Doomsday Clock #11 (of 12)
Written By: Geoff Johns
Art by: Gary Frank
Colors: Brad Anderson
Some might notice the long gaps between issues and forget what happened months ago in the previous issue. Here is the penultimate issue of Doomsday Clock and it does pull on the threads from throughout the series. The Marionette and Mime are in a war with the Joker and his minions. Dr. Manhattan was confronted shortly after Firestorm accidentally killed people in Moscow, as he seemed to be the one behind it all. Superman is on a crash course with an ultimate confrontation with Dr. Manhattan and he doesn’t even know it. There are hints about the JSA and The Legion of Superheroes, two teams that have disappeared after the new 52 being hidden in current day DC continuity. It has also been revealed that Dr. Manhattan himself might be directly involved in these universe altering changes. This issue takes all of that into account and put some of it into perspective.
Lex Luthor lets Lois Lane know about all the information he has gathered. He was the one who sent Lois the JSA film reel, and he has a collection of the same photograph of “Jon” that seem to have been scattered throughout time. He lets her in on the entire story of meeting the Comedian and Ozymandias. The world around them is falling apart as all trust has been lost in Superman, and heroes in general. Mass panic and looting is happening in every city. Black Adam has allowed his nation to become a place of refuge for the meta-humans and has started an antagonistic war with those that oppose him. Ozymandias has both Saturn Girl and Johnny Thunder in his captivity and explains what his role in the whole series has been. It is a comic with a lot of exposition and set up for the big finale (date TBD).
I hate to say it but the delays are really killing this title. I love this book and the story, but with such space between issues it is hard to carry my investment forward. This is the second last issue and should have been a climax, with the next issue dealing with the resolve. Instead we are going to have to wait forever for that to happen. There are some major reveals here, mainly Ozymandias’s place in the entire plot, it still seemed like a stop gap issue. Pieces are placed on the board but none of them move. Johns has created a comic that will most likely read brilliantly in trade but stands as a bit of a letdown as a single issue. Because this issue is more detached from the characters and focuses on exposition, we don’t even get real great character work like we’ve seen before. It is a heavy issue with a lot to read and not as much new to say.
Gary Frank continues to pull off some incredible art. While Ozymandias explains his place in the overall story of Doomsday Clock, Frank mirrors layouts from panel to panel. This thematically shows how our antagonist has been pulling everyone’s strings. For example, Ozymandias will be in one panel narrating how he manipulated the Mime, and in the next panel the Mime in the same positioning as Ozy. It is a fun visual trick and one that helps bring the story to life more than the writing could.