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Doomsday Clock #5 Review: There Was a Plot Here at Some Point

Rorschach has escaped Arkham Asylum and has linked up with an unexpected superhero ally. Ozymandias is handcuffed to his hospital bed, but this doesn't hold Adrian Veidt for long. The Comedian is on the move again. Batman is looking into the strange case of Ozymandias. Johnny Thunder is feeling called to the All-American Steel Factory and escapes his nursing home.

Doomsday Clock #5 cover by Gary Frank and Brad Anderson
Doomsday Clock #5 cover by Gary Frank and Brad Anderson

Doomsday Clock #5 is perhaps the most engaging issue for me in this story thus far. That's not to say that I'm in love with this installment, and I still find myself unable to really invest myself in the overall story.

Themomentum book is moret focused and forward moving of all the installments thus far. Again, that's not saying a whole lot. The story is splintered in this issue, but each section feels like it's going somewhere. The Comedian's section is completely unexplained though. All of this ignores the fact that the plot seems to have gone missing at some point. Sure, we're looking for Doctor Manhattan, but the reason, consequences, and actual search have all gone missing. At least the issue about the new Rorschach at least felt like it was about something, even if it was a massive tangent.

Geoff Johns is usually a great writer. While a lot of his New 52 Justice League and Green Lantern material was lackluster, Flashpoint, DC Universe: Rebirth, Blackest Night, JSA, Flash, and his pre-New 52 Green Lantern comics were great. Doomsday Clock just seems unfocused and confused about its own identity. Mixing the regular DCU with Watchmen characters is an interesting idea, but where do you go from there? Making stylistic and narrative references to the Watchmen story itself is not enough to convince me this tale is worthwhile.

I do like the Justice Society references though, but, then again, I love the Justice Society. Hell, Johns's JSA is what got me interested in that team.

Doomsday Clock #5 art by Gary Frank and Brad Anderson
Doomsday Clock #5 art by Gary Frank and Brad Anderson

Gary Frank's artwork is consistently good though, even if the Watchmen nine-panel layout doesn't feel like the best way to take advantage of Frank's skill and detailing. That said, the art still looks fantastic with its unnerving expression and realistic detailing. Brad Anderson's color art is good too, giving the world a dark and foreboding feel to match the narrative tone.

Doomsday Clock #5 is alright. It's solid enough, the story feels like its moving, and the tantalizing plot threads promising triumphant returns are tantalizing if slightly frustrating in their intentional vagueness. Frank and Anderson do great work on the art, but I can only tentatively recommend the overall book. It's a competitive week this time around, and this is one of many $4.99+ books that want your money. I'd personally save it for another book, but I must admit you could do worse than Doomsday Clock #5. The characer interactions are at least interesting.

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Joshua DavisonAbout Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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