SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Doomsday Clock #7, by Geoff Johns, Gary Frank, Brad Anderson and Rob Leigh, on sale now.
In May of 2016, DC Comics released the DC Universe Rebirth Special – on oversized one-shot spearheaded by Geoff Johns and an all-star lineup of writers and artists. The story set in motion a number of fascinating plot points, some of which we’ve already seen paid off and others that still remain on the horizon.
However, while the first half of Johns and artist Gary Frank’s Doomsday Clock succeeded in bringing to fruition the 2016 tease of the Watchmen universe and the DCU colliding, one blue-skinned, god-like being has been conspicuous by his relative absence… until now.
Thus far, the main MacGuffin of Doomsday Clock has been Doctor Manhattan. In the aforementioned Rebirth one-shot, as well as subsequent stories such as The Button, it’s been implied that the man formerly known as Jon Osterman was responsible for “creating” the New 52 DCU. In Doomsday Clock, though, the crux of the narrative has been Rorschach and Ozymandias’ search for their former teammate in an effort to save their own universe from destruction.
Doomsday Clock #7 continues on this path, with Rorschach and Ozymandias now being accompanied on their mission by Saturn Girl and Johnny Thunder, the latter of whom is in possession of Alan Scott’s lantern. Using Bubastis II as a compass to track Jon’s energy signature, Ozymandias flies the Owlship to the location where The Comedian is being held by The Joker, because not only are Doctor Manhattan’s temporal fingerprints plastered all over the lantern but on Eddie Blake, as well.
“As [Bubastis] feeds, Jon should feel a strong pull to her,” Ozymandias says as Bubastis, who was cloned using traces of Doctor Manhattan’s DNA, begins to consume Jon’s tachyon particles from within the lantern. “Not unlike a magnet.”
Then, with a flash of blue light, we finally witness the moment that many readers have been anticipating since 2016, as Doctor Manhattan makes his first full appearance in the DC Universe proper.
As emphatically as he arrives, though, Doctor Manhattan soon departs once more, much to the chagrin of Ozymandias. However, this is only the beginning of his chapter in Doomsday Clock, as the final page sets the stage for the long-awaited encounter between Doctor Manhattan and Superman; as significant as Doctor Manhattan’s arrival in the DCU is, that promises to be the real main event.