Deconstructing the Doomsday Clock #3

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Doomsday Clock 3

Where we are:

Gotham City, after Ozymandias and Rorschach II have taken Earth-Watchmen villains Mime and Marionette on board the Owlship to seek out Doctor Manhattan. Looking to confide with the two smartest men on this new Earth, Ozymandias went to consult with Lex Luthor while Rorschach II went to see Bruce Wayne. While at Lexcorp, Ozymandias is confronted by the deceased Comedian, who shoots Lex. And Rorschach II finds the Batcave after having eaten Bruce's pancakes.

Now:

It would appear that when Ozymandias threw Edward Blake, aka The Comedian, through his apartment window, his body was teleported before the impact with the sidewalk and replaced with an exact duplicate -- both things within Doctor Manhattan's capabilities. Blake's actual body landed in the water outside of Metropolis, where Doctor Manhattan gave him instructions.

As Ozymandias and The Comedian fight, Ozymandias escapes through the window, barely surviving the controlled fall while cradling the young Bubastis II. We don't see any more of him this issue.

At Wayne Manor, Rorschach II gives up trying to explain what he's doing to Batman and instead hands him the first Rorschach's journal. Batman provides Rorschach II with an opportunity to clean up and rest while he reviews the journal, and we learn that this new Rorschach was a taxi driver at ground zero of the Watchmen "invasion" event. (He even has an action figure Bubastis hanging from his rearview mirror.)

When Rorschach II awakens, Batman says he has completed the journal and knows where Doctor Manhattan is, claiming to have tracked a temporal anomaly to Arkham Asylum. With Rorschach II in tow, they sneak into the asylum and find an empty cell, which Batman claims to be the source of the emanations. However, when Rorschach II enters the cell, Batman closes the door behind him, apologizing but claiming that Rorschach II belongs in here. (Note: In Gotham City, apparently Batman has the authority to commit people to Arkham without benefit of a doctor.)

The Mime and Marionette have escaped their bonds in the Owlship and are free to wreak havoc. They leave the abandoned amusement park, passing freak show posters -- one of which is for Ramses the Monkey Man. (Note: Rameses II is an alternate identity for the historical Ozymandias.) They find a bar and are instantly singled out because they are both wearing make-up, which apparently "the boss" frowns upon. The bar is frequented by goons of The Joker. A fight breaks out, in which Mime and Marionette are fatally victorious. We see that Mime does indeed have weapons, and those weapons are invisible -- something new from the WATCHMEN universe. So the guns he holds, the knives he wields, the lock-picks he carries -- they are all physical objects that we simply cannot see.

After having dispatched of the goons, Mime and Marionette have a drink and decide to go off to find this "Joker" who runs the joint.

Finally, we have our "story within the story." Just as WATCHMEN had "Tales of the Black Freighter," DOOMSDAY CLOCK apparently has it's NATHANIEL DUSK marathon, starring Carver Colman. We see bits and pieces of this murder mystery on the television set of a retirement home, as it gets switched back and forth from the story to news coverage of world events, specifically the metahumans who are coming forward and claiming that they were created by the government. We learn that over ninety percent of all metahumans are Americans created after the arrival of Superman, and that other countries are in a metahuman arms race to create their own super beings.

Off to the side of these events in the home stands an aging Johnny Thunder, who has rare moments of lucidity where he remembers a life with the Justice Society. Tonight he stares longingly out the window waiting for his granddaughter and her son to visit, who never arrive.

Finally, there's the backup piece of text, this time a Hollywood tabloid story about the murder of Carver Colman and his life. In sidebar notes, we learn about the birth of Rita Farr, a conspiracy in the death of Sgt Rock, and reference to John Law and Libby Lawrence (aka Justice Society members Tarantula and Liberty Belle).

Some of these events are things that have been dangling out there since May 2016 without resolution. At some point, you have to wonder when the foreplay is going to end and some actual gratification take place, some payoff for our months of investment. And just to draw out the tease, DC has announced that DOOMSDAY CLOCK is going to enter a bi-monthly schedule, apparently trying to mirror WATCHMEN so closely that I suspect there will be a six-month publication gap between issues 11 and 12.

Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0