Subway Shorts – Doomsday Clock 3

The third issue of DOOMSDAY CLOCK gives us what many were looking forward to since the series was announced – Batman and Rorschach meeting – while giving us hints of what’s to come.

Doomsday Clock 3
Written by Geoff Johns 
Pencils and Inks by Gary Frank 
Colors by Brad Anderson

Once again taking its cue from Watchmen, the latest issue of Geoff Johns’ epic story bringing those characters into the DC Universe proper gives us more character-driven moments than heavy action – though there’s some of that, too.

The 28 pages of story are divided between four different scenes, three of which were continued from the previous issue. The most anticipated is easily the meeting of Batman and the new Rorschach. Upon finding the multiversal visitor in the Batcave, the Dark Knight Detective is uncharacteristically calm. There’s no fight between the two. Batman listens to what Rorschach has to say and when the masked man gives Batman the original Rorschach’s journal as a way to explain what’s happening, Batman agrees to sit and read it.

Rorschach’s instability and Batman’s cold logic just aren’t going to mesh well, but Batman, still, humors the vigilante, and has Alfred set him up with a room inside Wayne Manor. The size of the room makes Rorschach uncomfortable, and he refuses Alfred’s offer of tea and to wash his clothes – all he wants are more pancakes – but he does take a shower, which gives us the first clear look at the legacy character’s face.

We’ll have to wait for confirmation to see who that’s supposed to be, since all we know is that his name is Reggie. I’m sure Johns will tie it all in later.

The Batman-Rorschach story doesn’t end the way we would expect, as Batman tells Rorschach he knows how to find Doctor Manhattan. He uses the vigilante’s desire to finish the mission against and tricks him.

That’s not gong to end well. Locking Rorschach up in Arkham Asylum opens up so many possibilities – like maybe running into a certain member of the Legion of Superheroes whose been stuck there since the beginning of Rebirth?

We also get to see more of the confrontation between Ozymandias and The Comedian, who was revealed to be on the DC Universe earth in the last issue. Here, we find out how: after Ozymandias threw him out his own apartment window, but before he finally hit the pavement, he was plucked out of the air and landed in the waters in the other universe. Now, I imagine that would cause a whole lot of continuity issues, since cops finding The Comedian on the sidewalk was kind of important to Watchmen, but there’s still time to work through that.

Marionette and the Mime are also causing trouble in Gotham City, as they walk into a bar controlled by the Joker’s goons. They take offense to the use of facepaint, because the Joker is the only one allowed to use it and a brawl ensues. We get to see the scope of Mime’s power, as he shoots and stabs the bar thugs without having anything physical in his hands. It seems a bit fantastical for someone in the Watchmen universe, but it fits right in to the rest of the DCU… After the fight, the couple’s mission changes. Instead of trying to find Doctor Manhattan, they now want to find someone else.

That’s not going to end well, either…

Finally, we visit former Justice Society of America mascot Johnny Thunder in his nursing home, waiting for family who aren’t showing up to take him out to dinner. In the background, his nursing homemates are watching a Nathanial Dusk movie, and the supplemental material in the back of the book goes into the history of the actor who played Dusk, Carver Colman, and his ties to the DC Universe, including members of the JSA and the Doom Patrol.

Given that it’s been confirmed that DOOMSDAY CLOCK will be going to an every-other-month schedule after this issue, waiting to see what happens next is going to be frustrating, but the ride seems like it’s going to be completely worth it.