In Review: Doomsday Clock #7

I'm done with this series due to the story.

The covers: Gary Frank and Brad Anderson are the artist and colorist for both frontpieces. The Regular cover shows a blue moth crawling over the activated lantern that was a hallmark of the hero Green Lantern. This leads into the first panel on the opening page, which follows in the format of the original Watchmen comic book. The Variant cover was the one I purchased because the subject matter is just so dynamic. Rorschach is beating the Joker. The angle of the image is low, looking up. Blood surrounds and is flying from the masked vigilante’s fist, while blood is shown coming from the clown’s face. Playing cards tumble about, released by the Joker when Rorschach began to pummel him. The buildings around the pair look down in silent judgment, though if one looks atop a clock another familiar DC character can be seen. This is graphic but incredibly well done. Overall grade: Regular A- and Variant A+

The story: Geoff Johns’s story reveals some information, but leaves the reader with more questions than answers. The book begins with a one page summary of the original Green Lantern’s origin, told by an unnamed narrator. With a turn of a page Johnny Thunder, Rorschach, and Imra Ardeen are avoiding the rain by standing under a bus stop. The elderly man holds the lantern proudly, hoping that he can now “make things right.” He yells, “Cei-u!” and then becomes sad when nothing happens. A bright light appears above them and it’s Ozymandias in the Owlship. This is followed by several news broadcasts showing the state of metahumans who have left the U.S. and those who are trying to continue to help others. Johns then goes into the Owlship and has the characters speak with each other. Imra reveals she’s from the future and has been “sent to help cleanse the time stream of an unknown anomaly that threatens (Superman).” A character who’s come from the Watchmen world has a surprising ability revealed, with Johns moving again to a new locale. This time it’s the Joker’s lair where he, Mime, and Marionette are going to get information from the Comedian. A character arrives to put some action into the issue, followed by another arrival which leads to the big arrival. It’s taken seven issues, but this character finally appears, giving some answers to what’s occurring, but is his typical vague self, stating things out of context because he’s no longer linear. I’ve just gotten to the point where I want this series to end. I expected this to integrate the Watchmen Universe with the DC Universe, but I’m tired of how it’s just dragging things out. I want the Golden Age heroes and Legion of Super-Heroes back. I’m done with the god-like character, who’s so omnipotent to be able to create anything. It was neat in 1986, but it’s not doing anything for me now. Not helping is the lack of surprise when a character is revealed to have been lying to another. That’s what this character does. This story is a slow tease with no one doing anything new. Just get to it, Johns. Overall grade: D 

The art: Gary Frank’s visuals cannot be slighted. The book looks fantastic. Each character looks amazing. By using the nine panel grid used in Watchmen, Frank can pull in very closely to characters to put their emotions right in the reader’s face. Every character gets an opportunity to do this. My favorite characters were Johnny and Imra, with the former expressing disappointment and the latter shock at something they’ve learned. The settings are good, with the Joker’s hideout getting the most focus. It’s full of all the visual lunacy and terrors one has come to expect of the Clown Prince of Crime. The action is also well done, with the fight in this location brutal and real. The arrival of the major power in the last third of book allows Frank to play with the layout of the page much more and get a little more abstract. He does a great job, but the story doesn’t really allow him to go to far from having the character stand and pontificate and ultimate walk away. The visuals are strong, but is this anything that hasn’t been seen before? Overall grade: B

The colors: Also doing a good job is Brad Anderson. His colors allow readers to better follow who is speaking or thinking, such as on the opening page. Colors are also key when a Watchmen character exhibits a new ability at the start of Page 4. Reds and oranges dominate with the first surprise arrival at the Joker’s lair. However, it’s cool blues that take over when the last uninvited guest appears. Again, this looks good, but no colors wow. Overall grade: B

The letters: Rob Leigh is responsible for the dialogue and narration (the same font), Rorschach dialogue, and yells. All look good, but nothing that stands out. Overall grade: B

The final line: I’m done with this series. The visuals are fine, but the story has become slower than molasses. Action scenes could have been shortened or deleted in this issue to further the overall arc, which is what I want. I actually sighed as I purchased this issue, knowing that something in the plot was sure to be revealed, but more than aware it wouldn’t bring me the return of two classic DC teams I’m awaiting. I’ve grown tired with the Watchmen characters. They are too brutal to live and work among the DC characters. This series is diluting the impact of their original twelve issue run. The story is too familiar for what all the characters do and too brutal for what I want my childhood heroes to do. I’m out. Tell me when the Golden Age heroes and the Legion of Super-Heroes returns. Overall grade: C+

To order a digital copy go to https://www.readdc.com/Doomsday-Clock-2017-7/digital-comic/T1803100075001?ref=c2l0ZS9hamF4U2xpZGVyL2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC8yNjYyMA

To see the covers visit my Instagram account: patrickhayesscifipulse

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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