DC’s Doomsday Clock imagines a post-Watchmen world


#1

We don’t have a topic about this? DC creates a sequel to Watchmen, for the love of Pete, and nobody created a topic about it yet?

They released the first six pages of the first issue of Doomsday Clock as a teaser, and it is a doozy:

This is… risky, to say the least. But unlike this guy, I am moderately optimistic about it based on those six pages. Yeah, it’ll never be as good as Watchmen — but that is an insanely high water mark to live up to. I mean, no big deal, let’s go ahead and write a sequel to what many consider to be the best comic series of all time? No pressure, or anything.

The only thing I think is questionable is invoking existing DC characters like Batman and Superman when the original Watchmen universe clearly had no connection at all to these characters and was a darker criticism of those superhero tropes. But I am intrigued, and I still want to see how this plays out.

That same guy also says Pax Americana was already a spiritual sequel to Watchmen, and that came out in 2014. It looks impressive, gonna check it out!


#2

But this is not your average mainstream super hero comic. This is the sequel to fucking Watchmen. So I expect more than basic competence.

I LOL’ed.

Also I never noticed this about issue five

And symmetricity is a major recurring element of Watchmen, often linked to the character of Rorschach, whose shifting mask is always made of symmetrical shapes. But Watchmen’s fifth issue, “Fearful Symmetry,” is itself entirely symmetrical. The first page has the same panel layout as the last page, mirrored. So do the second and second-to-last page, the third and third-to-last page, and so on, until you reach the center to find Watchmen’s only double page spread.

Nor this

Johns has made much of how he’s “following the rules of Watchmen.” By which I think he means that he and Gary Frank are working in the nine-panel grid. But there’s another pretty big rule of Watchmen storytelling that he seems to have missed: scene changes only happen at page breaks. One scene can flow into another mid-page, via flashback or a character physically moving from one place to another on-camera. But if a scene is changing completely, to a different place and different characters, that only happens at the page break. And it’s always accompanied by a clever transition. That thing Moore does where the final words of one scene speak to the beginning of the next. It’s Moore being clever, and he really is rather clever. But it’s also Moore at play, having fun with the writing, and that in turn makes Watchmen fun to read.

Anyway the first issue of Doomsday Clock hits November 22.


#3

It’s a sequel to Watchmen from no one involved with Watchmen. Pass.


#4

I am pretty sure everyone involved with Watchmen would have declined to make any kind of sequel in the first place! Not saying I disagree, but you ask the impossible.

Anyway at worst this can be ignored. And what could be more comics than endless reboots and “oh snap that popular character just miraculously came back to life!”

One of my favorites on that topic:


#5

Well, of course they wouldn’t have done one. Because a) Moore has been repeatedly screwed over by DC, and b) it’s a complete story with no need or benefit from followup. But at least Moore would be a reason to read it, if only out of curiosity (it’s not like Frank Miller going back to the Dark Knight well went anywhere worth going, so it’s not like it’d be a guarantee of anything).


#6

DC published the “Before Watchmen” prequels about 5 years ago, without the original creators involved, so it’s not like this is brand new ground for them.


#7

Yeah great point and he returned to it not once, but twice! Dark Knight strikes again (2001-2002) and Dark Knight master race (2015-2017). The original was 1986-ish same time period as Watchmen, yes? And although strikes again was serviceable, it had nowhere near the impact.

Oh yes should have mentioned those!

That depends on what Seymour did in the last frame of the book, though, doesn’t it?


#8

The cliffhanger is part of the story though. The uncertainty of the human condition. Looking at today’s geopolitical climate, are we really any farther from “midnight” than we were in '89 or whatever?

What “really happens next” hasn’t been determined, and never will be, until the answer is “everybody died”.

Which isn’t to say that you can’t continue to tell interesting stories, but saying “and then this is definitely what happened next” is, in my mind, missing the point of the original work.


#9

I’m looking forward to it. The Rebirth book that kicked all this off was really good. Seeds of this event have been threaded through all the core DC books since. Superman’s Mr Oz and Red Robin from Detective Comics are both directly implicated in what’s coming. There was even a fun Mr Mxtlptlk story that points back at it. As I read the Dark Knights: Metal books, which are great, I’m left to wonder if Barbatos is also somehow a part of what they’re building.

The wind-up for this payoff has been huge. We know that Geoff Johns is an excellent plotter. I have high hopes that he’ll be able to deliver on the promises they’ve been making.


#10

Pretty good set of videos from Polygon about the comic and legacy. Doomsday Clock issue #1 is out now?


#11

Still don’t know why Wumpus cares about this sequel (licensed fanfic, really), but regardless, if you’re interested in the artistry behind the layout of Watchmen I highly recommend the late great SEK’s series of posts on visual rhetoric.


#12

Meh, ok now this is kind of bullshit. Their world gets nuked (literally) so they quantum tunnel to the world where Batman and Lex Luthor exist