Ever since DC Rebirth was announced fans have been theorizing (including us here at Comic Frontline) about what it means. Most of the questions and speculations surround the involvement of the Watchmen and more precisely the roll Dr. Manhattan will have in it. Well we will finally start seeing some of that in November with DOOMSDAY CLOCK by DC Rebirth mastermind Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank. Geoff Johns sat down with Blastr to discuss the event.
Geoff Johns says that DOOMSDAY CLOCK is NOT a sequel to the Watchmen, but instead is a standalone mini-series onto itself. With fans of late feeling event fatigue with numerous events launching along side of countless mini-series and ongoing series tying into them, Johns promises that DOOMSDAY CLOCK will be self-contained and while it will not have any tie-ins, the ramifications will impact the entire DCU.
“It is something else. It is Watchmen colliding with the DC Universe. It is the most personal and most epic, utterly mind-bending project I have ever worked on in my career. With Rebirth, I opened the door to Manhattan. Part of that was I loved the real-world influence Watchmen has. I put Manhattan out there, and always thought there was a Manhattan/Superman story to be told, but then … it grew. And grew. It took my heart and soul over. Still, at the core of it, there’s a being who has lost his humanity, and distanced himself from it, and an alien who embodies humanity more than most humans. I love the idea that Watchmen influenced DC, but what would that look like in reverse? And it goes well beyond that.”
“We’re not going to do a story like this unless we one-thousand percent believe in it. It is all about the story; it is only about the story. There are no crossovers. No watered down one-shots or mini-series on top of this one. This is a standalone story. There is only Doomsday Clock. We had no interest in doing a crossover with this. We didn’t want to see Doctor Manhattan facing off against Superman in Action Comics, with all due respect. That is not what this is about. It is about something different … It will have an impact on the entire DC Universe. It will affect everything moving forward and everything that has come before. It will touch the thematic and literal essence of DC.”
Since DC Rebirth Universe #1 I have said that Superman is the character to watch as a guidepost of sorts. Usually with a “Crisis” level event like this we have come to expect the Flash to be that character, but DC Rebirth has been using Superman, from the return of the Pre-Flashpoint Lois & Clark along with their son Jon, to the death of New 52 Superman, and the recent Superman Reborn which saw the resurgence of a lot of the character’s Pre-Flashpoint history being merged with the New 52 history.
“There will be DC characters throughout this, but this focuses in on only a handful. There is a lot of focus on Superman, and Doctor Manhattan. Doctor Manhattan is a huge focus, and his reasons for being here, and doing what he does, ultimately have to do with Superman. And there are many, many more characters to be involved, but it is a bit early to discuss.”
“It takes the iconic elements of both Superman and Watchmen, and the DC Universe. It felt like the perfect title. I like the “DC.” It used to be called “The Doomsday Clock,” but I took “The” off. Obviously people know who Doomsday is, but he’s not a part of the story, but I like the implications of it. People will think the last time they heard Doomsday and Superman, he died, so what is this going to be? What is he going to go through this time? And how will it affect them going forward?”
Since the reveal of the Wathmen involvement in DC Universe Rebirth #1 fans have wondered how those darker characters would impact the DC Rebirth promise of a return of the more hopeful and optimistic DC Universe from Pre-Flashpoint. Will the Dr. Manhattan and his world infect Superman and this new brighter DCU?
“That’s exactly the point of the story. Will it? Can it?
I believe in the power of these icons. I believe in the power of hope, and optimism. I don’t think it’s fake. People tend to say if it’s grim, and gritty, it’s real, and grounded. I refuse that … And I don’t care if it stirs up drama. But I want it to be drama in the right way. I think Gary and I have earned the right to do a story we believe in. With Rebirth, I think we proved we care, and take this seriously. We love Watchmen. We love the DC Universe.”
With a story like this man fans are also asking what if any connection this could have to DC Universe Rebirth #1 also penned by Geoff Johns.
“The Rebirth Special was so personal, so important to me. It was not about relaunching a line. It was about a story I wanted to tell. That’s why it was good. I don’t think all my comics turn out great, but that one, I do. Because I believed in it so much. I felt it. I didn’t like the DC Universe where it was, and wanted a story that put back what I missed as a fan. This challenges Rebirth, and is the story of, ‘Can I reaffirm Rebirth?'”
Geoff Johns also dishes on two major spoilers for The Flash #22 the epic conclusion to the four-issue Batman/The Flash crossover story The Button that hits shelves this Wednesday May 17, 2017. So if you do not want to be spoiled stop reading now and come back after you read your copy this week. You have been warned!
About the final page of The Flash #22, which shows a battered Superman “S” Shield.
“That is by design. What are the flaws in Superman? How far can Superman fall. We’re going to find out. There is still so much more to come, but we’ll get deeper into it soon.”