Doomsday Clock #8
Global tensions surrounding the new metahuman arms race intensify following a tragic scene in Moscow where Firestorm loses control of his powers and turns a group of on-lookers to glass. Clark hunts down firestorm, a hunt that leads him through Kandaq and a foreboding encounter with Black Adam, to later find Firestorm still in Russia, traumatize and near his breaking point, attempting to reverse his damage.
With Clark’s guiding hand and a borrowed mental strength, young Ronnie Raymond proves successful in reversing the damage to a single child but not to the geopolitical instability his incursion into Russia brought upon the global landscape. As Clark and Ronnie return to the scene of the incident to begin reversing the process, Russia goads Clark into choosing a side in the growing conspiracy surrounding the Supermen Theory to disastrous results leading to the loss of many Russian lives.
The Cold War over metahumans just went hot, with Ozymandias pulling the strings on an international puppet show.
Back in Metropolis, Lois receives shocking and confusing digital footage from an unnamed source, prompting the question: Who is the Justice Society of America?
“Looking to the past in order to the parse the future” seems the most appropriate epithet for Geoff Johns’ magnum opus Doomsday Clock. Watchmen from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons was created at the height of the US/Soviet Cold War. It was an era in which all hands remained close to The Button and mutually assured destruction seemed a regrettable inevitability. The hands of the clock stood ready at five minutes to midnight for decades. Then, things began to change. The wall came down. The arms race that had terrorized the world idled into the backgrounds of multiple national consciousnesses. New threats arose to take its place.
What we see taking place in Doomsday Clock is a remarkably similar feel to the source material. Johns, along with artist Gary Frank, reconstructs a world not unlike our own, in the throes of a new sort of war. This war may include brute strength and escalation of force but it is not predicated on such old forms. No. This war is one that hinges on intelligence, much like the Cold War of old, but intelligence that seemingly is not merely the purview of Alphabet Soup agencies and their equivalencies. The agents are us. As the divisions between us, internally and externally grow, the greatest weapon in this fight glows softly in our pockets. We have our players on the grand stage (in Doomsday Clock’s context, Superman; in our own… we know the players) but it is the quietest voices among us that carry the grand solution.
We battle against a history lost, misremembered, or outright altered by the victors. Ozymandias’ role is the media machine, constructing perfect sets and perfect scripts and perfect blocking to ensure maximum effect and affect. Doctor Manhattan may be analogue to a more insidious institution, however, as he manipulates history to create the desired outcome. Heroes are erased, pages rewritten, atrocities buried.
Two thirds of the way through this epic and the stage is set for the third and final act. Poor Clark, playing the fool, does what Clark does best, of course, facing danger head on, but without any understanding of the machinations at work. Time for intermission now. Grab your popcorn, smoke ‘em if you got ‘em, because the curtain will soon be raised, and you won’t want to miss a second of what is to come.
A series that changes the landscape of comics narrative, Doomsday Clock is a once in a generation series that lives up to the hype.
Doomsday Clock #8: “No Political Stability and No Assured Peace”
Writing - 10/10
Storyline - 10/10
Art - 10/10
Color - 10/10
Cover Art - 9/10
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