Doomsday Clock #11 – Geoff Johns, Writer; Gary Frank, Artist; Brad Anderson, Colorist
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: It’s hard to believe this is the penultimate issue of Doomsday Clock, a brilliant but massively delayed DC Comics event crossing over the DC heroes with the doomed universe of Watchmen. DC’s released a trio of event comics with a much more leisurely pace than the average event, but only Doomsday Clock has hit on all cylinders – not a big surprise given that the creative team is one of the all-time greats. This issue is easily the densest of the run, making good and frequent use of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ trademark nine-panel grid to pack in a ton of story into under thirty pages. We’re back to the main story after last issue’s dense dive into the history of Doctor Manhattan and Carver Coleman, and all hell has broken loose after the secret history of metahumans was revealed and most of the DCU’s top heroes disappeared on Mars after confronting this otherworldly invader.
We learn about the chaos enveloping the world in bits and pieces as the few remaining heroes try to stem the unraveling political scene. Batman breaks his usual protocol to stop a nuclear war in its tracks – with more force than he usually deals out for soldiers. Wonder Woman, one of the few remaining a-list heroes, is dealing with Black Adam’s growing metahuman resistance as he turns Khandaq into a world power and a refuge for heroes and villains alike.
But the most interesting segments in this story don’t feature superheroes at all. They deal with some of the civilian players, both good and evil. Lex Luthor and Lois Lane’s frenemy detectives bond over the course of this series has been a lot of fun, and it’s Luthor who comes up with a truly stunning reveal about Doctor Manhattan’s experimentation in this universe. Meanwhile, it’s Alfred who does what Batman didn’t and sees Reggie Long as a potential ally and key to stopping Ozymandias. Also, this definitely puts my mind at ease about that moment in Batman two weeks back.
Ultimately, though, this is one character’s starring issue, and that’s Ozymandias. He’s been fully exposed as the villain and has gone deep underground, but he has one last act to play – as he reveals the full extent of his manipulations to his prisoners, Saturn Girl and Johnny Thunder. These two anomalies have been lurking around the fringes of the series since the start and their roles – and presence in this timeline – have not been clear until now. There’s some genuinely creepy scenes as Saturn Girl realizes what’s happening, although there’s a lot of questions about how exactly this matches up with other comics coming out this week – Bendis wasn’t even at DC when this series started. I do think Ozymandias makes a compelling villain, but he did sounds a bit more like a…what’s the quote, “republic serial villain” than normally. The overall craft in storytelling here is stunning, and the amount of story packed into one issue is impressive. I can’t believe there’s only one issue left.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.