SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Doomsday Clock #2 by Geoff Johns, Gary Frank, Brad Anderson and Rob Leigh, on sale now.
The mystery of Ozymandias, Rorschach, Doctor Manhattan and the fate of the Watchmen world is the big selling point for Doomsday Clock. But there’s something bigger going on in the event series, something which points to a much larger mystery at the heart of the DC Universe.
Set one year into the future of the DC Universe, Doomsday Clock gives us a glimpse of where things are headed in the new post-Rebirth publishing schedule. We’ve only had about half an issue’s glimpse at the DC Universe of late-2018, but it shows a world where the public has turned its back on the icons once held so dear and suggests an internal crisis the likes of which DC Comics has never seen.
Who Can You Trust?
One of the most surprising revelations of Doomsday Clock #2 was that — for a number of factors — the ordinary people of Earth are starting to lose their faith in its heroes. One big reason is The Supermen Theory, a conspiracy theory that suggests that the majority of superhumans originate in America because of the active efforts of the US government.
The backmatter of Doomsday Clock #2 suggests that Metamorpho and Man-Bat are the result of two such experiments, with some of Metamorpho’s villains coming forward to confirm that they were recruited to be part of what is essentially a giant false-flag operation. The Supermen Theory posits that the majority of superheroes in America aren’t altruistic defenders of justice, but rather something more akin to a nuclear deterrent. By placing them in the public spotlight, the United States government is essentially saying to every other country in the world, “Look at our firepower; don’t mess with us.”
While it may not be exactly as advertised, The Supermen Theory isn’t the only thing that’s got people up in arms against costumed protectors. In the next year of comics, something is going to happen to make the people of Gotham City turn on Batman in a way they never have.
While it’s a mystery right now, it may have something to do with the big "Fall of the Batmen" storyline occurring right now in Detective Comics. There, the Victim Syndicate have revealed to the world that Batman has been not only training his own private group of proteges, but counts serial murderer Clayface among their members. "The Fall of the Batmen" is also supposedly supposed to lead to Batwoman doing something that leads to the world of the future Tim Drake, no known as Savior, who attempted to kill her before she does, well, whatever it is. If the people of Gotham are going to turn on Batman and vigilantes in general, odds are Detective Comics is the place to watch for clues.