Doomsday Clock #9 is the most Watchmen-like issue yet with the much anticipated spotlight finally resting on Dr. Manhattan, currently situated on Mars. We have his familiar non-linear thinking that sees his thoughts jump from one moment in time to another, with even more evidence he has more than a passing acquaintance with the DCU. Is he the reason the Justice Society of America have been wiped out of history? And for what purpose? Plus, what’s the big idea with remembering Ferro Lad, who famously gave his life to save the Legion of Superheroes and Earth in the classic Sun Eater storyline way, way back in Adventure Comics #353? It can’t be a coincidence, right?
All the while, the combined forces of Earth’s meta-humans (well, the good guys anyway) are getting their asses to Mars and heading directly for the mother of all showdowns with Dr Manhattan, with Guy Gardner arrogantly leading the charge boasting about all the past crises they have overcome. Still you know what they say pride comes before? Meanwhile, Ronnie Raymond gets a startling shock when he is transported back to his very own origin story, seven odd years ago, and listens in on Professor Martin Stein. It’s a shock for him as much as it’s a shocks for the reader, who is still reeling from the events of last issue that resulted in Superman out for the count and in a coma, with Batman decommissioned too. Its all looking a bit bleak, isn’t it? But then, this is a Watchmen sequel after all, so it’s only fitting that one again the little hand is on the eleven, while the big hand is closing in on midnight.
Geoff Johns is not done yet with building up on the mysteries surrounding this book, as well as the speculation on the aforementioned superhero teams from DC’s past and future and I’m still fascinated to see how this all pans out in juts another three issues. Gary Frank choreography of the set pieces in this issue – particularly the battle with Dr Manhattan – are wonderful to behold and the attention to detail is, as always, meticulously crafted to give us characters instantly recognisable but also characters with real weight and individuality about them.
Its another satisfying but frustrating issue as I know I’m now going to have to wait another two months until the next installment while, all around this book, the DCU continues to grow and develop almost ignoring what was once billed as such a momentous series. Manhattan seems almost like a curious child, rather than a god, and its this emotionless, detached curiously that may very well be his undoing in the end as he figures out the question we’re all asking: does Superman destroy him, or does he destroy everything? 3 issue left, but six bloody months in which to tell the remainder of this saga. Damn it.
Doomsday Clock #9 is out now from DC Comics