WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Doomsday Clock #2
The Doomsday Clock comic event has really done it: the stars of WATCHMEN have joined DC's Universe - literally. The event promised to do just that from the very beginning, at least on a metaphorical, storytelling scale. Until now the heroes, antiheroes, and villains of the iconic Watchmen series had a world and story all their own, set on an alternate, doomed Earth. So when writer Geoff Johns got the idea to combine the Watchmen characters with DC's comic universe, few would have predicted that the 1980s vigilantes would tunnel through space and time, and physically set foot into the world of Batman, Superman, and the rest of DC's heroes.
That's exactly what's developed in Issue #2 of Doomsday Clock from Johns, and artists Gary Frank and Brad Anderson. Having brought Rorschach back to life in the first issue (played by a new vigilante), and paired him up with Ozymandias to save their world, the second issue raises the stakes significantly. The mystery of Superman's connection to this Watchmen sequel has yet to be solved, but it's only a matter of time now that the Watchmen cast is walking on DC's Earth... and into its Batcave.
The Watchmen Travel To DC's Universe
As we outlined in our review of Doomsday Clock #1, the story begins seven years after the end of the original Watchmen. The opening pages reveal that the 'master plan' of Ozymandias a.k.a. Adrian Veidt has ultimately failed: Earth is once more divided, and on the brink of total nuclear war. Adrian Veidt had launched his mission to save the world to prevent that exact outcome. But in Issue #2, he fails spectacularly. The nukes fly, and cities are leveled... but he, Rorschach, and two new criminal recruits are phasing out of existence as it all comes to an end.
They're on board Night Owl's famous ship (nicknamed "Archie"), and thanks to some quantum tunneling upgrades, they're immune to the nuclear devastation. The final moments of Watchmen implied that Dr. Manhattan was heading out into the mystery of the cosmos in search of a new existence, or even a new universe in which to create "some of his own" life forms. And somewhere between that apparent ending and Doomsday Clock, Ozymandias designed a way to follow Manhattan into that new universe.
By now, it should surprise no comic book fan that the universe in question - the one traveled to by Manhattan - was the DC Comics Universe. But even to two former Minutemen, Earth is a big place no matter the universe. To track down Manhattan's trail, they'll need some help.
The World's Smartest Men
Ask any DC Comics fan who the two most intelligent, most connected, most informed, and most discreet men in DC's world would be, and they'll always give you the same names: Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor. And as evidence of the time Johns spent crafting this narrative of worlds colliding, themes overlapping, and comparison bringing clarity, Ozymandias and Rorschach decide to split up. Because as famous and legendary as their names and deeds may be to real-world comic readers, they've arrived on a new world with an outlandish story... and one of them with their life and brilliance slipping away by the minute.
Needless to say, they BOTH get a surprise on which the issue is left hanging.