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NYCC: Geoff Johns shares first pages and details from the upcoming Doomsday Clock

October 7th, 2017 by Marc Comments

We knew when DC Rebirth started that we were heading towards something massive, probably with the Watchmen involved and here we are… the end is in sight.

Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s Doomsday Clock is a 12-issue series coming on November 22nd that will fully integrate Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen into the main DC Universe. That’s pretty damned big.

Earlier tonight at New York Comic Con Johns fronted a panel to let the world in on the secret of the story we’re about to embark on… oh, and release the first six pages of the tale too (read them at the bottom of the page).

Revealing that he first read Watchmen at 12 (“probably too young – there’s a lot of glowing blue penis in there”), Johns said: “Watchmen was a really intense and new look at comics,” Johns said. “The mid-’80s for DC was a really crazy time. There was nothing else like it at the time. The impression it’s had on readers and creators is undeniable.”

As for bringing the two universe together, Johns said: “For me, DC has always been about heart, heroes and humanity. It felt like some of the humanity had been ripped away from the books. Who would have the power, the inclination — the curiosity — to remove that humanity from the DC Universe? And the ability to do that? Doctor Manhattan and Superman, you’ve got one that’s an alien, that’s probably the most human of superheroes. And you’ve got one that’s a human, and is probably the most alien of all superhumans. I thought, a conversation between those two would be amazing.”

Going on, Johns wasn’t afraid to talk about how big the Watchmen world and characters are: “The expectation of even scratching the surface with Watchmen, doing anything with those characters, it’s daunting. It’s daunting as a creator, not even the outside pressure of, ‘It’s sacrilege,’ which I get. If I do something like this, I’ve got to go to a place I’ve never gone. It’s going to take much more time than an issue of something even as complicated as Blackest Night.

“This was perhaps the most daunting challenge. When someone says, ‘You can’t do that’ — I kind of want to do that.”

As for creator Alan Moore’s famous habit of not embracing anything inspired by his works, be it movies or comics, Johns believes that he must try to do something special even without the blessing of Moore: “He’ll never read it, he’ll never look at it, I know that,” Johns said.

“But there’s a lot of people who love that work, and there are a lot of people who love the kind of work we do. I think we’ve earned the right to try.” 

As for Gary Frank’s art, Johns was sure he was the man for the gig: “Gary’s art is just phenomenal, and you’ll see why he’s the only artist,” Johns said.

“He’s got the echo of Dave Gibbons in it, and it’s emotional. It’s all about the story. I’m proud of everything I’ve done with him, and I know the way he told a story, and the way we work together, was the only way I culd try and do this book.” 

One of the things we can’t help but notice is that Rorschach, who died in Watchmen, is back in this new tale which takes place in 1992: “He’s in a very familiar place, if you read DC Comics,” Johns said. But he also didn’t reveal how or why he’s back, “He is the most fun character I’ve ever written in my entire life,” he added.

If you read the comic pages below, you’ll see that there is a lot of humour in the tale and Johns believes that this integral to telling a tale people will connect with: “People think if something is gritty, serious and dark, it’s realistic… I think people laugh every day. Humor is necessary, and it’s a part of life. That’s realistic. The stakes are high, obviously, but there is a humor, a quirkiness and an oddness throughout the whole series.” 

“He is the most fun character I’ve ever written in my entire life,” Johns said of Rorschach. “He’s not a nice man,” Grossman said. “That depends on your perspective,” Johns replied.

He also added that the 12 issue story is a complete standalone tale fro anyone coming in cold from Rebirth and hinted that, thankfully (?) Dr Manhattan will have his underwear on all times: “We’ve got follow the rulebook. I didn’t write the rules.” 

 Other tidbits:

– “You will see villains in there. The interactions will be very interesting and unpredictable. Ozymandias and Lex Luthor — that was a fun scene to write. When you have two guys in the room who think they’re the smartest person, and they are, it takes a long time to write that scene.” 

– “Well, Superman’s not going to be a Nazi, or anything like that.” 

– “The Black Freighter is such an iconic part of Watchmen, but we have something very different that we’re going to be experimenting with in the series.”

– The time difference between the two Watchmen books will be addressed in the story “when the two worlds meet”. 

–  “I haven’t really imagined a fight between Doctor Manhttan and Mr. Mxyzptlk, but never say never,” Johns said.

You know you’re going to be right there with us on November 22nd…

Check out the pages below:

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….