Doomsday Clock #3
Written by: Geoff Johns
Art by: Gary Frank
The story takes a turn in the third chapter of this 12-issue series you never thought you’d see, from writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank.
The last issue of the highly anticipated DCU/Watchmen event, Doomsday Clock, left readers with a huge cliffhanger; the return of The Comedian. This issue picks up right after that moment and has him go up against Ozymandias for the second time, definitely well prepared. Gary Frank’s is near perfection as blows are being traded between the two, and we get a very entertaining fight. The Comedian’s return is somewhat explained here, with Dr. Manhattan seemingly pulling him from the air and into the DC universe after being pushed by Ozymandias way back then. It’s still a mystery if this occurred exactly after the murder as that wouldn’t make much sense because in Watchmen his dead body is mentioned and blood is seen. Everything has happened for a reason so far, and I wouldn’t doubt it if Geoff Johns has something up his sleeve here.
That last sentence there is something I tell myself frequently throughout the series so far. There has been quite a few twist and turns so far, yet there hasn’t been a whole lot of explanation. This doesn’t actually matter that much (for now) since the writing itself is so confident and the art perfectly matching it. Every page has a purpose, grand or small, and every panel is drawn to back that up. Rarely do you see the art and the writing pair so incredibly well together, it certainly deserves high praise here.
After Ozymandias narrowly escapes the Comedian, we get back to Batman and Rorschach meeting for the first time. It’s a great scene that only gets better and better. As Batman continuously questions this masked person is in his sacred Batcave. He and Alfred are pretty welcoming of him though, even giving him a room to freshen up. We also get a reveal(?) on who this new Rorschach is, and it’s a random guy it seems.
We get to see a flashback of him driving just as the big monster attacks the city at the end of Watchmen, which begs the question as to how and why he survived the attack. Also how he got his hands on Rorschach’s journal, and how it leads to taking on the mantel. Much is to be revealed here and it seems like we are mainly getting small answers to bigger questions here. Every small reveal brings up a dozen other questions, and I think it’s what keeps this comic glued to your eyes.
The Marionette and Mime side story, that will seemingly end up crossing paths with the Joker, is as interesting as ever in this issue. They are very interesting characters that you just want to know more about, which is saying as this same comic features Batman and Rorschach. We get a reveal on how Marionette seemingly always has weapons on him, but you never see them as they are invisible. Well, it’s all a trick as his gun is very much real, but it’s just nearly invisible. I assume it’s made with some clear material that can withstand the pressure of a gun firing, no matter what it is I found it a very enjoyable reveal.
The ending has Batman decide to lock up Rorschach in Arkham Asylum, seemingly due to the fact he truly thinks the guy is out of his mind. That may be true, but I think there’s more to why Batman would lock him up just like that. We know he’s been investigating this for over a year now, so when one of the biggest clues to the “Button” mystery is literally handed to him you have to wonder if he would really just lock the guy up. I could be overthinking it, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if it’s revealed in the next issue Batman knows exactly what he’s doing.
The main aspect that sticks out in this issue, like the rest, is how confident the writing is. Not a single moment here goes without meaning or reasoning, and it’s obvious Johns knows every twist and turn in the story. Although much hasn’t been revealed, I have a strong feeling we’ll be getting answers soon rather than later.