Beware; spoilers for DOOMSDAY CLOCK #3 abound! 

Surprising appearances and unexpected confrontations ensue in DOOMSDAY CLOCK #3! Previously in this series, Adrian Veidt (AKA Ozymandias), Rorschach, Marionette, and the Mime traveled to an alternate universe. There, Veidt met the smartest man in that universe, Lex Luthor. Rorschach proceeds to meet the second smartest man, none other than Bruce Wayne. The latest from writer Geoff Johns is another enticing adventure that digs deeper into the mystery of this WATCHMEN sequel. So, how does the latest entry in this highly-anticipated title fare? Find out below!

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Variant cover of DOOMSDAY CLOCK #3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Where Are They Now?

DOOMSDAY CLOCK #3 kicks off with a glimpse into a notable event of WATCHMEN, the murder of the Comedian at the hands of Adrian Veidt! Suddenly, the flashback ends. The Comedian emerges from an ocean somewhere. His iconic, blood-stained smiley face bounces before his eyes as Doctor Manhattan appears beside him. This is an incredibly exciting sequence to use as this issue’s introduction. It brings in the poignancy of the events of WATCHMEN while leaving readers pondering the mystery of the Comedian’s resurrection.

DOOMSDAY CLOCK #2 Review: When Worlds Collide

The issue then segues into the meeting between Rorschach and Bruce Wayne (AKA Batman). Bruce certainly finds Rorschach’s demeanor strange. He speaks in a frank stream of consciousness. However, he does get Bruce’s attention by handing him the notable journal of Walter Kovacs, the original Rorschach who was killed by Doctor Manhattan in WATCHMEN. Upon the conclusion of WATCHMEN, we learned that Kovacs left his journal detailing the events of the story at the office of a newspaper, permitting the world to know the truth of the destructive alien invasion.

So, Bruce agrees to read the journal and allows Rorschach to stay in his home. After the new Rorschach experiences an intense dream, or memory, in which he witnesses Veidt’s fabricated alien invasion, Bruce reveals to him that he’s reviewed the journal and knows Doctor Manhattan’s location. This turns out to be a total ruse. Batman takes Rorschach to Arkham Asylum and locks him up, telling him he belongs there.

Repeat the Past

The interesting part of DOOMSDAY CLOCK #3 is the way it digs into this new Rorschach. We finally see him unmasked. To my personal surprise, he is a young man. Despite his age, he is deeply disturbed by Veidt’s actions as they continue to haunt him throughout the narrative. So, it will be interesting to see how Geoff Johns continues to dig into this mysterious individual’s character. He has exposed his face and his thoughts to us, both personal aspects, but his past has yet to reveal itself.

Various other subplots bolster the central narrative of this issue. The Marionette and The Mime come across a bar that belongs to The Joker, so we are in for some excitement in that area. Additionally, there is a beautiful, retrospective tale detailing the character of Mr. Thunder. That particular story elevates the grittiness of DOOMSDAY CLOCK. Sure, this series is crossing over with the world of several notable DC Comics heroes. However, the world of WATCHMEN is incredibly dismal. It is different from Batman and Superman’s universe. So, I enjoy the implementation of the tone of WATCHMEN in this saga.

With this, I especially enjoy the progression of this dark tale. Johns is taking his time in setting everything up, and I believe that is the best way to go about a follow-up with this much depth in its story and characters.

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DOOMSDAY CLOCK #11 page 11. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Many Hues of DOOMSDAY CLOCK #3

One of the best aspects of this series is its attention to detail. We get that in the story and, most prominently, in its artwork. Artist Gary Frank excels in this issue as he has in previous ones. First, I love how Batman seamlessly blends in with the world of WATCHMEN. His design parallels that of BATMAN: EARTH ONE, also illustrated by Gary Frank.

One of the most poignant sequences is DOOMSDAY CLOCK #3 focuses on the new Rorschach. He’s in the shower reflecting on Veidt’s actions in WATCHMEN. He becomes so overwhelmed by his thoughts that he digs his nails into his head, drawing blood. It’s a disturbing sequence and hard to look at, but that’s ultimately the point. There’s a demon haunting Rorschach that we have yet to truly understand. All we know is that its presence is vast.


Other elements readers should take note of is this work’s flawless transitions. There is a lot going on in this series, but the way this work meticulously moves from panel to panel makes everything cohesive. With this, I believe my favorite artistic aspect of DOOMSDAY CLOCK #3 is the panel that features the phrase, “We’re all mad in here,” carved into the walls of Arkham Asylum. It is such a subtle detail, but it is because of that subtlety that this series has been so great so far.

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DOOMSDAY CLOCK #3 page 13. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

What Lies Beyond

If you haven’t read DOOMSDAY CLOCK #3 yet, you should. The mystery of this work is unraveling before our eyes, yet there are still so many questions that remain. So, I look forward to how Johns and Frank will continue to reveal the true crux of this story. Unfortunately, however, we’ll have to wait until February 28th to get closer it.

DOOMSDAY CLOCK #3 by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank
DOOMSDAY CLOCK #3 features many of its characters enduring painful flashbacks and revelations, but these moments enrich these individuals with life and power.
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Beauty Is pain
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