DC comics announced Sunday what fans have been waiting for since Geoff Johns last comic DC Universe Rebirth one-shot that kicked off the complete reboot of the entire comic line. Johns had originally said that the one-shot would be his last comic for a while as he was recently promoted to head of DC Films. Surprisingly in January, he announced via Twitter that he would be back later this year releasing comics. The tweet also contained an image of Watchmen character Dr Manhattan.
The thing about Watchmen is that the world it is based in existed outside of the DC universe. With Geoff Johns new title “Doomsday Clock” we will for the first time this November see the Watchmen interact with some of our favourite superheroes. While with exactly how many and who remain to be revealed we do know the story focuses on Dr Manhattan and Superman.
Geoff Johns gave an exclusive interview with blastr.com.
“We’re not going to do a story like this unless we one-thousand percent believe in it. It is all about the story; it is only about the story. There are no crossovers. No watered down one-shots or mini-series on top of this one. This is a standalone story. There is only Doomsday Clock. We had no interest in doing a crossover with this. We didn’t want to see Doctor Manhattan facing off against Superman in Action Comics, with all due respect. That is not what this is about. It is about something different … It will have an impact on the entire DC Universe. It will affect everything moving forward and everything that has come before. It will touch the thematic and literal essence of DC.”
“There will be DC characters throughout this, but this focuses in on only a handful. There is a lot of focus on Superman, and Doctor Manhattan. Doctor Manhattan is a huge focus, and his reasons for being here, and doing what he does, ultimately have to do with Superman. And there are many, many more characters to be involved, but it is a bit early to discuss.”
It’s great to hear that this will not be a massive crossover event across multiple books because that is really annoying. Johns also assured that this is not a sequel to Watchmen.
“It is something else. It is Watchmen colliding with the DC Universe. It is the most personal and most epic, utterly mind-bending project I have ever worked on in my career. With Rebirth, I opened the door to Manhattan. Part of that was I loved the real-world influence Watchmen has. I put Manhattan out there, and always thought there was a Manhattan/Superman story to be told, but then … it grew. And grew. It took my heart and soul over. Still, at the core of it, there’s a being who has lost his humanity, and distanced himself from it, and an alien who embodies humanity more than most humans. I love the idea that Watchmen influenced DC, but what would that look like in reverse? And it goes well beyond that.”
The original Watchmen was created by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons. Colours were done by John Higgins. I was a groundbreaking comic that challenged traditional comic book storytelling and structure and was an examination of the superhero genre itself. It’s for more in-depth and complex than that so I recommend you pick yourself up a copy if you don’t have one and look up some far better articles than this on the subject.
Since the release of the original Watchmen Alan Moore has been very upfront about his displeasure with working with DC at the time. His contract was quite horrible as well, in an interview with fastcompany.com back in 2012 he talked about getting lawyers to look at the contract he signed. Moore referred to it as
“There was a clause that essentially said that, if in the future, there were any documents or contracts that I refused to sign, DC was entitled to appoint an attorney to sign them instead,” “[The lawyers] said it was the most creator-hostile contract they’d ever seen.”
This isn’t the first or last case or shady contracts or creator mistreatment but this has stuck with Moore till this day. He is not a fan of Watchmen calling “a toxic cloud of memories”. Watchmen was designed originally not to be a franchise but after failing to get the rights to the property DC did what they wanted.
I only read The Comedian and Rorschach titles of “Before Watchmen” and they were good. Should they have made a prequel? I’m not too sure.
That brings me to the next obvious question should DC and Geoff johns (along with Gary Frank on art) bring Watchmen into the DC universe let alone write another Watchmen comic? While I’m one for original intent and purpose there are times where a concept or idea just seem to interesting not to explore. Having a story based around arguably two of the most powerful characters in the DC universe is pretty damn exciting.
If anyone other than Geoff Johns and Gary Frank were doing this project I would say I’m not going to invest my time and money it’s just too big of a risk. No one knows the DC universe like Johns. He has written some of the best stories in DC comics for more than a decade and every title he has collaborated on with Gary Frank has been great. It seems he has taken his time with this project. The fact we are not seeing it as some big summer crossover event is a good sign and most importantly Johns treats characters with respect and writes good stories.
I can’t imagine this comic being bad but anything is possible. If you have been following “The Button” story arc between Batman and The Flash rebirth titles recently you will understand my scepticism of “Doomsday Clock” being bad.