Review – DOOMSDAY CLOCK #5

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SYNOPSIS: The Comedian lives! The Mime and Marionette loose in Gotham City! Rorschach is locked in the bowels of Arkham Asylum! Secrets will be revealed as the Doomsday Clock ticks on…

The Doomsday Clock is still clicking. I know a lot of people may have forgotten by now, seeing as the comic series is on a new, delayed schedule. Two months after a somber, delicate issue #4, the story picks up with a long cast spitting a lot of dialogue. That’s not a bad thing.

Ozymandias has recovered from his 20-story fall, the Comedian is on the hunt, Rorschach comes to the aid of Johnny Thunder, Batman takes a tumble and the Clown Prince of Crime makes his Doomsday Clock debut. And that’s not all. The Superman theory also gains traction, Black Adam beheads a terrorist and a lantern lights up.

Whew.

We all expected Geoff Johns to have a lot of story to cover through 12 issues, and this is perhaps the most dense. He is juggling a lot of storylines, while connecting characters, and dropping us in different locations. This issue was a little intimidating, and multiple readings will help.

Overall I enjoyed the issue. I like how complex it is, combining characters from two beloved worlds while also bringing in a few new ones. The story is far-reaching, but Johns is also keeping it contained. He’s making it personal with all of these interactions, which is helping me give a damn about everyone.

My issue with the…..issue….is the delay. I can’t help but feel the wind has been let out of the sails for this huge story, and it’s going to come and go every (other) month with fewer fans following. With a deep issue like #5, it was hard for me to recognize what was alluding to what, which stories were connecting to previous issues, and what moments were revealing something new. As a comic reader, that’s a little frustrating and takes me out of the experience. That’s not a criticism on Johns’ writing, but just when it’s available for us to read. I hope this book can get back to monthly, as it’ll only benefit the Doomsday Clock experience. And this book NEEDS to be an experience.

As for Gary Frank’s art: stellar as always. I understand if there needs to be a delay. Nearly every page was 9 panels in this issue, and that’s a lot of art. Obviously, he nailed every panel. Each character has a unique and specific design. Every setting is dark and haunting. And every page is inked to perfection by Brad Anderson. Even if the story wasn’t good, each issue would nearly be worth it just for the art.

Again, I’m still liking Doomsday Clock. I think it’s ambitious to combine two cherished universes and nobody can do it like Johns and Frank. Their storytelling is intricate, deep, and rich. They have a unique style that fits this expansive adventure like a glove.

I’m just worried if the delays keep up, how much will others care when the clock strikes 12?

GRADE: B+

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Ryan Lower
Ryan Lower (rhyme with power) was born and raised in the Hoosier state, but now resides in Chicago. He works for a television station where he was paid to read, watch and write about Adam West’s Batman. Seriously. Outside of work, he loves spending time in his own bat cave, absorbing the world of the Dark Knight. A few non-contentious Batman favorites of his: The Dark Knight Trilogy, Batman: The Long Halloween, the Arkham Games and Batman: The Animated Series. Some arguable guilty pleasures: he really enjoys Batman: Arkham Origins, is entertained by Beware the Batman and watches Batman & Robin at least once a year (it’s ridiculously tolerable). Fun fact: he’ll never dress up as Batman unless he can wear an authentic Satsuit. Final thought: after being a BOF’er for over 15 years, he’s thrilled to be a part of the team and bring some fun to the DAD GUM ORIGINAL Batman-on-film.