Beware: spoilers for DOOMSDAY CLOCK #2 abound!

When I first heard that a sequel to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ WATCHMEN was in production, I was uncertain. On one hand, I felt that the 1985 masterpiece of a graphic novel should be left alone. Its ambiguous ending was appropriate for the story, and the work’s distinction from the rest of the DC Universe was necessary. However, I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to witness characters like Superman and Batman interact with the Watchmen cast.

On November 22, 2017, DC Comics released the first entry of the twelve-issue series. Though I had my reservations, the introductory issue managed to catch my attention. So, here I am, assessing the next chapter of the story.

doomsday clock #2
DOOMSDAY CLOCK #2 Variant Cover. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Three Minutes to Midnight

The narrative of DOOMSDAY CLOCK #2 revolves around Adrian Veidt’s (aka Ozymandias) plan to locate Doctor Manhattan, formerly known as Jon Osterman. After the climactic events of WATCHMEN, Doctor Manhattan exiled himself to Mars. During the course of the 1987 graphic novel, Ozymandias facilitated false rumors regarding Doctor Manhattan and his potential to cause cancer.

Now, in DOOMSDAY CLOCK, Ozymandias has allied himself with Rorschach. Of course, this Rorschach isn’t the Walter Kovacs we came to know in WATCHMEN. However, the questions regarding his identity have yet to be answered.

Thus, in an effort to locate Doctor Manhattan, the two, along with the Marionette and the Mime, travel to an alternate version of Earth, discovering DC’s Earth Prime. Though WATCHMEN was published by DC, its events were distinct from the rest of the DC Universe. Thus, characters such as Batman and Superman didn’t exist in the world of WATCHMEN.

That is until now, of course.

DOOMSDAY CLOCK #1 Review: A Reverberating Tick [SPOILERS!]

Upon the end of this issue, Ozymandias and Rorschach agree to meet the smartest men in on this alternate Earth in an effort to understand it. Ozymandias confronts Lex Luthor while Rorschach meets Bruce Wayne. The conclusion of DOOMSDAY CLOCK #2 not only features highly-anticipated meetings, but it also includes unexpected cameos, including one from none other than the Comedian! With this, I particularly enjoy the issue’s pacing. It makes no rush in developing the story and interweaving two worlds that have been distinct for thirty years. Additionally, Geoff Johns has done an excellent job thus far in balancing the concept of DOOMSDAY CLOCK as both a sequel and an innovative crossover.

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DOOMSDAY CLOCK #2 page 17. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Many Hues of DOOMSDAY CLOCK #2

With this, I enjoy the way the formatting of the panels and the work’s lettering parallels that of the original series. Thus, the collaboration between colorist Brad Anderson and artist Gary Frank establishes a tone that prepares audiences for a darker tale. There’s some beautiful detail throughout DOOMSDAY CLOCK #2. Each and every panel maintains its own intricacies, allowing readers to engage in this collision of universes.

Perhaps my favorite illustration is the one depicted above. The Bat-signal illuminates the clouds of Gotham City as the Owlship flies through the mirage, making its landing on Earth. It is truly a gorgeous image. It’s also one that exemplifies the exact moment that two worlds within the DC Universe merge.

Who Watches WATCHMEN…On HBO

One of the most brilliant aspects of DOOMSDAY CLOCK #2’s imagery is its ability to maintain simplicity yet convey so much meaning. In the panels below, Rorschach is investigating Wayne Manor. As he does so, he casts a large shadow across a bookshelf. The shadow only grows larger as Rorschach begins to move. Of course, this sequence could have various interpretations. However, I believe it parallels the new Rorschach’s desire, and struggle, to maintain the legacy of the original. Walter Kovacs exposed Ozymandias’ evil plan to the world. So, will the new Rorschach be able to live up to the impact of his predecessor?

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DOOMSDAY CLOCK #2 page 22. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

What Lies Beyond

Bruce Wayne has met Rorschach. Lex Luthor has met Ozymandias. The Comedian lives. DOOMSDAY CLOCK #2 exhibits some exciting twists and turns. Now, we must wait and see how these new alliances will change the course of the story as well as the DC Universe in general.

As of this issue, though, the narrative of DOOMSDAY CLOCK appears to be moving in exciting, new directions!

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DOOMSDAY CLOCK #2 by Geoff Johns, Gary Frank, & Brad Anderson
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
The next entry of the WATCHMEN sequel balances nostalgia with exciting new developments and long-awaited meetings.
89 %
A tremendous chapter
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