The world of Doomsday Clock continues to grow but at the cost of story focus.
It’s been a strange ride in Doomsday Clock so far. The last issue had us all over the place, following several different characters. The new Rorschach escapes Arkham Asylum with Saturn Girl as his mission points him towards Pittsburgh. There he finds “the light” that will bring out Dr. Manhattan: the Golden Age Green Lantern. Back in Gotham, Ozymandias escapes the hospital he was kept in after his fight with the Comedian and comes face-to-face with Batman. The pair fights each other due to their conflicting morality, which leads to Batman getting captured by Mime and Marionette. Before they could relish their victory, the Joker arrives and captures all three. What will transpire between these three humorous mad folk?
**Some Spoilers Below**
We follow the story of Mime and Marionette, both in the present and their origin. The origin of the pair follows them as children, growing up across the street from each other. The woman who would become Marionette was once an illegal immigrant named Erika. She grew up in the loving care of her puppet making father, who would continuously pay off the cops. She would befriend Marcos who would grow into Mime and lived her life until tragedy struck in her own home. In the present, the Joker takes the pair and Batman to a gathering of villains far below Gotham. Due to the growing restlessness on Metahumans, several villains believe they should leave for Khandaq, where Black Adam offers political asylum. While Joker tries to show off the identity of Batman, a surprise guest appears: The Comedian.
Anyone who has read Watchmen knows that it had cutaways to build on character pasts. It made the characters more intriguing and lifelike. It’s clear that is what Geoff Johns is hoping to accomplish here, but there’s one major problem. Where Watchmen was kept to a monthly release date, Doomsday Clock is more sporadic. While this origin is interesting, the long periods of waiting just leaves me wanting the core story. Last issue, we had a cliffhanger where Rorschach found a Green Lantern that hasn’t been seen in over seven years! Readers want to learn more about that instead of Mime and Marionette’s tragic tale. Geoff Johns wants this world to grow, but this reviewer just wants to see the core moving forward. Hopefully, these storylines come back together sooner rather than later.
Despite my issues with this comic, it’s still the best looking comic out there. The art of Gary Frank is so dark and gritty; it fits the world perfectly. There are parts in this story where the level of detail in violence made me physically cringe. Despite the missteps of this issue, it’s obvious the art will make Doomsday Clock iconic.
While the backstory of our mad couple from the Watchmen universe is interesting, it doesn’t satisfy months of waiting. The art is dark and beautiful, but Doomsday Clock is beginning to grow too big for its own good. We have reached the middle of the series, yet we keep making detours to flesh out the world. There could be no more distractions going forward, but right now, I am worried about this comic.