be the series that fully brings the Watchmen characters into the DC Universe, after being confined to their graphic novel for the past three decades.
DOOMSDAY CLOCK TRAILER IS HERE
Back in September, DC released a trailer to hype its audience for the release of Doomsday Clock. The 3-minute video showcases writer Geoff Johns, who tells us not only what we can expect from the book, but also how it came to be. The writer reveals that while he did plant seeds for the story in the DC Rebirth Special he wrote, the actual broad strokes of Doomsday Clock would come to him roughly a year later, in November of 2016.
The trailer tells us how much real life events, like the recent U.S. elections as well as many other socio-political upheavals, have inspired the story behind Doomsday Clock. In that way, we can expect the series to well and truly be a worthy follow-up to Watchmen, a book that was very much a reflection of the uncertain times it hailed from. Thanks to the trailer, we came to learn that this new series, as well as the beloved Watchmen characters, are in safe hands.
IS DOOMSDAY CLOCK FOR MATURE READERS?
First and foremost, Doomsday Clock is billed not just as a series featuring the return of the Watchmen characters, but a Superman story. Sure, other Justice League characters like Batman and Wonder Woman will surely be involved in the story, but Superman will be the central character here. This is why it’s actually surprising to see that this will be the first in-continuity Superman comic book to feature some harsher language.
In fact, an early Doomsday Clock preview showed us that quite a few “Sh__” will be used in the series, as will Doctor Manhattan’s propensity to forego clothing. While not exactly a R-rated comic book, the series is actually billed as a TEEN+ comic. Seeing as how Watchmen was very much a series aimed at mature readers, it makes sense for Doomsday Clock to be a darker, more adult-oriented comic book story. In that way, it manages to truly keep the vibe and the energy of the original.
DOOMSDAY CLOCK FEATURES CLASSIC WATCHMEN CHARACTERS
Billed as the return of the Watchmen characters inside the DC Universe proper, many fans can easily come to wonder exactly which characters from Alan Moore’s original epic will appear in Doomsday Clock. Ever since the DC Rebirth Special #1, we’ve known that Doctor Manhattan was at the center of this mystery, seeing as he was the one responsible for manipulating time and everyone in the DCU. With the omnipotent blue character appearing on the cover of the series, it’s a safe bet that we will be seing a whole lot more of him.
We also know that, even though he met a bloody end in the original graphic novel, Rorschach will resurface to growl and play the silent-but-brutal vigilante once more thanks to an early look at the first six pages of Doomsday Clock. As for the rest of the Watchmen however, the rest is being kept under wraps. We do know that there’s a strong possibility that Adrian Veidt, aka Ozymandias, might also appear in the series, given that we see his arm resting on Lex Luthor’s shoulder on the cover of the series’ second issue. As for the rest of the main cast, Nite Owl, Silk Spectre and the Comedian, we will just have to wait and see.
DOES DOOMSDAY CLOCK FEATURE NEW WATCHMEN CHARACTERS?
While we do know that the world of the Watchmen and the DC superheroes will collide, while it’s been confirmed that Superman, Doctor Manhattan, Batman, Rorschach, Lex Luthor and a few other well-known comic book players will heavily feature in Doomsday Clock, there still remains one big question, and that is if there will be new characters that will hail from the Watchmen world.
We might not have a definite answer to that just yet, but we do believe we just might see some new characters thanks to the early release of an alternate cover to the second issue of the series. The cover does not feature any characters, but it does highlight a discarded costume crumpled on the floor — and it’s a costume we haven’t seen before in the Watchmen series. The cover is intriguing on its own, and it seems to play into the mystery aspect of Doomsday Clock. There just might be a whole lot more to learn about this new costume, and who it belongs to.
DOOMSDAY CLOCK IS SET IN 1992
It’s hard to say where the majority of the action of Doomsday Clock will take place in. Will it be in the Watchmen reality, or the DC Universe proper? We have a partial answer to this question in the form of the Doomsday Clock preview that featured the first six pages of the first issue of the series. There, we learned that the action will begin in the Watchmen world, in 1992. The original graphic novel took place in 1985, which marks this sequel as taking place 7 years after the catastrophic events of the first Watchmen. That 1992 timeline is important to Superman – that’s when Death Of Superman was originally published.
However, we don’t yet know if the bulk of the 12-issue story will take place in that reality, in 1992. It’s quite possible that, with Superman involved, the action will shift back to the DCU, which is set in the present. As the two worlds converge, the Watchmen might come to the DCU, or the DCU might come to them.
DOOMSDAY CLOCK WRITERS ARE…
Doomsday Clock was plotted and written by one man, and one man alone: Geoff Johns. The writer has been a part of DC Comics for such a long time that he is ultimately the only writer we could trust to bring this epic undertaking to life. Although he had humbled beginnings at the publishing company, he quickly proved himself to be a keeper of DC knowledge from all eras, all while being a writer who understands what every character fundamentally represents.
From character-defining stints on The Flash, Justice Society of America, Green Lantern, Aquaman and Justice League, Johns has worked on many DC epics and along the way, he has proven that there isn’t a single character he doesn’t understand. He single-handedly brought DC Comics back to a strong place with the Rebirth Special and now, the writer is set with a daunting task: to pen a sequel to one of the most beloved and self-contained graphic novels of all time. Geoff Johns knows what Watchmen means to fans, because he is one of them. Simply put, there is no one else who could write this story.
DOOMSDAY CLOCK OFFICIAL ART
Gary Frank is the artist tasked with following up on Dave Gibbons’ iconic Watchmen art, and while we already knew that the series was in very safe hands, our first official look at art from the series showed us how truly grand and timeless Doomsday Clock will be. From the bold and striking covers of Lex Luthor and the Joker to the aboslutely brilliant and moody first six black-and-white pages of the comic series, we see how Frank was not only able to emulate the classic layouts and style of the original Watchmen, but also make it wholly his own.
While we have yet to see the fully colored pages of the series, we already know that the colors will be just as defining and important as they were in the original Watchmen. In fact, Gary Frank’s covers, along with Brad Anderson’s colors, have shown us that the book will look equally dated and modern, a perfect blend for such a time-focused story.
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