Ozymandias, Rorschach, the Mime, and the Puppeteer travel to Earth One in search of Dr. Manhattan. They want him to return to their Earth so that he can put an end to the brewing nuclear wars that are about to destroy their world. But Earth One’s denizens may not like the visit from another dimension. How will Lex Luthor and Batman react to Ozymandias’s and Rorschach’s presence?
This is a very good comic and I have no objections over Geoff Johns and Gary Frank continuing the work of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. The Charlton characters that the Watchmen characters were based on did belong to DC Comics. Johns is connecting everything together which is something he has spent his career doing at DC Comics. In the past, I have criticized Johns’s propensity to explain everything and make sense of disconnected ideas. It felt like an obsession of his to craft this gigantic universe where everything had to have a place.
In the case of Doomsday Clock and the entire story upon which the DC Comics’s Rebirth reboot is based on, it is interesting. The Watchmen were always proto-DC Comics, or I should say, proto Charlton Comics. But since the Charlton universe is at the core of the DC Universe today, there is a sort of homage and circular narrative at play by connecting Watchmen with Rebirth.
I like that Rorschach ate Batman’s sandwich. That was funny and in character. It also sets up a good conflict over more important issues for next issue. What I enjoyed less is how Johns has finally admitted who he thought were the smartest men in the DC universe. He thinks that Lex Luthor is number one while Bruce Wayne is number two. For over a decade Johns had hinted at that. I don’t mind in the case of Lex Luthor, but I would like to see other character take the title, for number two, like Mr. Terrific (who has been stuck at number three forever). In any case, Wayne’s intelligence is not based on a knowledge of gadgetry and science like Luthor and Mr. Terrific. It’s based on his strategic mind.
Gary Frank contributes greatly to the enjoyment of this comic by sticking with the nine-panel grid layout and breaking it when needed, using the same spatial design. Of course, Frank is a better illustrator than Gibbons. His pages are richer in texture and more dynamic. But then, he has had years to study the work of Gibbons before being able to perfect his art here and elsewhere. Frank is a great pick for this comic and adapt at facial expressions and visual storytelling.