WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Doomsday Clock #5 by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, in stores now.
The DC Universe has become a dark place in Doomsday Clock. Feeding off the cynicism of Alan Moore and David Gibbons' Watchmen, Geoff Johns and Gary Frank have created a world that is scared, violent and dark. In a lot of ways it reflects the world we live in today; one filled with secrets and paranoia, often seemingly devoid of any basic sense of optimism or decency. In the future that Doomsday Clock portrays, however, the DCU has become as vile and unrepentant as the world of Watchmen.
It's one thing for the denizens of this world to act this way, but what happens to a person who is dropped here and forced to adapt to their surroundings? In Doomsday Clock #5, we see how Saturn Girl is changing. She comforts a terrified Johnny Thunder with the belief that it's ok for Rorschach to brutally murder someone because the future told her it was ok. She seems to be going as dark as the world around her. They are on mission to find Doctor Manhattan and save the world, but can she truly make a difference when her beliefs and ideals are shifting? That's a question Doomsday Clock will have to figure out an answer to as things move forward.
How Quickly Things Change
When Saturn Girl first came to this time period, she was exactly who you imagined she should be. As a being from a future utopia, she was bright, friendly and most of all, optimistic. As she told readers in DC Universe: Rebirth back in 2016, "Everything is going to be alright."
However, she also seemed to be a bit naive. Having knowledge of the future, Saturn Girl knew the death of Superman was only temporary, but she somehow didn't realize that food wasn't free in this time period, or that telling the police she was from the future would get her locked away in Arkham Asylum.
This is the kind of place she comes from, and the world she represents -- a future devoid of monetary restrictions, where everyone is entitled to food, shelter and being cared for. It is the idealistic vision for the future that is slowly being infected and chipped away at by Doomsday Clock's hostility and oppression. In "The Button" crossover she watches a hockey player get beaten to death on TV, but in some ways, it's her own sense of self that gets destroyed. How can someone hold onto their ideals in a place like Arkham Asylum, the worst place on Earth? Doomsday Clock #5 shows us that you can't.
While Saturn Girl certainly holds onto her heroic intentions after escaping with Rorschach, the innocence she brought with her is gone. This is how she is able to reason that bad men who are already fated to die can be brutally murdered without so much as batting an eye. Instead of having the attitude that good will triumph over evil, like she displayed at the beginning of Rebirth, she now believes that "Everything evens out." It's as if she now has a fatalistic view of the world, where there is no bad or good, just an unwavering cosmic order that eventually balances out in the end. That's no viewpoint to take back to her idealistic society in the future.