Doomsday Clock #3 Not Victory Nor Defeat
Geoff Johns and Gary Frank continue to push the Doomsday Clock one step closer to midnight each month, and issue three is no exception. The last issue’s final page left many readers speculating if The Comedian's reveal was real or simply a figment caused by Ozymandias’ brain tumor. In a flashback to the night of The Comedian's murder, as Blake plummets to his demise he then “breaks through” into another world. The Comedian arrives in the DC Universe, with the unsolicited help of Doctor Manhattan, creating more questions than answers.
In the present day, The Comedian is attempting his revenge on Veidt as they finally get their rematch. Ozymandias escapes the wrath of The Comedian only to be injured and rendered unconscious. Returning back to the abandoned carnival from last issue, The Mime and The Marionette are left to their own devices.
Easily becoming fan favorites, Marionette and Mime set out to get a drink after being freed from their restraints. Costume clad wandering into an unknown bar, the two are unwelcome and meet with hostility for their regalia and one simple question asked by Marionette
The Joker's henchmen are completely eviscerated by Mime and Marionette leaving no survivors, showing this evil duo are not to underestimated. The two lovers get their drink on and set out to find The Joker.
Arriving back to Good Life Home For The Elderly, where Johnny Thunder has been since DC Universe Rebirth. Johnny Thunder, member of the Justice Society of America, laments over his family not coming to see him while a Carver Colman movie marathon plays in the resting home. Paying homage to The Black Freighter, the movie and the ongoing narrative are interwoven to mirror and play off of one another while carrying the story forward.
Meanwhile in the Batcave, Batman has confronted Rorschach for breaking into Wayne Manor. Batman is given Kovac’s journal and sends Rorschach off to bathe and get comfortable while he reads. Yet again, in Watchmen fashion, Rorschach's identity reveal is met with unimportance. As he sleeps that night he dreams of the alien “attack” on New York only to be woken up by Batman. Having finished reading the journal and claiming to know the location of Manhattan, Batman takes Rorschach to Arkham Asylum coercing him into a cell only to lock him inside.
Gary Frank’s work is absolutely Master class. His facial expressions, even with Rorschach's mask, capture the character emotions immaculately. The main 9 panel layout allows Johns and Frank to encompass so much more than the added story as well as the added page count. Already so many iconic images yet the story is only a quarter completed. The comic feels completely cinematic with all of the attention to detail. Paying respect to Watchmen while also carrying the story forward and presenting something new yet natural feeling is par for the course with this creative team.
With every issue being better than the last, this being by far the most dense and interesting one, Johns shows that he’s a true Master when it comes to storytelling. Being able to jump from scene to scene intermittently with an ensemble cast while still staying true and carrying the Watchmen legacy forward is something only Geoff Johns is suited for. Doomsday Clock issue four cannot come soon enough.