The Beginning of the End in Doomsday Clock #3
In Doomsday Clock #3, we start off by finding out how a certain character is still alive in the DC universe. A fight naturally ensues between him and Ozymandias after the events in issue #2. Batman and Rorschach then come face-to-face in the Batcave, leading Rorschach to give Batman the old Kovacs journal. Bruce offers Rorschach the chance to get cleaned up and get some rest at Wayne Manor. During this, we visit Johnny Thunder at a retirement home, sad that his family is running late to visit. Some fellow residents are fighting over the remote, during which the tv moves between a news report and an old noir movie. The news shows how much the DC universe parallels the Watchmen universe at this point. The movie seems integral to the plot, much like the pirate comic in the original, but I am not fully certain how yet.
The Marionette and the Mime make their way to a bar in Gotham on their journey to find their son. It is here they learn about the Joker when a fight breaks out and we get to see just what these two can do. The issue ends with Batman and Rorschach heading to Arkham Asylum hunting down Dr. Manhattan.
Some folks have complained that this story shouldn’t exist, that Watchmen is sacred and should be left alone. I’m genuinely shocked that it took as long as it did for DC to revisit the Watchmen universe. And there is no better person to handle it than Geoff Johns. While he may be trying to ape Alan Moore’s style, he does a really good job of it while still infusing his own. The fight with the Marionette and the Mime is all Geoff Johns through and through. The rest of the story truly felt like Johns was channeling Moore, and this isn’t a bad thing. The characters all feel like he wrote them, and this could be a direct sequel to the original work, which in a way it is. This story feels like a natural extension of the original.
One of the things I am a bit confused on is how “The Adjournment” fits into the larger story. A lot of emphasis is placed on this fictional noir film and I am fairly certain Johns is using it as a way of reintroducing the JSA to this Rebirth universe. There are several JSA/All-Star Squadron Easter eggs surrounding this film, including nods to Liberty Belle, Tarantula, and Wildcat. To top it all off, the star of the film was an avid watch and clock collector, housing them in a secret room. Sound like anyone you might know from Watchmen? I am not certain how the film’s story will ultimately tie into the story told here, but I like what Johns is doing with it.
The Marionette and the Mime
You can tell that Johns is having a ball writing these two characters. They are the Watchmen’s version of Punch and Jewelee, and they are some fantastic characters. With so much focus being placed on these two individuals, I look forward to seeing how their story arc turns out. I have seen some speculate that perhaps they are the parents to one of the three Jokers running around the DCU. After these three issues so far, I can see that.
The fight sequence in the bar though…Johns and Frank have outdone themselves. The action in this sequence just flows from panel to panel, and the amount of fun both characters have is enjoyable to read, and disturbing at the same time. I can’t gush enough about this scene, and I can’t wait to see where they go from here.
Gary Frank is hands down, one of the greatest artists of this generation. His attention to detail, his facial expressions, everything looks fantastic. I cannot imagine another artist working on this book. From the nine-panel grid layouts to ensuring the symmetry of art in other panels, this book deserves to be looked at. Panels involving Rorschach washing his head and the close up of the bullet wound of the victim in the film, these panels display that symmetry. Speaking of the head wound, take a close look and maybe you’ll see a striking similarity to a certain villain from the original work. It is little touches like this that amplify an already exceptional job Frank is doing with this book. Not to mention that bar fight, but I gushed about that enough already.
I was incredibly nervous about this book when it was first announced. Excited and nervous. So far this book has been on point for me. The writing is excellent, the art is amazing, and the story is a natural extension of the Watchmen and DC universe. While the story is slowly building, we still have 9 issues to go, and if it were told any faster, I believe I would feel cheated. I like the slow-burn feel of this book and I hope the pacing stays as good as it has been. If you were nervous like I was when it came to this book, you really should check it out. Doomsday Clock #3 is a great issue in what is turning out to be a fantastic series. I just hope Johns and Frank are able to stick the landing in the end.
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