Review: Doomsday Clock #9

“Crisis”
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Gary Frank
Color Artist: Brad Anderson
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Review by Steve J. Ray

Mars is being invaded. Yes, you read that correctly… Mars. In this issue, after the shocking events from Doomsday Clock #8, where the world turned against Superman – the Justice League (and many others) are about to face Dr. Manhattan on his home turf.
It’s Manhattan Vs. The DC Universe. Yes, dear reader; $#!+ is about to get real!
I’m not going to get into the whole issue of the gap between issues as, once again, this creative team have delivered the goods… and then some. Geoff Johns is creating a “Crisis” level event without all the annoying cross-overs, spin-offs and money swallowing aggravation that usually accompanies them. There is no doubt that the events unfolding in this story will have long-lasting effects on the whole DC comic-book universe, but this series is self contained, and all the better for it.

The Doctor Will See You Now

Looking at the first five pages of this issue, one could be forgiven for thinking that Dr. Manhattan is about to face insurmountable odds. Let me say from the get-go that the face-off we are treated to delivers both everything that we would expect, and some real surprises too. One of my favorite moments features Guy Gardner being a real pain in the neck (as usual) and brought to mind the classic “One punch! ONE PUNCH!” moment from Justice League #1 (May 1987).
Gary Frank and Brad Anderson are superstars. The pages above show just a fraction of what these two fine gentlemen deliver in this issue. The call-backs to the original Watchmen series are incredible, and the quiet character moments featuring the the polar opposite L.L.s in Superman’s life are beautifully rendered. Manhattan’s Martian fortress, the twist with Ronnie and Professor Stein, the emotion, the action and everything in between. This series is an example of comics at their very best.
It’s annoying that the digital previews DC send us don’t contain the credits pages, as I must congratulate Rob Leigh on his lettering. I gladly buy every issue of this series, so want to credit everybody for their efforts. Rob cannot do fun things with sound effects in this series, as, just like in Watchmen, there are none. There are also no thought balloons or linking text boxes. Everything is told solely through the art and character dialogue. I cannot imagine that being a fun job for a letterer, but Rob Leigh consistently delivers amazing results across multiple DC titles. My hat’s off to you, sir.

Conclusion

This issue gave us all-out war, but still ended with even more combatants entering the fray. The eternal fan-boy in me wanted Dr. Manhattan to comment on Captain Atom, Nightshade, Blue Beetle and the Question, as these are the characters that he, Silk Spectre, Nite-Owl II and Rorschach were inspired by, and loosely based on. Just having them appear, however, was magical, so I’m happy with that.
I don’t have a negative comment to make about this issue, or this series as a whole. The month of May, and Doomsday Clock #10 cannot come soon enough.
Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment
(This review was originally published on the Dark Knight News website on March 6th 2019)

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