You know that joke about the two old ladies griping about their dinner in a restaurant? One complains that the meat there is terrible, nothing but bone and gristle… and the other points out yes, and such small portions too. The point is that even if you don’t like something, you still might want more anyway. That’s basically the same problem with Doomsday Clock #6.
Not that it’s terrible. In fact, if it were any other comic then it would be easy to praise the slow, well-crafted origin story on display. It’s Bonnie and Clyde or Mickey and Mallory… or, to be fair, Punch and Jewelee. As a reader, you can’t help but like this pair. Their story doesn’t answer enough questions and it’s a bit of a cliché, but it’s still a really solid piece of work. As for the art, it remains the highlight of the book.
However, this isn’t any other comic.
This is the sixth issue of Doomsday Clock, and fans have been waiting patiently for two months to get some story progression. Is it worth that wait? Not really.
Marionette, Mime and Batman have seemingly been captured by the Joker, and are taken to a meeting of costumed supervillains. While debate rages between the villains about how to keep themselves safe in an increasingly unsafe world, the Joker’s arrival derails the Riddler’s plans. Little do they realise that they have been followed by someone who shouldn’t even be in their reality, or of the bloody events that he will bring.
Meanwhile, Marionette and Mime’s personal history is explored. From their first childhood meeting to their current relationship, they seem inseparable. But will the Joker help or hinder them in their pursuit to find their missing child, and will their recklessness lead the Comedian back to Ozymandias?
The plot in Doomsday Clock #6 is looking increasingly unfocused, and while the origin of Marionette and Mime is a decent one it’s also frustrating. Readers can like this pair, but they draw attention away from the big picture instead of contributing to it. Should we be concerned that the Joker has possibly captured Batman? Apparently not, given the lack of importance given to it. The same can be said for the Supermen Theory going on in the background, and it’s hard to care about the fate of a world when they don’t show much of that world anyway.
And whatever happened to the Man Of Tomorrow and Doctor Manhattan?
Of course, a large part of the problem also has to be blamed on the shipping schedule, which is robbing the series of any potential momentum it could build up. The only hope is that when this story wraps up… in another year or so… a trade collection might make it a more satisfying reading experience. Odds are, it possibly will be. But, at this stage, there seems to be little point to invest in this series, either financially or emotionally.
Basically, Doomsday Clock #6 is a great issue of what’s becoming a highly disappointing series.