Doomsday Clock #5 // Review
The wait is finally over! Geoff Johns, Gary Frank, and Brad Anderson return after another two month gap from the previous issue for the fifth installment in this twelve issue epic. As the plot thickens, new mysteries arise creating more questions than answers as the characters from Watchmen delve deeper into the DC universe proper. While the previous issue focus solely on the new Rorschach, this issue follows multiple returning plot threads, only to end with a jaw dropping cliffhanger. The Doomsday Clock lumbers along ever so patiently towards midnight!
Master class artist Gary Frank uses his eloquent pencil work to bring such a realistic and dramatic feeling onto every page of this issue. His ability to truly capture the raw emotions of each respective character helps bring this story to life. Frank knows how to execute true anxiety and tension with these fast paced scenes, such as with Mothman running for his life from a gang of junkies. The nine grid panel layout allows for so many more aspects of the medium to be explored, Frank’s ability to portray movement and action between panels adds a cinematic style that lends itself incredibly well to the layout and series as a whole. Although at times referencial using different homages, Frank manages to pay respect to Dave Gibbons’ pencils from Watchmen, yet remains true to his own style and creates his own quintessential look to this series. Brad Anderson continues to lend his colors to the pages of Doomsday Clock, adding to the overall emotional feeling to the Frank’s pencils.
At times, the thematics mirroring Watchmen can come off as forced and slightly shoehorned on the surface level, but Johns is attempting something much more profound than a mere Watchmen rip-off. Johns’ knowledge and respect for every corner of the DC Universe shines through, as he reintroduces readers to neglected characters and areas of the Universe while making them important towards the overall narrative. The sheer love and respect for the Legion of Superheroes and the Justice Society of America leaks through into the narrative, as Johns retroactively brings both groups back from obscurity and into main continuity.
Albeit riddled with delays from the larger gaps between issues, Johns and Frank continue to weave what looks to be yet another epic tapestry bound to stand the test of time. While the uninitiated may meet the title with ill-informed scrutiny, Doomsday Clock is less of a rip-off of the former and rather more so DC’s answer to Watchmen as a story narrative and medium. Even after a near two year break from writing comics, Geoff Johns continues to fire on all cylinders, bringing Rebirth to its ultimate conclusion.