Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s Doomsday Clock 12-issue series is slated for release in November, but that hasn’t kept snippets about the unusual crossover series, which brings character from the Watchmen universe into the DC Comics universe, from trickling out in the lead-up to release. Johns and The Magicians author Lev Grossman took to the stage on Friday (Grossman moderated the panel) at New York Comic Con to talk about the series and, surprisingly enough, the importance of humor.
Comedy likely isn’t the first thing that leaps to readers' minds when considering the events of Watchmen, a series that tackles issues like war crimes, sexual assault and propaganda. But Grossman complimented Johns on the amount of levity he has seen in the pages of Doomsday Clock thus far. To Johns, it was a natural inclusion.
“People think if something is gritty, serious and dark, it’s realistic,” Johns said. “I think people laugh every day. Humor is necessary, and it’s a part of life. That’s realistic. The stakes are high, obviously, but there is a humor, a quirkiness and an oddness throughout the whole series.”
Johns is right, of course, but an injection of too much humor has the potential to be rejected by Watchmen and DC Comics fans alike. Watchmen isn’t exactly a cheery story. Recent Batman storylines have also gone to some dark places, with the Dark Nights: Metal series poised to introduce even more Hellraiser-inspired Dark Multiverse monstrosities any day now. With some luck, Doomsday Clock will find a happy medium between gritty and funny. Grossman seems to think they’re well on their way.
Doomsday Clock releases in comic book shops on Nov. 22, 2017.