After numerous delays and a lot of head-scratching, Doomsday Clock #12 has arrived. The arrival is aptly timed with the recent HBO Watchmen finale and it’s hard to not compare the two now.
Written by Geoff Johns, Doomsday Clock #12 features the clash as the world descends upon Superman who they believe the villain as Superman confronts Doctor Manhattan. Johns uses the opportunity to compare and contrast the two heroes and their willingness to act and inspire. That’s the more interesting aspect of the comic. Both characters are the center by which their respective worlds revolve. How the two handle that is quite different.
Much of the comic is dripped in DC continuity and history and for those who may not be entrenched on that, the comic falls flat. Reveals, reintroductions, rejiggering of history drips throughout the comic as the extent of Manhattan’s changes are done and undone. The concept of the multiverse itself is discussed placing it, like Superman, at the center of DC Comics.
But, it’s not just the history that’s there but the future as well. Numerous Crisis that have yet to come are hinted and teased including a crossover with the Marvel Universe. It’s a comic made for those entrenched in continuity.
But after so many delays it all feels a bit of a letdown. The reading was more of a curiosity than a must-read. The excitement just isn’t there as it feels like a hardcore comic fan’s writing for others who might debate continuity on Wednesdays at their local comic shop.
The art of Gary Frank is nice but also doesn’t help put the comic over the top. There are some fantastic moments featuring dozens of characters but I never get to the point where I stop and linger on the pages. It’s all great to look at but never that extra bit that makes me pause. It could be the less than optimal reading experience a page at a time in a browser but even then it never pops. That could be due to the structured page layouts attempting to mimic the original Watchmen removing Frank’s ability to really take advantage of two-page spreads and images. It’s all rather blocky and stiff.
Doomsday Clock #12, and the series as a whole, is a bit of an oddity. It brings together a meta-story that began with DC’s Rebirth and explores some interesting concepts. It also feels a bit steeped in DC history and continuity that feels more for diehard fans instead of an exploration of concepts. But, there is an exploration of concepts that stand out. But, one that’s not enough to really examine like the original source material. We’ve seen what a follow up to Watchmen can be thanks to HBO and compared this just doesn’t hold up. Much like DC post Rebirth, something is just off and while it rights the ship it also still feels a little convoluted and too much thrown in at once. The comic has its moments but it just doesn’t quite fit in to the world it attempts to correct.
Story: Geoff Johns Art: Gary Frank
Story: 6.0 Art: 7.75 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review