If like us, you consider yourself a true fan of the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons masterpiece Watchmen, then you will be revulsed by Doomsday Clock, the purported Watchmen sequel.
Apart from all the unethical issues facing this sequel – the original creators were against this happening and the manner in which DC Comics ‘cheated’ the original creators out of their ownership rights over the series – Doomsday Clock #1 is simply a below average superhero comic books.
By even attempting a sequel to Watchmen, DC Comics has done a great disservice to its legacy and laid bare their unfettered greed to continue to cash in on their best-selling graphic novel of the last thirty years.
Five years ago, DC Comics had already taken the first step to undermine the significance of Watchmen with the risible prequel series, Before Watchmen.
What’s the problem with this? Alan Moore summed it up well –
“Yes, this was the only book that made us briefly special and that was because it wasn’t like all the other books. Watchmen was something that stood on its own and it had the integrity of a literary work. What they’ve decided now is, ‘So, let’s change it to a regular comic that can run indefinitely and have spin-offs.’ and ‘Let’s make it as unexceptional as possible.’ “
Doomsday Clock confirms Moore’s criticism of DC Comics. In fact, it goes further by tying the series to the regular DC Universe! How utterly crass does DC Comics and its President/Chief Creative Officer (and the writer responsible for this travesty) have to be? Is it only about the money now?
The book itself is stilted and unnatural. There is a new Rosharch, Ozymandias is on the run, Nite Owl and Silk Spectre have disappeared and the world is in chaos after discovering Ozymandias’ actions in the Watchmen series.
With a single swoop, Johns destroys the mystery at the core of Watchmen‘s ambiguous ending – a wanton act of desecration that warrants the harshest criticism. There is absolutely no need to continue the story and this fact is self-evident in Doomsday Clock.
Gary Frank’s art tries its best to mimic the Watchmen structural concept but is ultimately hollow. New characters Mime and Marionette are introduced but they are grotesque facsimiles like everything else presented on the page.
And yes, at the end of this issue, the narrative inexplicably moves to Superman having a nightmare, confirming once and for all that the Watchmen universe will cross over with the mainstream DC Universe.
Of course, there will be arguments that there is nothing special about Watchmen and that like any other comic book property, it should be exploited to the full extent of its commercial potential, and definitely prequels and sequels are part of that equation.
If you, dear reader, believe that comic books can be classified as literary art in their own right, then you must resist this. Show DC Comics that this shameless cash-grab will not reap the rewards they hope for. Avoid at all costs.
Fuck you all, DC Comics, Geoff Johns and Gary Frank.
… still there’s more …