DC Comics is doing what some readers thought was the unthinkable–crossing over the DC Universe with the world and characters created within the pages of Watchmen in 1986. Doomsday Clock isn’t the first time they’ve made this move. The connection with the changes made in the DCU (with ‘The New 52’ relaunch) was first revealed in 2016’s DC Universe: Rebirth #1. There have been seeds for this bigger story planted in various comics. Now we’re getting the big payout.
While the story is being told in a grand fashion, Geoff Johns is delivering more than just an epic crossover between two big properties. Along with Gary Frank’s visuals, we’re getting an extremely smooth transition as the worlds begin to collide. The first issue showed how some things have changed since Watchmen ended, and you can’t help but become glued to each page as more details are mentioned.
Aside from the Doctor Manhattan connection shown before, there is a reason for other Watchmen characters to meet the DC ones. This is the moment we’ve been waiting for.
Because of the differences in the two comic book world, it’s interesting to see how characters from one “universe” would react to the other. We’ve seen numerous stories told between worlds in the DC Multiverse. This is something different. The world in Watchmen simply has a separate vibe. Thankfully, this is something the characters comment on immediately.
Johns makes a fascinating choice with which characters will meet the other ones right away. At the same time, when the story shifts to the DCU, there are hints of other big subplots brewing that will obviously play a role in the upcoming issues.
There’s some trouble brewing between LexCorp and Wayne Industries. Johns has already set up an intriguing rivalry that became more complex when Lex realized what Batman’s greatest secret was in the pages of Justice League (back in 2014).
There is also mention of tension building across the world because of “The Superman Theory.” While this is only mentioned in passing within the main story, the back matter pages fully dives into what this is about. Hence, I strongly urge you not to skip those pages. The idea and possible dilemma the heroes will face as a result of it is something that only Geoff Johns could come up with.
Gary Frank’s art and Brad Anderson’s colors make the story even more incredible. The nine-panel grid Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons used has been present in both issues of Doomsday Clock, but now we’re starting to see a little more variety as the story unfolds. Frank’s art is perfect in enhancing the atmosphere of the story and each character’s facial expressions speak volumes. Only two issues in, it’d be hard to imagine another artist depicting the events in this tale.
With all the stories told over the years in comics, regardless of how well written they are, it’s often easy to figure how things will end. Good usually triumphs over evil. There may be some shake ups, but everything tends to eventually revert to the status quo. You don’t get that feeling here. Having Johns at the helm means there’s no telling what direction the DCU will go in next. Throwing in characters from Watchmen adds an even bigger wild card.
Johns and Frank are giving readers a pure storytelling experience with Doomsday Clock. This comic feels like a really big deal, and that’s the way it should be. You can tell there is a great deal of respect for the characters Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons created. This is absolutely a must-read series. The characters from Watchmen and the DCU will never be the same again. And that’s a good thing. This is an evolution of the two comic worlds. We’re lucky to have front row seats for whatever is headed our way.