Ricky Church reviews DC’s Doomsday Clock #2…
Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s second issue into the anticipated Doomsday Clock moves the story along at a brisk pace, already having a couple of the central characters come face-to-face with two of DC’s big powerhouses. Johns still gives the story to develop, however, and further build the relationships between Ozymandias and his new band of heroes. The second issue includes a lot of build-up and some interesting revelations on the current situation in the DC Universe, showing its not too far from where Watchmen began.
The issue again put the Watchmen characters first as Ozymandias and Rorschach explore the world of DC. Johns writes them well, particularly Ozymandias. As one of the original Watchmen characters, Ozymandias didn’t have too much to do in the story until the climactic final issues where his fulfills his plan to ‘save’ the world. Johns’ take on the anti-hero is in line with Moore’s vision, capturing his arrogance, intelligence and charm, though that’s all put to the test against DC’s notorious smartest man in the world.
Ozymandias and Lex Luthor share a great scene that shows despite their similarities, they are fairly different. Compared to Lex, Ozymandias’ arrogance is nothing. Johns has always worked wonders with Lex Luthor, especially in Forever Evil and through his New 52 Justice League run. Its a testament to Johns’ take on Lex – and to the character himself – that he is utterly unimpressed with Ozymandias or his scheme to save the world from itself. Their scene was brief, but its exciting to see see them together and how their interactions might evolve.
The two new characters, Marionette and Mime, also get some time to shine as some of their backstory as the issue flashes back a bit to their final crime spree. Its an interesting look at how these two were the Bonnie & Clyde of Watchmen, or perhaps more like Joker and Harley Quinn as Marionette seems very influenced by Harley. Mime continues to be an interesting character to see. His imaginary weapons are fun, but it also shows that he is quite skilled and intelligent as he somehow successfully breaks him and Marionette out of their bonds by the issue’s end, despite not having a real set of lock picks. Marionette herself is interesting, showing a combination of brutality and compassion that makes her stick up for the bank teller they were holding at gunpoint. Its also interesting to think of what Dr. Manhattan could have possibly seen in her to spare her life or if there is more to Marionette than we’re led to believe.
The overall story moves at a nice pace. Not much happens in this issue as its character interactions and development are the main focus, but that’s also what makes the issue so strong. There’s a little bit of backstory that readers need to catch up on, but, much like Watchmen, its found in the back supplementary material that paints an interesting look at how the DC Universe has changed (this story takes place a year from where the current comics are).
Gary Frank’s art is also great, making his character work, especially his facial expressions, detailed. His body language in particular is great, from the way Marionette shifts her pose before she strikes or how Rorschach discovers the Batcave. Brad Anderson’s colours elevate the issue, using a nice combination of darks and shadows throughout Gotham City.
Doomsday Clock is shaping up to be a very interesting story, especially with the cliffhangers presented. Its characters are well written with interesting themes and some very well done art. The prospect of seeing Batman and Rorschach together is great and one that Johns will more than likely deliver on.