Comic Book Storytelling: Doomsday Clock 11

The DC comics event Doomsday Clock has reached its penultimate issue. It is finally almost over. And I am still not convinced it will be worth it. But I am going to see it through to the end.


Last issue we learned about Doctor Manhattan’s secret history altering the DC Universe timeline in order to better understand it. It was the first time the plot felt like it actually mattered because it was grounded in a character. The series has made other attempts to ground the series in character but it has largely abandoned them after long boring interludes. And now Doctor Manhattan’s character interlude gets dropped as well to keep ye olde plot train rolling.

In this issue Batman stops nuclear war. It turns out Lex Luthor has been tracking Doctor Manhattan through identical photographs he inadvertently leaves behind. Black Adam and his cohorts attack the White House (to be honest I completely forgot about the Black Adam subplot and didn’t even remember it after seeing this cover). Other stuff happens and I could get into it but none of it feels like it matters much.

This series had suffered so many delay it can’t possibly lead to any kind of real impact on current DC continuity. It feels more like an Elseworlds tale than anything else. And it is so in love with its own plot contrivances that it barely has room to fit in any actual characters. Doctor Manhattan is the only one that feels like a real character because he is actually doing things that matter to the story. Everyone else is just getting moved around and acting as the plot needs them to. We don’t get any real up close insight into much of anyone’s motivations.

I have found this whole mini series to be an exhausting exercise. I can imagine how clever the people behind it think they are being. Maybe I will be proven wrong and the final issue will somehow brilliantly bring all of these dangling plot threads together somehow. We shall see whenever the final issue comes out, and who knows when that will happen with this publishing schedule.

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