The time has come as all of earth’s heroes are off-world, only very few remain to stand in the way of global unrest.
As the earth burns in chaos, and major cities riot out of madness and hysteria, Black Adam and his revolutionaries make their way to the White House. Dr. Manhattan sees the future conflict, Ozymandias sees the end, and only Superman holds the key to either saving or destroying the universe. What will become of Dr. Manhattan? What will Lex Luthor and Lois Lane discover that may hold the key to saving the world? And what will Superman do about it?
This issue was jam-packed with a lot of moving parts such as where all of the characters on earth are as the world is facing the ticking clock of time and possible death. There was so much that happened in this issue while at the same time, there was stuff that I felt at times sorta lacking. Johns provides a good exposition from the eyes of Ozymandias and Lex Luthor, detailing how everything has led to this issue, such as Dr. Manhattan’s whereabouts throughout time and space, Kid Flash’s Rebirth, and everything related to the Superman theory.
It’s interesting to see how John’s details everything through Ozymandias discussion with Irma (Saturn Girl). Yet despite all of this, there are scenes that I kinda wished that Johns had within this issue such as Wonder Woman’s battle against Black Adam and his revolutionaries at the UN, or Batman’s battle to prevent nuclear fallout while Marionette and Mime are ravaging the streets as the world is on fire. But this is a Watchmen sequel, so of course, those moments aren’t meant to be on full display since they are not as important as the overall narrative that focuses on Ozymandias, Dr. Manhattan, and Superman.
Despite the Alan Moore-ish writing, John’s still makes the effort to showcase bits and pieces of the battles that happen between panels here and there, building suspense within the claustrophobic 9 panel grid format, which does more than enough to provide anxiety as things chaotically spiral towards the incoming confrontation that Dr. Manhattan has long dreamed about since the inception of this series. It’s fascinating that it’s taken almost two years just to get to the final issues of Doomsday Clock given all of the delays, which have both helped and hurt the book. It’s helped the book in regards to good writing and fantastic artwork provided by Gary Frank and Brad Anderson, who continue to deliver the very best art that comics can offer within the 21st century.
If not Johns, It’s safe to say Gary Frank’s artwork is one of the biggest strengths of this series due to how thematic and atmospheric they are. There is anxiety, claustrophobia, suspense and tension within each panel, strengthening John’s writing and making a visual force that keeps anyone eyes glued to the page. It’s almost insane that the book has had delays, but when looking at Frank’s art, I’m able to forgive the delays due to Frank’s tremendous effort to provide the strongest artwork of his career at DC. Anderson’s colors truly make this book feel more cinematic than what is seen on actual film, providing grit and grim color tones, while also providing vibrant colors that make Frank’s art really fly off the pages with power.
What impacted my reading experience was that I was listening to Tool’s Fear Inoculum album as I was reading this issue. As I got to the final pages, the song “Invincible” was playing which surprising enhanced the reading experience for me given that the story was already culminating to a huge cliff hanger and finish that hit all of the right checkmarks to an issue that is the last installment before the big finale issue. I guess in a funny way, Both Tool and the team on Doomsday Clock have a lot in common when it comes to delivering content that takes long to put out, but once it’s released, you can’t help but forget about the delays when you finally get the content in your hands.
This might be crazy of me to say, but I’d rather Johns and Frank take that time, to make that final issue jam-packed with like, 52 pages (see what I did there) to really tell the story that they need to tell. The last thing anyone wants is a conclusion that doesn’t stick the landing (Game of Thrones, I’m looking at you), so if this conclusion is gonna be anything, it has to make the delays and journey truly worth it. With that said, I generally liked this issue, while not as mind-blowing as issue 8,9 and 10, it still keeps the engines running along, and now with one issue left, I can’t help but wonder whether or not Johns will truly stick the landing. As crazy as the journey to the end has been, I know that once this series is collected in trade, it will read better, and I can’t fault anyone from wanting to hold off until the series is in trade. But for now, as of this moment, we as readers will have to wait to see how it concludes. Now, is this issue worth reading? Yes. Is this issue worth adding to your pull list? I’d say absolutely, especially If you want to avoid spoilers for new comic book day.