It's just one month until the 12th and final issue of Geoff Johns' Doomsday Clock hits comic shelves everywhere. While many were skeptical of the comic series that sought to marry the world of Alan Moore's Watchmen with the DC Universe, the series has mostly lived up to the hype. And will soon come to an ending that, even now, fans aren't able to predict.
Delivering an exciting story that weaved an elaborate plot of twists and turns involving many of comics greatest characters. A new Rorschach hit the streets, Ozymandias has a new Universe to explore and Dr. Manhattan has now come face-to-face with Superman. While the ending to Doomsday Clock may not even matter, it's been an exciting and mysterious journey to follow. So as this ridiculously ambitious series comes to an end, let's take a look at how Doomsday Clock both delivered and fell short of its 'high hopes'.
How Geoff Johns' Watchmen Sequel Compares To The Original
Geoff Johns remains one of the greatest writers to contribute to the DC canon. Despite the controversy surrounding its very existence, Doomsday Clock solidifies him as more than just an entertaining wordsmith who specializes in mainstream DC events and heroes. Johns is capable of weaving intricate story lines and plot points, just like the original series. He's able to create surprising character moments that draw back to minute but memorable details, just like the original series. He's told an entertaining story that commented on today's current affairs, the state of the DC Universe and still managed to tell an original story--just like the original series. Is it time to stop pretending Alan Moore's work exists on a pedestal no writer will ever be able to attain?
DC greats like Johns, Grant Morrison, Gail Simone, Scott Snyder and others have told tales just as important to the current age of comics. Is Doomsday Clock going to be as influential as Watchmen? No, but it has told a mostly satisfying story that was both original and filled with homage. It featured gorgeous art from Gary Frank and colorist Brad Anderson that bridged a 30-year-old art style with modern sensibilities. The highly anticipated ending may leave some loose narrative strings, but fans will get to see Dr. Manhattan and Superman, two of the most powerful comic characters ever created, come to blows. The story has solidified Lex Luthor as the smartest man in the DC Universe as he uncovered one of the GREATEST comic mysteries in years. That mystery doesn't just involve the Watchmen characters, it involves the New 52 and the entire DC Universe.
Johns isn't afraid of making bold and over-the-top decisions and that needs to be appreciated. However, that doesn't mean that Doomsday Clock is completely without fault or flaw.
HBO's Watchmen May Be The Real Problem
The most obvious and unavoidable issue when it comes to Doomsday Clock is that other sequel to the original comic story: HBO's Watchmen series. A few years ago, fans would never have believed they'd see the Watchmen characters in a new story or sequel--and now they've got two! There's no denying that the Damon Lindelof-created live-action series is downright fantastic, making innovative choices with the original characters, while creating plenty of memorable new ones. Heroes like Sister Night and Looking Glass are already equally as interesting or complex as Moore's original creations. Chances are the series is only going to get better and better as the mysteries and clues continue to be revealed. So why exactly isn't the world clamoring for the final issue of Doomsday Clock? Because they might be getting a better sequel on their TVs every week.
Another reason the series has lost some of its luster is the length of time between each release. Initially pitched as a monthly release, the final issue of Doomsday Clock has been delayed to the point that its finale arrives more than two years after the title debuted. Comic book fans have famously short memories. It's one of the problems that comes with growing weekly pull-lists, hundreds of comic characters to keep track of and plenty of new and appetizing titles hitting shelves every week. Frankly, many fans have moved on from the story. And so has DC.
Does Doomsday Clock Need To Matter?
The delayed ending of the series means, in the simplest terms, brand new events and characters have taken place that couldn't possibly be affected by the ending of this story. When it was revealed that Doomsday Clock was set two years after the then state of the DC Universe, fans were excited to see what implications that would have for the future of their favorite characters. The answer: the series will likely have no ramifications on any other series or characters whatsoever. Leviathan is currently taking the DC Universe by storm as he's become a fantastic new addition to DC's pantheon of monsters. The death of Alfred Pennyworth could be the final breaking point for the Bat-Family, and Superman is about to reveal his identity to the entire world. The truth is that the DC Universe doesn't really have time to deal with the ending to Geoff Johns' latest series. Every major character is going through majors story arcs and changes themselves, leaving little room for Doomsday Clock to start a new mystery. But that's probably the point.
Doomsday Clock was never intended to be a new beginning; it's goal was never to spawn a million spin-offs. The goal was to reveal a mystery that began with DC's Rebirth back in 2016. Like Alan Moore, Grant Morrison and so many others before him Geoff Johns isn't trying to completely reinvent the comic book genre, he's just trying to tell a good and entertaining story--and he has absolutely succeeded.
The highly-anticipated conclusion to Doomsday Clock arrives on December 18th. Will you be picking it up?