Doomsday Clock #10 – Geoff Johns, Writer; Gary Frank, Artist; Brad Anderson, Colorist
Ray – 10/10
Corrina: If You Want Johns To Sound Just Like Alan Moore, But Not As Good, This Is Your Book
Ray: Geoff Johns has been indulging his inner Alan Moore since this series began, and how much you enjoy the series has a lot to do with how compelling you find this dark fusion of Johns’ continuity porn and Moore’s meta-text.
Me? I find it absolutely fascinating, and this latest issue embraces that style more than any before it. If you were expecting a direct follow-up from Doctor Manhattan exposing the DCU’s dirty secrets and dismantling every hero in his path, I wouldn’t – Doomsday Clock #10 is Doctor Manhattan’s spotlight issue, much like Rorschach and Mime/Marionette got before him. And that story takes us back in time to the 1930s, and shows us how the story interacts with that of the mysterious Carver Coleman. This Hollywood actor whose unsolved murder played a role in the background of this series has been a puzzle so far, something akin to the ongoing pirate serial in the original Watchmen. But this issue gives him a purpose – making him a touchstone for Doctor Manhattan’s arrival in the DCU, alongside that of Superman. And if you thought you knew the extent of Doctor Manhattan’s meddling in continuity, you know nothing yet.
The concept of “Seven crises” was batted around by Brian Michael Bendis in Young Justice, and we’ve known that the reality has been rebooted before by Manhattan and other figures. This issue takes the story from 1938 to the 30th century, implying that all Superman stories ever have been in continuity and then erased. The JSA and Legion appearing in this issue, in all their classic glory, was one of the biggest thrills of the run – and seeing history simply change in a blink for the JSA was one of the most disturbing segments of the run. Using Carver Coleman as Jon Osterman’s one confidante in the human world works, showing how Jon slowly becomes more distant from humanity as he sees the inevitable tragedy awaiting his friend. Gary Frank’s art shifts brilliantly from page to page, as at home working in black-and-white film noir style as he is on the glitz and glamour of superheroes. The look at Superman’s past from a new perspective was fascinating, and there isn’t a single wasted panel in this 29-page story. With two issues to go, I don’t know the last time I’ve been this enthralled by a comic book event.
Corrina: To answer Ray’s question above, it will surprise no one that I’m not interested in Johns’ continuity porn fused with the utterly original voice of Alan Moore.
I need to restate so as to dispell any belief that I’m an Alan Moore fangirl: Watchmen, for all its’ technical brilliance, leaves me cold. It’s an interesting deconstruction but that’s what it’s supposed to be: a deconstruction. Using it as just one more kind of superhero story defeats the entire point of the original.
Doomsday Clock takes the only thing I find interesting about Watchmen–the questioning of what superhero stories are about–and tosses it out the window in order to ape the style of the original.
Look, this issue can time jump around Doctor Manhattan like the original and give you some glimpses of all the DC stories ever. Maybe they are all true, maybe not, and, oh, by the way, let’s toss in the suicide of someone to add gravitas to Doctor Manhattan’s growing rift from humanity.
This isn’t a story. This is a twisting of something meant to be the ultimate deconstruction of a superhero story into just another crisis-twisting superhero circle jerk.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.