The world has lost faith in metahumans. They have lost trust in those who have vowed to protect them. During the events of DOOMSDAY CLOCK #8, Superman defended his ally Firestorm, who had been blamed for an outburst that affected a multitude of innocents, turning them into glass. The world was not appreciative of Superman’s disposition. As a result, they turned on him, catalyzing yet another catastrophic moment seemingly caused by Firestorm. This time though, an explosion ensued. Now, in DOOMSDAY CLOCK #9, the crisis amongst metahumans only deepens.

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DOOMSDAY CLOCK #9 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

A League of Their Own

DOOMSDAY CLOCK #9 begins with an introspective Doctor Manhattan. He roams the surface of Mars alone, contemplating how one simple act can orchestrate leaps of change in the future. Though Doctor Manhattan has always been able to experience the past, present, and future simultaneously, his vision has now become obscured.

The cause?

Apparently, a detonation on Earth created a Tachyon Fog that has affected Doctor Manhattan’s ability to see into the future. Now, though he is uncertain of the future, Doctor Manhattan does indeed know that a catastrophic confrontation between him and Superman is impending.

Back on Earth, Superman is unconscious. He remains hidden away in the Hall of Justice following the events that transpired in Russia in DOOMSDAY CLOCK #8. As a result of those events, the world has begun to turn on Superman. Consequently, the President of the United States takes his own stand against Superman. This stand bolsters an effort to realign American sentiments with humans rather than metahumans.

So, a multitude of metahumans flees Earth in an effort to seek sanctuary, including Firestorm and the majority of the Justice League. The League determines that Firestorm was not the one that caused the detonation in Russia. Rather, it was some other extremely powerful force.

Thus, the Justice League travels to Mars with the hopes of finding answers.

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DOOMSDAY CLOCK #9 page 2. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Defeat

Meanwhile, Superman remains unconscious as Lois Lane stays by his bedside. However, an unexpected visitor arrives: Lex Luthor.

Luthor claims a certain force is not only undermining Superman but also all creation. He goes on to ask if she has heard of Wally West, seemingly alluding to the ongoing events of HEROES IN CRISIS.

On Mars, the Justice League confront Doctor Manhattan, a meeting that eventually turns violent. Unsurprisingly, Doctor Manhattan remains the last one standing as he fends off the entirety of the League with ease.

Though DOOMSDAY CLOCK #9 maintains the gradual pace of its recent predecessors, writer Geoff Johns presents a handful of new revelations within the series’ plot. Firstly, the conflict between metahumans and Earth as a whole has escalated greatly. This conflict has resulted in a grand exodus of metahumans from Earth. Thus, one must consider what will become of the world when there are no superheroes around, or wanted, to protect it.

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DOOMSDAY CLOCK #9 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Mysterious Case of Wally West

Additionally, Lex’s reference to Wally West presents an interesting concept to consider. Will the plot of HEROES IN CRISIS intersect with that of DOOMSDAY CLOCK? DOOMSDAY CLOCK #6 did reference one of the many deaths that took place at the Sanctuary. So, perhaps the catastrophes of HEROES IN CRISIS will play a larger role in DOOMSDAY CLOCK than any of us anticipated.

Of course, this installment is far from perfect. The gradual pace of this series as of late has affected its advancement and ultimate ability to strongly establish various characters such as Doctor Manhattan, the Comedian, Lex Luthor, Superman, etc.

Despite the fact that this series is approaching its conclusion, we have yet to obtain a well-rounded understanding of these characters’ objectives in relation to the overarching narrative. Additionally, that overarching narrative is still shrouded in ambiguity.

DOOMSDAY CLOCK only has three issues left. So, in order for this series to feel like a cohesive, worthwhile follow-up to WATCHMEN, there will need to be definitive developments. Hopefully, these developments will unfold following Doctor Manhattan’s defeat of the Justice League.

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DOOMSDAY CLOCK #9 page 20. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Many Hues of DOOMSDAY CLOCK #9

Artist Gary Frank has maintained consistency throughout his work on the DOOMSDAY CLOCK run. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of his illustrations is his ability to balance the scope of the series with the intimacy of dialogue-heavy sequences.

In regard to this issue, the sequence that stands out the most is the one in which the Justice League attempts to overcome Doctor Manhattan. We witness the chaos on the League’s side in their efforts to enact even a bit of damage upon Doctor Manhattan. Frank depicts each League member’s own frustrations, pain, and fury in unleashing everything they have upon their opponent. Meanwhile, their sentiments are greatly juxtaposed by Doctor Manhattan’s composure and general detachment.

With this, letterer Rob Leigh truly excels in this particular issue. This series has very much been driven by dialogue rather than action. This ultimately places pressure on Leigh to capture the series’ moving pieces.

Yet, he greatly succeeds in doing so as the script never overwhelms the images within the panel.

Thus, the artwork of DOOMSDAY CLOCK #9 and the series as a whole is definitely worth admiring.

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DOOMSDAY CLOCK #9 page 21. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

What Lies Beyond

The end is nigh for DOOMSDAY CLOCK, and there are still a plethora of mysteries waiting to be addressed.

With three issues remaining in the monumental series, one cannot help but express concern over the remaining issues’ ability to wrap everything up nicely.

Although, one must also consider that there are surely various twists and turns that lie ahead.

So, yes, I may be treading lightly with what this series’s end will bring. But, I am greatly anticipating the journey that remains.

DOOMSDAY CLOCK #9 by Geoff Johns & Gary Frank
DOOMSDAY CLOCK #9 brings a handful of memorable moments to the table, even if they are not necessarily enough to change the tide of the series.
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