Doomsday Clock #11
Geoff Johns, Gary Frank and Brad Anderson
It feels like it’s been forever since the last issue of this apparently essential series was released. Issue 10 came out in May, a whole 4 months ago. So, with that said, I think it’s important to give you a quick rundown of what happened in the last 2 issues.
Issue 9 had just about every hero in the DCU, minus The Trinity, traveling to Mars to confront Doctor Manhattan. Superman is in a comatose state. Batman is recovering from injuries. Both heroes were afflicted by Doctor Manhattan. Wonder Woman is addressing the U.N. about the Supermen Theory – the theory that the majority of American Meta-humans were created by the government – and also explaining the absence of her fellow League members. While she’s speaking, Black Adam and other meta-humans attack the U.N. in what Adam calls a “power move.” Meanwhile, Doctor Manhattan defeats all of the heroes who are present on Mars.
Issue 10 explains Doctor Manhattan’s place in the DCU and how he’s tampered with time. It is revealed that Superman is the anchor that holds the entire universe together through The Metaverse – a timeline that’s constantly shifting through change. Think our real-life world and the actual years heroes like Superman and the JSA debuted, and how they’ve been rebooted throughout time. It’s also revealed that the New 52 was caused by Doctor Manhattan. Manhattan sees a future where he and Superman finally collide, but he is uncertain if Superman defeats him or if he destroys the universe.
And now, finally, we’re here to Doomsday Clock #11. And all hell has broken loose.
The riots in Gotham are escalating. Batman is arrested for treason. Marionette and Mime are still looking for Joker. The United States government no longer affiliates with Superman. Black Adam is attacking Wonder Woman and the rest of the U.N. (this narrative from issue 9 was not featured in DDC#10) and it seems that once again, Adrian Veidt could be responsible.
I don’t want to explain too much of the premise for this comic, as I feel it should be read in full. So please do your best to avoid spoilers/previews. With that said, it’s a decent issue. But, much like the rest of Doomsday Clock, there’ll be a lot of mixed reactions.
DDC #10 made me a bit cautious about how this story will wrap up. #11 just makes me worry even more. The story just feels so erratic and overstuffed with everything that’s happening. The scope is much larger than Watchmen and rightfully so, as there’s a lot more on the line. But it still feels like too much and there’s been little to no resolve, 11 issues in.
Geoff Johns does a mostly great job with the characters featured in Doomsday Clock #11. It’s clear he shines the most when writing mainline DCU characters. His Watchmen character writing – with the exception of Manhattan and the new characters – falls a bit short. Some of the writing done in this issue reads to me like some kind of Watchmen fanfiction. Also, is it just me, or have the metaphors and symbolism Johns has been including in this comic been more on the bland side in recent issues? A lot of them are just so painfully obvious and unoriginal as if he isn’t even trying.
As per usual, the best part of every DDC issue is the amazing artwork from Gary Frank and the colors from Brad Anderson. There’s just a single panel (albeit, a large one) that features many heavy-hitters from the DCU and its absolutely beautiful. The panel work done by Frank throughout this series deserves endless praise. There’s no denying that Dave Gibbons would be beyond proud of Frank’s gorgeous work.
With everything that happens throughout this comic, I’m not entirely sure how Johns is going to stick the landing. Hell, I’m not even sure if he even knows. The next issue is the last. It’ll definitely have to be a double sized issue and because of that, don’t expect it for a loooong time. So, until then, all we can do is hope this story has been worth our time and money and actually effects the DCU like Johns and Frank said it would 2 and a half years ago.
Doomsday Clock #11
The end is nigh for both the DC Universe and for the Doomsday Clock series. With this second to last issue, you would expect some more story elements to be resolved, but ultimately, we're still left with more questions than answers in this congested issue. Whereas Johns excels with the writing of characters, it's unclear what bis endgame is for the overall story. Gary Frank's art and his storytelling through his panel work and transitions are definitely the highlights of this issue. Let's hope things wrap up nicely and this series wasn't all for naught.