Doomsday Clock has been many things so far, such as slow, divisive and downright boring to say the least. A slow-ticking 12 issue series detailing how Doctor Manhattan from Watchmen came to our dimension and began mucking around with reality as his curiosity got the better of him, Doomsday Clock has one central question at its core: Why?
Why is the DC Universe so important? Why is Superman such a central figure? Why male models? After months of a slow burn arc that saw disgraced former hero Ozymandias descend into the DC Universe, some of those questions were finally answered with bold new directions for the state of the DC Universe and how its multiversal design can function amidst an ocean of changes, timeline alterations and reboots. Spoilers, after the jump.
Curiosity may drive Doctor Manhattan, but it’s an obsession that deals with the final image that his omniscient vision grants him: Superman, torn and battered, charging at him in fury and landng an almighty blow on his face that leads to nothing but darkness. So what’s the deal? Does Superman succeed in killing Doctor Manhattan or does the universe end when the last son of Krypton throws that haymaker?
That puzzle is the reason why Manhattan has been busy in the DC Universe, making subtle changes and watching different realities spew forth from his meddling. A being with godlike power, Manhattan’s efforts so far have created a new Prime Earth that is stitched together from the events of the Flashpoint Paradox, the Wildstorm Universe, the Vertigo Universe and the New 52 reality which was folded into it recently.
How can such a reality even exist without tearing itself apart? As Doctor Manhattan learns, it’s not so much that there’s a multiverse of possibility out there, but that there’s a reality even greater than that which sits above infinite earths which have faced infinite crises: A Metaverse.
It’s this one single reality that governs all of existence, that allows for the madness of the Multiverse, Dark Multiverse and the Bleed to exist. A reality authority, with Superman as the literal center of it around which everything of importance revolves around. More than that, Manhattan’s exploration reveals that the Metaverse is alive. It changes, it fights back against danger and uses superheroes as its own anti-bodies whenever danger such as Manhattan, the Anti-Monitor or Imperiex threaten to destabalise it.
That’s how you’re able to enjoy a Superman story where the man of steel can barely clear a large building in a single bound and then years later his origin is tweaked further to incorporate new elements. That’s how the past, present and future of the DC Universe can exist, as the Metaverse is an entity that allows for established stories to be more malleable.
As for Doctor Manhattan, it’s this revelation that leads to an epiphany of his own: If the Metaverse is reacting to his presence and alterations by throwing superheroes at him, then that makes him more than just an intruder into the hierarchy of reality. That makes him the villain of this story.
Last Updated: June 5, 2019