Doomsday Clock 1-3 by Geoff Johns & Gary Frank | Review


Published on Apr 22, 2019


We all know that Watchmen, absolute masterpiece of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, has represented a watershed in the context of american comics. After the shocking work of revisionism supereroico, the comics of the magistrates in tights were not the same. The Bard of Northampton not only brought to the fore with wit, the inherent ambiguous nature of the concept of the superhero, with their strengths and weaknesses, but the proposed mode of narrative which later influenced and continue to influence, many authors.

The success of Watchmen, it was epochal, and the maxiserie obtained feedback and attention outside the comics (the literary supplement of the Times has inserted even in the list of one hundred novels in the English language, the most important of the Twentieth century). For this reason, the DC tried to convince Alan Moore to develop a following, without success. The controversy between the Magus and the publishing house are not a mystery and at some point the DC in the possession of the rights of the characters, has decided to use them with the initiative, Before Watchmen, which proposed miniseries set in a period prior to the work of Moore and Gibbons, made by a cartoonist of the highest level.

None, however, had the courage to write a sequel, because it was not intended to be put in comparison with him who, unanimously, is considered the most important writer of comics worldwide. In the end, however, someone with the courage she found it: Geoff Johns, a writer who, like Grant Morrison, in the last few years has made the fortune of the DC with its acclaimed run of the Green Lantern and other fine works. Johns has begun to set up the idea of the sequel, called the Doomsday Clock, from a long time. The premises implied are in the saga Flashpoint but in fact the events of the maxiserie are anticipated in the special DC Universe: Rebirth.

Doomsday Clock, also marks the official entrance of the characters of Watchmen into the DCU proper (the story of Moore took place in a different world than Superman and Batman). It is perhaps a provocation, and we must say that the idea has been welcomed in a way contrasting from the fans. But if it is for this reason, the whole operation is destined, by its very nature to arouse controversy. Lion is translating the series, and with these first three numbers so far out there you can form an opinion.

Sure Johns is in good faith and intends to pay homage to the milestone Moore. Part from the point of Watchmen was done. Ozymandias had staged a fake alien invasion, with the aim of bringing to an end the conflicts between the United States and the Soviet Union, and push the two powers to abandon their hostilities and unite against a common enemy. The price to pay, however, was high, considering that the insane plan of Ozymandias has caused millions of deaths.

Johns shows us a reality that is shocking. Ozymandias has failed in his task because the truth is leaked and the world is likely to again be destroyed. The only one who could possibly save the situation is Dr. Manhattan, but the latter has disappeared. Ozymandias, however, believes he has discovered the place where they are hiding and that is, in the DC Universe Batman and his companions. It is not yet clear, but it seems that Dr. Manhattan was the responsible of all the events in the DCU from Flashpoint to the New 52 until Rebirth.

Johns, in addition, it places the plot in a subsequent period to that of the albi DC currently in course of publication, and the context is definitely different. The community supereroica, in fact, is facing big problems because of a conspiracy theory, superheroes of the Golden Age, it seems that never existed (by the way, nobody remembers them) and it's clear that the DCU is in danger, perhaps to the fault of the same as Dr. Manhattan.

First and foremost, with the help of a new Rorschach and the two criminals, Mime and Puppet, comes to the DCU with the intention of find Manhattan. But things will not be easy and there will be surprises and twists. Johns conceives of a plot of wide-ranging, from the pace of the narrative slow, more or less as in the case of the first episodes of v for vendetta, and from the complex structure. In some moments, likes to mimic the writing style of Moore and it follows the setting of meta-narrative.

In Watchmen, in fact, there was a story within a story, the story of a comic book of pirates the dark and gritty whose events had parallels with the main one. Here happens something similar. Some people see a series of films focusing on a detective, Nathaniel Dusk, and even in this case there are analogies between the history of the Doomsday Clock and that of the film. Also, the detective had been in the past, the protagonist of the various comic-book DC signed by Don McGregor and Gene Colan. In the story-line of the Doomsday Clock, a major role will play Carver Coleman, the actor who plays the Dusk in the movies and probably has the same function as the writer disappeared Watchmen.

Each episode is then accompanied in the appendix by material in prose that clearly refers to the work of Moore and Gibbsons. The penciler Gary Frank has a style that is natural and detailed, deliberately dirty, and does not follow the model of Gibbons; but the structure of the tables is the nine vignettes that characterized Watchmen. Frank, then, does not renounce its personality of the artist but, in part, connects to the Gibbons, doing an excellent job, enhanced by the colors dark and evocative of the Brant Anderson.

At this point, however, that judgment should be made on the Doomsday Clock? You have to commend Geoff Johns for having done something that, I repeat, so far no one had had the courage to try. Writes definitely text and dialogue kept. The craft does not lack, and this is undeniable.

For the moment, however, the storyline is not exciting, and I have a feeling that will be reduced to an exercise in style, sterile, and superficial, based on commercial purposes. Va also specified that already have a lot of Watchmen in these first three numbers are changed, and deny. Perhaps certain masterpieces should not be touched; and perhaps it would have been preferable not to perform Doomsday Clock.


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