Thursday, December 26, 2019

Bullet Review: Doomsday Clock #12

It took a long time ... a very long time ... but Doomsday Clock finally finished this month.

My hope is to reread it in its entirety, in one sitting, at some point soon.

In the end, it is a Superman story.

It is a love letter to DC Continuity.

In many ways, it is a love letter to Watchmen too.

And it goes a long way to say a simple message, Superman is the heart of the DC Universe and he always will be.

The Watchmen shouldn't be the template upon which the DCU is built.

It is Superman and all he represents.

Now did we need this heavy, sometimes clunky, perpetually delayed book to get us there? To tell us what many of us already know? Will it matter to the powers that be as we continue to be mired in the Year of the Villain, a time when this message sat next to Batman/Superman #5, an issue where six of the best heroes are corrupted?

I can only hope.

Because every Superman fan should read this story or at the very least this issue. I'll let others pore over the panels and the plots in detail.

Moreover, every Supergirl fan should also read this issue as well.

Writer Geoff Johns grew up a DC fan and it shows in this work. He loves the JSA. He loves the Legion. And he loves DC history.

So Supergirl fans should be thrilled to know that as he explains how the shunting of Superman's legend forward in time with each Crisis is the center of the DC Universe, that every other continuity remains intact somewhere.

That means out there is Earth-1985, a world unexplored even today.

Look at that, a headbanded Kara, smiling next to Superman and a classic JLA, out there, ready for new stories.

Yes, she died in that Crisis. I think that remains intact. But that Earth is there.

Classic Supergirl fans should be elated right now. For many of us, this is our Supergirl.

And then that simple point, something Johns hammers home as he postulates what future Crises will be, what future timelines will be built upon.

"No matter how many times Superman's existence is attacked, he will survive.

Even if change is constant.

Because hope is the North Star of the metaverse."

Superman and the hope he represents is what should guide the DC Universe.

Pretty simple ... isn't it?

Now one thing that may impact the current universe is that Johns brings back the concept of Superboy in the current DCU. And he undoes one of the biggest things that Grant Morrison brought to the New 52 DCU, the death of the Kents in a car accident.

Will the Kents be alive in the Bendis books moving forward? Is this a change that occurs in the New 52 timeline but not in the smudgy Rebirth one? I guess we'll have to find out.

Would I recommend Doomsday Clock as a whole? Yes. The Gary Frank art alone is worth it.
Will I reread it? Yes. But I don't know how often I'll revisit it.

In the end, so much of this was just verbose and intricate padding to get us to a simple message ...


Martin Gray said...

Nice thoughts! It's weird how I was so against the survival of the Kents immediately post-Crisis, and yet soon came to love it. I do hope Brian Bendis will use them - after the business with Sam and Jor-El, some nice relatives are needed... and I really hated the violent end Grant Morrison gave Ma and Pa.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't there an issue of convergence or one of the crisises when a green lantern and someone went back to fix COIE so Kara wouldn't die?

I hope that if there is an Earth-85 out there, Kara is still alive, happy and helping people on it.

Martin Gray said...

Something like that, as I understood it Crisis was undone from the ground up, never happened. Maybe my review from back then will jog the memory - or simply confuse things more.

Anonymous said...

And then Linda Supergirl Lang is still out there in Earth-52, perhaps dating Henry.

Nick Spencer had a storyline planned for the last Supergirl arc, the one that he never got to write. It was supposed to be a backdoor pilot for a new Young Justice series featuring Supergirl, Damian Wayne, Stephanie Brown, and a bunch more.

I'd pay to see them, and maybe Bendis can have a Young Justice crossover with that team and its never-told stories. He's thrown every other universe in there.


Anonymous said...

"And then Linda Supergirl Lang is still out there in Earth-52, perhaps dating Henry."

No. Earth-52 is Post-Flashpoint Earth, no Post-Crisis Earth.

As for Doomsday Clock, everyone has an opinion on it and everyone talks about it. And unlike past events that only come up in conversation because they're almost unanimously loathed, there're a lot of people loving/liking Doomsday Clock and its effect on continuity. So I think the story can be deemed a success overall.

It's been made clear once again that Geoff Johns loves the DC universe and its rich and hopelessly convoluted history, warts and all. Doomsday Clock tells all fans: "It doesn't matter if you miss the Pre-Crisis Multiverse or the Post-Crisis universe or the New 52. Your favorite characters keep existing and they'll always exist, even when, not if, DC eventually reboots the current continuity".

I guess you can say: "Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends."

I love the continued existence of Earth-One and Earth-Two, even though I don't trust DC to treat them right and respectfully.

You know, it's funny... nearly twenty years ago, I read a fanfic called "Kara and the Dreamsmith" where a cosmic being interfered with the Crisis, resulting in Supergirl and the Multiverse surviving and existing alongside the Post-Crisis Earth.

As for Supergirl, I was somewhat concerned but I trusted Geoff Johns and he didn't let me down. Whatever else you can tell about him, Johns usually remembers Supergirl exists and often includes her in his stories and events -even if she has a minor role-, which is more than I can say for most of DC writers.

Doomsday Clock isn't different in that regard. She had a minor role -every non-Watchmen character but Superman, Batman, Lois, Alfred and Lex did-, but she made several appearances, sometimes in the foreground, and she even had some speaking lines.

Moreover, Johns also pays tribute to the original Kara Zor-El and establishes there's a universe where she survived. Awesome. I was a little kid when she died, and I didn't start reading DC comics until the 00's, but she's also my Supergirl.

And Power Girl also returns (although it remains to be seen if DC makes anything with her). She has been missed dearly... although as much as I love PG, I've to admit the vocal "PG is WAY more interesting and better character than SG. SG is nothing but a Superman with skirt. DC should have killed SG and propped PG up!" minority makes me less sorry about her gradual phasing out.

I'm wondering about Superman's current relationship with the Legion. His Superboy past has been restored, and he recognized Imra... but that's Fourthboot Saturn Girl... So the Retroboot Legion has become the Bendis one?

Anonymous said...

>And then Linda Supergirl Lang is still out there in Earth-52, perhaps dating Henry.

"No. Earth-52 is Post-Flashpoint Earth, no Post-Crisis Earth."

Okay, makes sense.

Linda Lang isn't Earth-1985, because that's still Linda Lee Danvers. There's an Earth-1 Post-Crisis timeline where Linda Lee is gone (due to Crisis) and the one who becomes Linda Lang appears (in 2004), and she gets wiped out by Flashpoint. If Linda Lang still exists somewhere, then I guess it's on an "Earth-Pre-Flashpoint"?


Anj said...

Thanks for great comments!

I think the idea of an Earth 1985 is intriguing. Yes, Convergence did try some sort of 'we can have the crisis without killing Supergirl and Flash' weirdness at the end. But who even remembers convergence?

Anonymous said...

I guess this is good news, I'd be happier if there was an alternate universe where Supergirl wasn't the constant subject of whimsical & sadistic creative experimentation by DC Editorial/Creatives. That'd be a kewl universe indeed.