The truth of Doctor Manhattan’s mission comes clear, and it’s all about the Man of Steel… Your Major Spoilers review of Doomsday Clock #10 awaits!
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Gary Frank
Colorist: Brad Anderson
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Editor: Brian Cunningham
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: May 29, 2019
Previously in Doomsday Clock: Doctor Manhattan has engaged the superhumans of the DC Universe, but he’s really waiting for Superman. And what does any of this have to do with an actor named Carver Colman?
FINALLY GETTING TO THE POINT…
The most important takeaway from picking up Doomdsay Clock #10 was that I could not for the life of me remember any of what happened in #9, and when I went looking for it, I found that I had not only *read* it, I reviewed it for Major Spoilers! This issue’s threads don’t really continue from that point, though, as we join Doctor Manhattan already in progress in 1954, on the set of a ‘Nathaniel Dusk’ film. We finally discover what all of the Dusk references have been about, as Manhattan arrived in the DCU on the day of Superman’s debut: April 18th, 1938. His first contact was with a young man named Carver Colman, and apparently Carver became his anchor in this brave new world, as they continued meeting for years afterward. Carver’s life, his childhood and his eventual murder are all tied up in the revelation that, somehow, the world keeps resetting itself. In 1938, Superman first appears. In 1956, Superman first appears. In 1986, Superman first appears. In 2011, Superman first appears. And every time this happens, the universe shifts around him, becoming not a Multiverse, but a Metaverse.
All of which explains exactly why Jon Osterman chose to reboot the universe himself, resullting in the creation of the New 52.
…BUT SOMEHOW STILL MISSING IT
This issue feels like the real meat of the story that Johns and Frank have been wanting to tell, and it’s very much an improvement over the pacing of the previous four or five Doomsday Clocks. With Dr. Manhattan finally explaining what has been going on and why these various characters have been interacting the way they have, it all becomes clearer: When he rebooted the universe, it somehow fought back, creating the nightmare reality that we’ve been reading about in this book, which is a major reveal. In fact, the effectiveness of the reveals here make it clear just how much filler there has been in the middle chapters of the series and how the twelve-issue length is clearly to emulate ‘Watchmen’, regardless of whether the story actually needed those pages. Gary Frank is also on his game here, playing with the fashion and hairstyles of multiple decades and doing a great job. Each time we see Superman’s debut, there are differences in vehicles, architecture and fashion, and his twin reveals of the JSA’s first meeting and the Legion’s induction of Superboy are top-notch. Best of all, only one crazy wide-eyed face makes it into these pages, and because it’s Johnny Thunder in full-on excitement mode, it actually works.
BOTTOM LINE: FEELS LIKE WE’RE FINALLY GOING SOMEWHERE
The best part of this issue is Manhattan’s interactions with Colman, something that doesn’t feel like it pulls directly from Alan Moore’s work (although it does strongly evoke Neil Gaiman’s Sandman/Hob Gadling interactions) and something that finally serves to ground this story in a meaningful way. Doomsday Clock #10 is ramping up for the big finale and the creators are clearly ready to pull out all their stops, setting up a confrontation between the living incarnation of hope and the man who eschews hope for rationality, and it’s a big improvement over the last few issues, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. It’s probably telling that I haven’t been this excited about what’s next in Doomsday Clock since issue one.
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DOOMSDAY CLOCK #10
This issue still has some of the same problems of motivation and necessity that have plagued the book since issue #1, but we finally seem to be getting somewhere, and the Carver Colman sequences are actually really interesting.