Doomsday Clock #5
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Gary Frank
In the fifth issue of Geoff Johns sequel to the Alan Moore’s revered Watchmen, the story continues to plod along, all the while taking a few major steps, such as the inclusion of Alan Scott’s Lantern. This issue focuses a lot more on the current state of the DC Universe, rather than simply being a sequel to Watchmen or a crossover, which the previous issues held as their primary “raison d’être” and did not go much further than this. This issue explores why people are rioting against the Superheroes in such a way that while it seems reminiscent of Watchmen, it stands out on its own.
As we learned in the earlier issues, the Watchmen characters came to the DC Universe to find Dr. Manhattan, yet up until now, we did not know why he would come to this world. Now, this is explored in such a way that it does not seem like bland exposition. After all, why wouldn’t Dr. Manhattan, having stated that he is tired with being caught in the tangle of their lives, come to a world which is far more simple than the morally grey Watchmen universe. However, for all of this, the story fails to grip the reader for the first half and only begins to draw the reader in by the 10th page. This may be because the first 10 pages are used to set events up, yet many comics manage to set events up in a more entertaining manner. However, by the end of the issue, the reader should be engaged, and is left wanting to read the next issue as soon as possible. The highlight of this issue, however, lies in what it does. It critiques the superhero genre, much like Watchmen. This is present during a conversation between Batman and Adrian, or in news reports.
The characters are quite often the strong point of this series so far. However, this issue dips in quality when it comes to the characters. Adrian Veidt somehow survives a fall due to plot armor, which breaks the suspension of disbelief quite early. Perry White acts out of character, having often been seen as someone who simply states the truth and often believes in superheroes. The other characters are well written, though. Rorschach continues with steadfast determination, Veidt and Batman have their ideologies clash, neither of them being truly in the right, while Mime and Marionette are flawless, and come head to head with the Joker.
The art, drawn by Gary Frank, is excellent. Throughout the comic, Gary Frank excels at setting the tone and does so in his detailed art style. However, even with the delays due to the art, it is more simplistic than the other issues without a decline in quality. The only gripe with the art is due to the faces. Gary Frank often makes extremely detailed and realistic faces, yet in this issue, certain faces are not to his usual standard, all the while being passable. The art is by no means bad, it is just not at the usual standard.
Overall, the story is good, if a bit underwhelming at the start. The characters are fine, yet have issues due to their characterisation being off, and the art is superb. As a Watchmen sequel, it serves its purpose but pales in comparison to Watchmen.
Doomsday Clock #5
A solid issue, with amazing art by Gary Frank, and a good story by Geoff Johns. However, its characters act out of characters at times, and the suspension of disbelief is broken more than once.