WATCHMEN: DOOMSDAY CLOCK PART 1 By Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. Review.

WATCHMEN: DOOMSDAY CLOCK PART 1 By Geoff Johns and Gary Frank

DC Comics, h/b, $24.99

Reviewed by Matthew Johns

Set seven years after the events of the original Watchmen, Adrian Veidt, aka Ozymandias, is a pariah. His erstwhile colleagues are dead or missing, and the world is rapidly descending into chaos as nations threaten each other with nuclear strikes and begin to make good on their threats. A new Rorschach breaks the psychotic Mime and Marionette out of their prisons, and the four leave on an upgraded Owlship that can now travel dimensionally. Seeking the vanished Dr Manhattan, they arrive in Gotham City in search of redemption for their own Earth but find themselves in a world that too is tearing itself apart. Here, Batman is the pariah, and Joker rules the roost in Gotham.

Geoff Johns’ (sadly no relation to this reviewer) superb storyline is brought to life through Gary Frank’s excellent inking. The violent world of the Watchmen crosses into the DC Universe, where it intersects with the increasingly vicious and chaotic world of Batman and Joker. Filled with tragic character backstories, ultraviolence (Mime and Marionette give Joker a real run for his money in the psycho-killer stakes) and action that will keep you on the edge of your seat, begging for part 2. Superman makes the barest of appearances in this volume, even though his unmistakable yellow and red S adorns the hardback cover – clearly, he will play a big part in the wider storyline.

Doomsday Clock does a fantastic job in bringing the two universes together and holding a mirror up to the increasingly chaotic world that we find ourselves living in. As the Doomsday Clock ticks ever closer to midnight here, in the Watchmen universe, the chimes for 12 o’clock have already struck, and in the DC Universe, the big hand moves closer and closer to the hour.