Firestorm in Russia, Superman doing his best to keep the peace and keep everyone’s heads level, and a late entry from Batman, with no sign of Dr. Manhattan anywhere. Although, surely, Dr. Manhattan’s presence is felt in this book, even if we still don’t concretely know what his plans for the DC universe are, or his part in it. That pretty much sums up this rather dramatic issue of Doomsday Clock #8 in a nutshell.
Geoff Johns has always ‘got’ Superman, but here he builds up the reader’s hope and faith in this global guardian only to pull the rug from under our collective feet and plunge this book back into chaos and starring into the abyss once again. Meanwhile, Ozymandias watches on from afar with a greater knowledge of events than anyone else in this issue.
If this so-called sequel to Watchmen was a record, it’d be a Hip Hop album, given that while it’s an entirely new story, it certainly samples from the original with echoes of the aforementioned series running throughout the book, but sometimes with an updated twist. Instead of Rorschach’s journal, at the end of Watchmen, we have an equally tantalising memory stick, but here the recipient, Lois Lane, does go through with picking it up and taking a look at files that the reader will be more than familiar with, but leaves Lois uncommonly stumped. For now. This is clearly red rage to a bull and intentionally passed on in the knowledge Lois will act upon what she’s seen, just as Rorschach had hoped for his own mail drop so many years ago now. This is just one example of this issue’s cherry picking of the past. The Firestorm incident in Red Square is more than reminiscent of Dr. Manhattan’s own trial by media in Watchmen, and some of the colours, by Brad Anderson, are straight out of the original series, albeit somewhat better rendered due to advancements in colouring over the decades.
The Superman Theory once again rears its ugly head, with Superman firmly a disbeliever, even if others have the evidence to prove otherwise. All the while, Gary Franks keeps us gripped to the page with his stunning, meticulous art. The return, in this series, of his Christopher Reeves inspired Superman is most welcome, and the whole of the Daily Planet, especially a very loud Perry White, has a vibe of the pre-Crisis Superman to me, especially as Franks reverts back to Clark’s formal navy blue suit. A look that does not impress Perry.
After a brief mid-series stumble, this books seems to be back on course, and with only a fist full of issue left, that’s a good thing. Even if it’ll be another two months until my next fix and especially after the explosive revelation at the end of the issue.
Doomsday Clock #8 is available now from DC Comics.