Doomsday Clock Reveals How Doctor Manhattan Rebooted the DC Universe

The End of... Everything?

Upon seeing the ring disappear, Doctor Manhattan goes through some quick chronological observations working back through time, only to make a very disturbing discovery. From the Legion's timeline on back, Manhattan peers into reality and sees nothing, only darkness. Darkness going all the way back to little more than a decade from the present day, and possibly even earlier.

The implication is clear. Doc's meddling with Alan Scott will lead to reality-altering consequences in a very short amount of time. Manhattan reminds readers that the last thing he does see is an angry Superman ready to take him down in a fight. Since a good part of DC's contingent of superheroes has just landed on Mars to confront him, the moment glimpsed in that vision seems to be imminent.

There will be no Legion of Super-Heroes in Rebirth continuity, because Rebirth continuity doesn't appear to have much time remaining. If the events of Doomsday Clock are the sole determining factor, that is.

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A Sign of Hope?

There's one curious oddity in that sequence with Doctor Manhattan, though, and it's one that might provide the slightest bit of optimism in an otherwise dire forecast.

When Ferro Lad's ring disappeared, the drops of blood that clung to it remained intact on Manhattan's palm. It's possible that could just be a matter of creative license on the part of Frank, or maybe even an artistic slip missed by editors. It could also mean that, while there might be no Legion flight rings or Legion of Super-Heroes, the boy who would be Ferro Lad, Andrew Nolan, may still exist.

It seems unlikely, though, given Manhattan's perception that reality ceases to exist come the year 2030, unless there are plans to make Ferro Lad the most powerful and reality-defying hero in the DC Universe. So, perhaps the blood isn't Ferro Lad's at all, but instead someone else's. But if someone still exists in the year 3019, more than a millennium after reality is slated to be destroyed, then there's a ray of hope. Hope that something or someone is still alive 1000 years in Rebirth's future.

So Long, Rebirth?

As DC's Rebirth initiative over the past few years has all but promised the return of classic franchises like the JSA and Legion, Rebirth itself has therefore been a transitional phase. Rebirth continuity currently does not feature these teams, so that points to another kind of reality alteration required to bring them back.

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Doctor Manhattan has been directly linked to these kinds of alterations. Might the pending destruction he envisions, either his own or that of current reality, be the defining moment that sees a true rebirth? The rebirth of the original DC Universe?

With three issues remaining in the series, the majority of DC's heroes stand at Manhattan's doorstep, ready to try and stop his manipulations. The next issue of the oft-delayed series, Doomsday Clock #10, is currently slated to ship April 3.

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