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Review: Doomsday Clock #10 Changes the History of Comics Forever

Read the review to find out if Doomsday Clock #10 by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank is worth buying.

If you want to avoid spoilers for this comic then skip to the overall section at the end.

Warning: Spoilers for Doomsday Clock #10

This series has been in the works for a long time. The first issue was released in November back in 2017! Years later we finally get the answer to the big question of who's manipulating the timeline of the DC Universe. After waiting all this time is it worth it? Yes!

Doomsday Clock is a 12-issue limited series that picks up after the events of Watchmen. Watchmen was a comic series by writer Alan Moore, artist Dave Gibbons, and colorist John Higgins published by DC Comics in 1986 and 1987. It tells the story of a world of flawed superheroes and the appearance of an all-powerful hero Dr. Jonathan 'Jon' Osterman nicknamed "Doctor Manhattan". Although the character is very different from Superman it was obviously intended as a pastiche of the "Man of Steel". A hero so powerful he becomes detached from humanity and uses his power in increasingly amoral ways. At the end of the story, he says he's going to look for another world.

So if you add that to the series timeline it means the answer to the question of what happened to Doctor Manhattan took over thirty years. After waiting all this time is it worth it? Yes!

Doomsday Clock #10 uses the same broken narrative structure as Watchmen to tell the story from Doctor Manhattan's perspective. The story jumps from 1938 all the way to modern day. It shows Jon watching Superman appear the same year that he enters the world. He also watches as Superman's origin is twisted and pulled from 1943 all the way to the events of "New 52". It turns out everything in this universe's history hinges on Superman. Fascinated he decides to alter Superman's history again and creates the events of "Rebirth".

Throughout the story Jon stuggles with the same questions, he grappled with in Watchmen. If he can see the past, present, and future then should he intervene? Does he have to save a struggling actor from death or can he let him die? Should Superman be all-good or an anti-hero? It's all very powerful and Geoff Johns is obviously close to the material and gives the story of the myriad of reboots, multiverses, and retcons in DC history a fresh new take. But the comic asks an even bigger question.

Are the changes and revisionism of comics good or bad for comics? The story leaves the question open but Jon's confusion mirrors comic book readers. How long before readers just give up? Is it better for 1940s heroes like Superman to stay in the past or do they need a modern makeover? Doctor Manhattan likes changing them but is that good or bad? We'll have to see. Plus, he introduces a new concept in the "metaverse" that has a single reality changing and morphing to fit the narrative.

Gary Frank's artwork is strong but a little uneven. One panel perfectly captures Dave Gibbons style of Doctor Manhattan, but then he uses his own style drawing new characters like fictional actor Carver Coleman and the two styles don't always mesh. But, overall the posing, facial expressions, and action are well done and a lot of time was put into the work. He even uses the same nine-panel page layout which isn't used much today and I'm sure was a challenge.

Brad Anderson does a great job on coloring too and everything from Jon's eerie blue glow to the muted tones of Superman's New 52 costume is a welcome sight.

The next issue, Doomsday Clock #11, is scheduled for release August 14th, 2019. I'll be sure to pick up the next issue if it's released on time.

Overall: Buy Doomsday Clock #10 by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Great writing and good artwork combine to make the strongest book in the limited series yet. This one is one you'll want to read and re-read over and over again.

Buy Doomsday Clock #10 at Comixology

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About Doomsday Clock #10

  • Written by Geoff Johns
  • Artwork by Gary Frank
  • Inking by Gary Frank
  • Color by Brad Anderson
  • Synopsis: This stunning issue of the critically acclaimed hit maxiseries reveals the secrets behind Dr. Manhattan and his connection to the DC Universe.
  • On Sale Date:   May 29th, 2019 
  • U.S. Price: $4.99
What do you think of Doomsday Clock #10? Let us know in the comments below!
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