The clock is mere minutes till midnight and after a year and a half of waiting the highly anticipated DC event has finally begun. What will happen when you bring the cynical world of The Watchmen into the DCU proper. Expectations are high on my end, so let’s see how Geoff Johns and Gary Frank start Doomsday Clock. Warning there will be spoilers going forward. Read your comics before reading this review.
If you were expecting a big bombastic first issue where Superman delivers a mega punch across Doctor Manhattan’s face then you will not like this issue at all. I highly commend for Geoff Johns attempt to mimic Alan Moore’s voice and pacing as I finished this issue. While I’m sure if you put Watchmen #1 and Doomsday Clock #1 side by side you can pick apart the differences, but Johns nailed the tone of Watchmen enough to become invested into their dying world again.
Do not be surprised but yes Doomsday Clock is a sequel to Watchmen which is something I was not honestly expecting. This issue feels more like Watchmen #13 because it deals with the ramifications at the end of Watchmen #12. Issue one is all about connecting new readers and reconnecting new readers with Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s classic, a world that is on the brink of chaos. While some might complain that Doomsday clock mirrors our current problems most likely didn’t read the original series. I always speculated what would happen after Watchmen ended given that Rorshach’s journal was found shortly after his death. It’s kinda surprising that it took six years for Veidt to become a wanted man but that’s only a nitpick.
What really surprised me is the inclusion of Rorshach, or should I say a Rorshach. For those that might have been worried that Geoff Johns would undermine Moore and resurrect Walter Kovacs back into the story, instead Johns has someone else become Rorshach. At first it seems that Johns isn’t writing the masked maniac the same, but once this Rorshach takes off his glove it’s clearly a black mans hand. I have my theories but instead of sharing them here, I’ll just sit back and enjoy the story.
Finally Gary Frank is an absolute monster when it comes to pencils. Yes Frank doesn’t match with Dave Gibbon’s style but it’s hard to deny the quality of detail that Frank has put into each panel. Granted it’s nowhere near the level of detail that Gibbon’s would put into the backround but that’s no fault of Frank. I love Frank’s storytelling, yes his detailed character work is what most people noticed but his mastery of the nine panel grid paired with the great facial expressions Frank is drawing the work of his career so far.
It’s pretty clear that Johns wants to mirror the original series as much as possible, so I expect this slow burn approach to stick around till the very end. Consider me hooked for the rest of the series.
Doomsday Clock #1 earns 5/5