Saturday, 27 January 2018

Doomsday Clock #3 Review (Geoff Johns, Gary Frank)

The Comedian and Ozymandias square off for Round 2 – against a window atop still another skyscraper, naturally! – but Eddie died… didn’t he? Meanwhile, another supposedly dead Watchman, “Rorschach”, hangs out at Wayne Manor as Batman reads Walter Kovacs’ rambling, paranoid journal and Mime and Marionette sample the Gotham nightlife by taking in a comedy show – but will their antics amuse the city’s resident clown, Mistah J… ?

Doomsday Clock #3 is slightly better than the last issue though it’s still at best a mediocre comic. Geoff Johns spins an alternate ending for the Comedian which was at least a more interesting explanation than how Rorschach is still walking around. The mystery of Dr Manhattan’s plans continues… And the fight between Comedian and Ozymandias was cool with Adrian caught on the wrong foot this time.

For a comic featuring both Batman and Rorschach, it’s the new kids on the block’s storyline, Mime and Marionette, that was surprisingly the most compelling (Batman and Rorschach don’t really do anything – there’s a glimpse into Rorschach’s origin but it didn’t explain much and was kinda boring). Their weird mime powers are curious and clever and it was funny to see real-life British comedian Stewart Lee cameo - I guess he’s mates with Geoff/Gary Frank? It’s disappointing though that we’re gonna have to wait at least another issue before we get to see what Joker makes of the Watchmen.

I wasn’t clear on the meaning of the scenes in the old folks’ home with the detective movie playing except to needlessly highlight comparisons to Rorschach and where his appearance and stilted, noir-ish speaking style comes from. I do know that those scenes were very tedious and unentertaining! And, like in the original Watchmen, a prose section is included which, also like in the original Watchmen, isn’t worth reading.

There’s also some news talking heads reporting on European metahuman experiments to make up for America having the majority of the superheroes, so I expect that’s foreshadowing for a whole bunch of new characters to emerge from this event. Still, I quite like Mime and Marionette so maybe that’s not a bad thing?

Doomsday Clock #3 is a perfectly readable comic with some fine moments and great art as always from Gary Frank but what little story has emerged so far is moving at a frustratingly glacial pace. Perhaps Johns will deliver on what he’s set up in future issues but for now Doomsday Clock remains an underwhelming read.

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