Comic Book Review: Doomsday Clock

Rating: 4.5 out of 10 stars

Alan Moore is a British Marxist, Highland Hermit, and self-proclaimed Wizard who makes his living writing daring and intellectually provocative literature, often comic books. In 1985 he published his seminal work “Watchmen” through DC/Vertigo comics.

Detached from the regular DC canon, “Watchmen” existed in an alternate 1986 and centered around a cast of wholly original characters. This was due to DC denying Moore the rights to the Charlatan group of characters. From that initial denial, “Watchmen” has always been its own entity self-contained in the 12-chapter story from the mid-80s. 

For a while there has been a desire to see a “What if” or “One Shot” comic about if the surviving Watchmen characters were integrated into the DC canon. This has never manifested. However, in 2017 at the end of the Rebirth crossover event, the Comedian’s badge from the Watchmen comic was found by Batman and signaled the start of something unheard of. Watchmen were going to join the ongoing DC multiverse. 

Since the early days of comic books there has been one standout constant, the crossover arc. Usually occurring once a year, crossover arcs tie multiple monthly serialized stories together in one large “event arc” spanning 1-6 issues. These arcs would do anything from tell a good story to completely shatter and reshape the ongoing canon. 

“Doomsday Clock” is a crossover many never imagined would happen, and DC took their sweet time dolling it out (1 issue every 2 months for two years). It picks up in the Watchmen world six years after the end of the original book, the world two hours from nuclear destruction. The survivors from this world dimension hop to Earth-2 of the DC chronology currently, in the midst of their own nearly world-ending event surrounding reports that the superheroes on Earth were actually a US experiment to take over the world. The story weaves between both worlds, seeing fan favorites from both canons interact and eventually work to resolve the nigh destruction of their collective existence. 

Geoff Johns does the best job writing Moore’s characters that anyone who isn’t the British, Socialist Wizard himself could do. With vivid and aesthetically pleasing art, this story took a long time to complete but ultimately was well worth the wait. 

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