Another 13 QUICK THOUGHTS — but this time with SPOILERS!
DC released Doomsday Clock #1, by Geoff Johns, Gary Frank and Brad Anderson, to us comics media folk with an embargo: We could review the book in advance of the on-sale date but without spoilers. I was cool with that.
But now that Issue #1 is out, I’m all in. But do check out my first 13 QUICK THOUGHTS, because it dealt with a lot more of the overarching pluses and minuses of the issue, while this looks more at the nitty-gritty of the story. (Click here.)
Here we go:
1. I really like this. This is Big Comics. It may end up a disaster but I doubt it. It’s exciting and fun. It’s also smart that the issue was about 85 percent Watchmen and only 15 percent DCU. You need to go big right off the bat and the way to do that is to dive right in with what happened after the final issue of the original.
2. By the way, I need to correct something from my initial review: I wrote that the book was the classic 9-panel grid, only breaking format once. Not true. It’s mostly a 9-panel grid but it changes a few times. The biggest shift, however, is the scene where Clark has a nightmare about the Kents’ deaths. That’s told in a 12-panel grid. At first I thought the changeover was due to which parts of the story take place in the world of Watchmen and which occur in the DCU. Seems there’s no pattern. At least not yet.
3. You’d think that someone who runs a comics website would want to know everything there is to know about a project before it comes out. Actually, that’s not the case. Mostly, I like to read a story with as few spoilers as possible. It’s not just for the entertainment value either: It’s because I can better evaluate something if I read it as it’s intended to be delivered. So while I knew Rorschach was going to play a part in Doomsday Clock, I didn’t think much about the logistics of it. I just assumed it’d have something to do with some elaborate bending of time or whatever. I should have just paid attention to Occam’s razor: Because having someone else under the mask is the simplest explanation.
4. Which makes sense when you consider that one of Watchmen’s themes was the whole notion of legacy heroes. That said, I still wouldn’t be surprised if Walter Kovacs were revived by Dr. Manhattan somehow. After all, he’s clearly been messing with the DC Universe.
5. Oh, and my prediction about Rorschach II’s identity: I say it’s the kid who used to hang around the newsstand. If you go back and look in Watchmen #12, the newsstand owner is on top of him, possibly shielding him from the worst. So I’m calling it: The kid survived…
6. OK, so Ozymandias on the run. Nice twist that this Rorschach is working with him. And an Ozymandias with cancer is an even more dangerous Ozymandias.
7. Where are Dan and Laurie?
8. President Redford? Heh.
9. Back to Rorschach: As I noted here, I thought Rorschach’s narration was overcooked to the point where it felt like parody. I can’t tell if that’s by design, though. It’s possible that Johns figures that an ersatz Rorschach would only be able to emulate his predecessor’s “gift” for expression. And the imitiation only extends so far: This Rorschach has his own verbal tics — but “Hurm” doesn’t seem to be one of them. Instead, he mimes Batman’s “HH” and Robin’s “TT,” both of which were Grant Morrison innovations. Hmm.
10. Hey, they didn’t waste any time getting us to a rape, did they?
11. I liked Marionette and the Mime. Appropriately creepy in a Natural Born Killers sort of way.
12. Not that I really care but is the Watchmen Universe getting a numerical designation? Remember, Morrison’s Multiversity intentionally left some Earths undefined.
13. Dedicated to the late Len Wein, Watchmen’s editor, but not to Alan Moore or Dave Gibbons. Understandable, all things considered. But wow.
MORE: For another look at Doomsday Clock #1, click here.