Comic Book Storytelling: Doomsday Clock 9

Welcome back to another Comic Book Storytelling. Sorry it took so long to get another one out, I was sick last week. But the delay may be for the best because Doomsday Clock #9 came out and I think I finally figured out what is wrong with this series.

But before we get to that lets do a quick update on whats going on with the Age of X-Man.

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Several more Age of X-Man ties in have started. And in all of them the cracks in Nate Grey’s utopia continue to show and the truth slowly comes closer to being revealed. I am sure by the end it will all come crashing down and Nate will probably blame everyone but himself and learn nothing from the experience.

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Meanwhile back in the regular Marvel Universe Cyclops and Wolverine are organizing the remaining mutants to take down their remaining enemies. They start by going after Dark Beast, remember him? He’s an evil version of Hank McCoy from the Age of Apocalypse and apparently he’s on a whole evolve-using-technology thing now and turned himself into a cyborg.

I also want to take a moment to talk about that Blindfold story again. While I did find it compelling it was very problematic. The story ended up being about a woman literally killing herself to motivate a man, and that is not great. I still found the part about how nonlinear time is for her incredibly poignant but I want to acknowledge the major flaw in the story too. I have no doubt that Blindfold will pop up inexplicably alive again someday but this story will still be out there and part of continuity.  Unless her corpse gets turned into a gross bio-sentinel, that’s happened to dead X-Men too.

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Okay now we can talk about Doomsday Clock. In this issue all the superheroes go to Mars to fight Dr Manhattan. They lose.

After Firestorm exploded Superman is in a coma and Batman realizes he should not have brushed off Rorschach. It looks like Dr Manhattan is not the main villain of this story like people was predicting. While he has meddled with the DC timeline for unknown reasons it now looks like he is being played just like everyone else. But who has been playing him? Adrian Viedt is still too new on the scene even if he now has his own schemes underway. Also Black Adam crashed Wonder Woman’s talk to the UN. And people are more mad than ever about that superhuman arms race subplot. Are you confused? Well I’ve done about as much as the actual series to explain the details.

Lets take a moment to talk about the problems with this series that finally came into focus as I was reading this issue. Usually events like this have several tie in minis and one shots.  The best events don’t need all those tie ins but they can be fun additional material. Doomsday Clock had no lead up and has no tie ins and it absolutely needs them. There is so much drama and narrative just missing from the pages of this series and we are already on #9 of 12.

I think the biggest issue with Doomsday Clock is how dated it feels. This is a series that would have been really compelling to me in the early 2000’s but now it feels like a relic of a different era. Comic book audiences have changed. Our pop culture landscape has changed. Doomsday Clock feels like it is coming out a decade later than it should have. Watchmen is still a major part of comic book history but I feel a lot of the old reverence for it has waned with modern audiences. And therein lies the problem. The comic book audience may be different now but the writers and publishers at DC are not. As a comic book reader I am at a very different place than where I was when I still thought Watchmen was the greatest comic book story ever. But the people telling stories at DC are exactly the same and they are still trying to tell the same stories and still revering things that seem out of touch with where our culture has come to be.

I am going to keep reading Doomsday Clock because I am determined to see this through to the end. But I doubt its going to do anything spectacular.

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