Doomsday Clock is a truly mind-bending, immersive experience… now more so than ever before.
Finally, the readers can understand what it truly means to be Doctor Manhattan; to experience life and time as he does; to see things that are beyond normal human comprehension. That sounds like a tall order for any mere comic book, but then this is no ordinary comic – it’s special! It allows the average reader to elevate almost to godhood, gazing at nanoparticles and atoms with vision like a transmission electron microscope, all while seeing all of time as one simultaneous event.
This issue is an astonishing piece of work – so much so that it even appears to be invisible! I could swear that I’m staring at nothing in my hands, with panel after panel and page after page of unperceivable imagery printed on transparent paper. It’s light, too, and seems to weigh practically nothing! As for the writing, it’s beyond understanding; naturally, it’s hard to wrap your head around the concept of massive amounts of dialogue and narrative text being printed in a way that can’t actually be read… but then nobody said this would be easy.
And yes, as stated this issue not only defies logic by being invisible and weighing nothing, but it can allow readers to see time itself as an abstract concept.
For instance, this comic book apparently existed or, I believe, was supposed to exist, in October 2018… yet did not. It was also supposed to exist a month ago too, but also did not. It will apparently exist next month, but right now it currently does not. Like Schroedinger’s cat, it’s a hypothetical comic book in a state of quantum superposition, simultaneously existing and not existing. Meanwhile, the contents – like most comics – picks up on the events from previous issues as if almost no time has passed at all… regardless of how long the “real” world waits for them.
It’s all very clever, and quite an achievement for DC. An invisible, intangible and hypothetical comic book for our time. But… is it worth it?
Honestly, I have no idea. That’s because back here in the world of common sense, it doesn’t exist at all. It got delayed.
I’ve said in my actual reviews for Doomsday Clock that what really matters at the end of the day is whether it’s good or not. I stand by that; I’m genuinely looking forward to a time in the distant future when it’s all finished, so that I can read it in its entirety properly – unlike being drip-fed each brief instalment. Art can’t be rushed and creativity can’t be turned on and off like a faucet, and I can appreciate the effort that goes into any creative project, regardless of the medium.
I’m sure that the team at DC Comics are doing their best to put out the best story that they can.
I have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes, what changes are constantly having to be made. I can imagine that it isn’t easy though. Messing around with Watchmen – a groundbreaking series, although one also overly praised as being the holy grail of comics – that was a risky enough gamble to begin with; getting it right without alienating the readers is even tougher; then, to try and coordinate elements of the DCU in general to line up with it… it’s an almost herculean task. I get that it’s an achievement just to do it and yes, at the end of the day I’d truly prefer to receive something good rather than bad – even if my own opinions on it have been mixed.
But then, you may ask, if I’m not that big a fan of it anyway… well, why do I actually care about when it comes out? Why this sarcastic mockery that looks like grumbling millennial entitlement?
I know I’m not entitled to anything, and I’m far too old to be a millennial; I’m just an old and tired comic book reader, forking out my hard-earned cash and looking for a great new story. In fact, I’ll even settle for a decent one these days. As long as it entertains me, I’m okay with that. I’ve enjoyed it enough to want to read more, and I’m curious enough to learn what happens next.
Publication delays are unfortunate, and they can hit any project. They aren’t representative of the work, which speaks for itself as it always should. However, these delays with Doomsday Clock are getting ridiculous. We’re not talking Battle Chasers level of ridiculous… but it’s coming perilously close. I’m sure there are plenty of factors behind the scenes that are contributing to the delays; however, right now it’s looking like DC and the creative team dropped the ball, that they didn’t do enough preparation years beforehand to ensure that this series would roll out smoothly on a regular basis.
Wait, years?! Yes, years. Remember how this was a project that was initially teased as part of the DC Rebirth event nearly three years ago? That event promised hope to readers, with DC promising to fix the “disconnect” they were experiencing. Doomsday Clock was meant to be some kind of culmination of that event, an event now so long ago in real-world time that some readers probably don’t even remember or care anymore. The delayed release schedule of this project has created an all-new disconnect, and the hype now looks hollow.
When Doomsday Clock first started slipping behind schedule, people cited the original Watchmen’s staggered release like it was some kind of symbolic parallel. Now, the ironic symbolism is the series being unable to meet any kind of regular schedule at all. This Clock appears to be broken, and desperately needs to be fixed.
Then this series moved to a “regular” bi-monthly schedule, with Writer Geoff Johns thanking readers for their patience. He stated that, while he hoped it would go back to a monthly schedule, it was guaranteed at bi-monthly. Well, that guarantee fell through too. Johns also said that they would rather tell readers when Doomsday Clock is actually going to be out, rather than it just being late. Since then it’s actually been announced – and delayed – with alarming regularity and little accompanying news.
Yes, I was patient; I still am, although certainly less than I was. I still believe that quality is worth waiting for, and I hope that the delays are worth the added frustration. I want this to be good, and I can’t even comprehend how difficult Doomsday Clock must be to produce. Whenever issue 10 finally appears for real, whether it be at the end of May or the end of this century, I’ll judge it based on the contents and not the delays.
But at the end of the day, I’m also human. There are limits to my patience and goodwill and, lately, it feels like those are being taken advantage of. It isn’t entitlement to want what I’ve been told I’ll get, what I and other readers have been guaranteed. It doesn’t matter that I’m a lifelong DC reader and comic book fan; simply as a regular paying customer, I don’t think it’s too unreasonable to ask for something that was meant to exist months, even half a year, ago.
Maybe the next time we buy a Clock, we’ll get lucky and the people making it will be sure it’ll run on time – because the guarantee that came with this one seems worthless.
Doomsday Clock #10
There’s nothing to see here, folks.