It has been over a year since DC Comics started the Rebirth event. It was revealed the event involved some of the most important comic book characters of all time from Watchmen. There are many different hints at Dr. Manhattan altering the timeline of the DC Universe from Superman to Batman, and the new Titans comics as well. All of these events and hints have come to a point last week in the release of Doomsday Clock #1. This will NOT be a spoiler free review, you have been warned.
Back to basics.
The comic picks up about 1 years time from the end of the Watchmen series itself. The heroes that were left at the end of the comic are in hiding, Rorschach is rumored to have committed suicide and the world knows that Ozymandias was behind the attacks in New York. That last one in particular was a huge revelation, meaning that Oz’s plan to unite the world with tragedy did not work the way he thought it would. Ozymandias himself is in hiding and the comic shows a crowd rioting outside of his building, and eventually breaking into the place. The story is being told by Rorschach out of his journal just like the Watchmen comics. The art style is similar as well, using the signature block style on each page.
The story details how the world is falling apart after the revelation of Ozymandias deceiving everyone. War is breaking out everywhere, in particular Russia invaded Poland and the US got involved. The comic shows a prison evacuating due to threatening attacks. An inmate grabs a guard through the bars and demands to be given the keys to be released when a fist come off the side of the panel and knocks the guard out. The inmate is shocked to see none other than Rorschach taking the keys off the body of the guard. But didn’t he get disintegrated by Dr. Manhattan at the end of Watchmen? It turns out Rorschach was there to release two new characters known as The Marionette and The Mime.
He leads the pair out of the riots within and throughout the prison to a clandestine bunker of some sort containing one of Nite Owl’s suits and his aircraft. It’s revealed Rorschach, who may or may not be the original, is working with Adrian Veidt who sent him to the prison to free the two inmates.
Clark shows up.
It’s at this point that the comic switches over Superman. It is not entirely clear if the events shown before and the timing of Clark’s story are taking place at the same time. Clark has a dream flashback of going to what may be his high school prom. His parents drop him off, and subsequently after that are involved in a car accident that results in both of their deaths. He awakes next to his wife Lois who mentions she could not remember the last time he had a nightmare and he remarks he doesn’t know if he has ever had one.
I have to admit I was also a little saddened that there was so little time devoted to a mainstream character like Superman. But overall the comic was great, many of us have been waiting what seems like forever for this to be released. The artwork, the brutality, and the storytelling all do very well paying homage to the original Watchmen comics. This is panning out to be a huge event that will hopefully make sense of the confusion of making everything pre New 52 canon again as well as change the face of the DCU forever by making the Watchmen characters commonplace in that setting. Here’s to hoping this turns out to be the epic event we all hope for it to be.