Wednesday, December 18, 2019

DOOMSDAY CLOCK #12 by Geoff Johns - Comic Book Review

From the publisher: This is it! The final showdown between Dr. Manhattan and Superman shakes up the DC Universe to its very core! But can even the Man of Steel walk out from the shadow of Manhattan?

After a somewhat sporadic publishing schedule, we finally get to read Geoff Johns's Doomsday Clock #12. The big question coming into this issue was can Johns stick the landing? Well, in my opinion, he did, and did a terrific job of it.

This issue showed the confrontation between Dr. Manhattan and Superman that the series had been building toward for some time. This was the point at which Manhattan could no longer see the future, so he believed the battle would end with one of them dead, and possibly with the end of the universe. In addition, Johns needed to tie up the stories of Mime and Marionette, Carver Coleman, the Comedian, Ozymandias, Rorschach and Batman, Lois and Lex Luthor, and the world's anger with Superman and the American heroes. Each of these threads was given its time, and whether or not you believe their resolutions were satisfactory is a matter of reader opinion. I liked how Johns brought each to end, and those endings felt genuine and true to the story.

Going in to Doomsday Clock, I don't know exactly what I expected, but it wasn't totally what Johns delivered. And that's not a criticism, it's more that I just didn't have any idea where the story might go or how he might tie together all of the various DC reboots over the years. Putting Superman front and center in DC history was both brilliant, and in retrospect, super obvious. I really liked the way Johns used the nearly 100 years of DC history to support his story, yet was also to make some sense of the sometimes convoluted history of the characters, many who have existed in various iterations since the beginning. I'm also glad that rather than rewrite characters yet again, to make them younger, hipper, more diverse, more accessible, etc., DC let Johns restore many beloved characters to the DC Universe proper, such as the Legion of Superheroes, the Justice Society of America, Wally West, and others.

One final comment. Geoff Johns and Gary Frank did a wonderful job of writing and drawing this series in much of the same style as Alan Moore's Watchmen without feeling like it was just a copy of that story. It was a nice tribute, capturing some of the feel of that great story.

I would highly recommend Doomsday Clock #12 by Geoff Johns. It brings a very satisfying conclusion to the series, makes sense of the New 52 reboot, as well as the rest of DC's history, and provides a great way forward for the heroes and villains of DC, including in the Watchmen universe. This is definitely a series worth reading and I'm glad I stuck with it through its various publishing delays.

I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics in exchange for an honest review.

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