SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Doomsday Clock #7 by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, on sale now.
The original Justice Society of America has been absent from DC Comics’ publishing slate for decades. It’s even worse for the team in the context of modern DC continuity, though, where they’ve been retconned from existence entirely. JSA fans were given hope that the company’s first ever superhero team might return when the Rebirth storyline kicked off roughly two years ago, though.
That hasn’t happened yet, but the last character readers expected to see introduced into mainstream DC continuity instead was Watchmen‘s Doctor Manhattan. The surprising inclusion of Manhattan seemingly had nothing to do with the JSA’s absence, but now, in Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s Doomsday Clock #7, it has been revealed that this isn’t necessarily the case anymore. In fact, there seems to be a deliberate connection. In establishing that connection, a particularly disquieting theory emerges.
Doc Manhattan hates the JSA.
The Non-Existent Days of the Justice Society
The notion that Manhattan bears any kind of ill will towards a group from another world that he never met sounds extreme. One need look no further than the third panel of this issue, though, to learn otherwise. Manhattan’s narration reveals that he willingly and deliberately interfered with a key moment in JSA history, with fateful — and fatal — results. Manhattan’s intervention in the accident that led to Alan Scott becoming the original Green Lantern now simply results in Scott’s death. Alan Scott, of course, was one of the Justice Society of America’s founding members.
Fellow JSA founder Jay Garrick, the original Flash, was also absent from Rebirth continuity, at least until the Batman/Flash crossover event “The Button.” During that storyline, Garrick made his first appearance in Rebirth after having been trapped in the Speed Force. The original Flash helped rescue his modern-day counterpart, as well as Batman, before being drawn back.
Did Doc Manhattan Go After Jay Garrick, Too?
Jay Garrick’s appearance indicated one obvious but important revelation: The Golden Age Flash wasn’t completely erased from existence in Rebirth continuity. In conjunction with the new Alan Scott revelation, there’s another important distinction. Unlike his JSA colleague, Jay Garrick was at least given the opportunity to fulfill his superhero role and become The Flash. At some point, though, his character was taken off the table, rather than eliminated.
That’s not to say that Doctor Manhattan didn’t try, though. And such interference on Manhattan’s part may very well be what resulted in Garrick ending up caught in the Speed Force. The Flash is different from Green Lantern and other heroes in the sense that his connection to the Speed Force also connects him to the fabric of the DC Multiverse. While Manhattan could effortlessly cause the death of a powerless Alan Scott, killing Jay Garrick would be a far more challenging task. An individual whose power taps into the multiverse itself would be a far harder person to kill — even for a being repeatedly referred to as a god.
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