Doomsday Clock #4 Walk On Water
After having switched to a bi-monthly schedule in January, Geoff Johns and Gary Frank finally make their long awaited return to Doomsday Clock. The slower nature of the title, and this issue specifically, are leaving readers desperate for more as the series drops nearly every plot thread left hanging from the previous issues on the back burner as Rorschach's 'Secret Origins’ takes center stage.
Last issue left off with Batman coercing the new Rorschach into Arkham Asylum, fonly to lock him within the madhouse. Returning back inside the Asylum, this issue focuses on Rorschach's incarceration and how he came to be the new owner of the infamous mask. While accomplishing little overall towards the larger plot, this chapter allows the readers further insight into the Watchmen universe, as well as delving deeper into the psyche of Reggie Long, the current Rorschach. While Reggie is locked within the Asylum walls, past and present begin to weave in and out, mirroring one another and bringing light to Reggie's life. The issue closes revealing Batman has kept a closer eye on Rorschach than he initially led on, while Rorschach escapes from the asylum with a familiar ally.
The continued use of the 9 panel layout for each page allows Johns to add so many more layers to his Magnum Opus as every issue unfolds. Where Franks could potentially cut corners or lose detail on the smaller spaces, instead he uses them to his advantage. The ability to zoom in on scenes allowing each one to be highlighted and made important. Frank's facial expressions sell the art hands down, portraying all the emotions both the characters and the readers experience. The pacing between panels, helping to depict movement and time, add a cinematic feel that sets it apart from the average comic. Frank's pencils come into fruition with the help of Brad Anderson on colors. The cool Manhattan blue motif of the issue is juxtaposed by the glaring red fires from both New York and the sanitarium scenes in Rorschach's past.
Geoff Johns manages to carry the Watchmen story forward into its natural outcome while still presenting new ideas steeped in the pre established landscape. With so many answers still yet to uncover, issue four only wets the metaphorical taste buds for what is yet to come. With this issue really only spotlighting Rorschach’s incarceration as he is reminded of the past, the plot threads from the previous issues are still left hanging as readers wait in anticipation for the next issue in May.
Maintaining the slow burn, Johns and Frank reel readers deeper into the Doomsday Clock as it trudges one step closer to midnight. With the final issue slated for the summer of 2019, readers will be left speculating and guessing for months to come as this epic monolith moves forward ever so patiently.