We’re building to the confrontation everyone has been waiting for, but before the main event battle with Superman, Dr. Manhattan takes on everyone else.

Doomsday Clock 9
Written by Geoff Johns
Pencils and Inks by Gary Frank
Colors by Brad Anderson

This should have felt like a bigger moment. The heroes of the DC Universe, discovering an unidentifiable energy source that led to an incident in Russia that could have plunged Earth into a nuclear world war, heading to Mars to confront an enemy of unimaginable power. That’s a pretty huge thing, and Geoff Johns has been building to Jon Osterman’s first confrontation with them since the maxiseries began.

But the confrontation on Mars is just the undercard, and Doctor Manhattan treats it as such, wiping out most of the universe’s heroes while Superman and Batman are still on Earth licking their wounds. It’s a good appetizer for the eventual confrontation with Superman… if he ever wakes up from his coma and gets by whatever Luthor is talking about with Lois.

Looking back at the nine issues of the series so far, it’s been an interesting build that has teased a lot of big events. But the impact of the series has been diminished greatly by the delays between issues. The promise of how DOOMSDAY CLOCK is supposed to affect the rest of the DC Universe when it finishes is a bit blunted by not knowing when the final issue will actually end. At the very least, the delays assure a consistent quality in each of the issues, so I certainly can’t fault that.

For anyone waiting for a new JUSTICE SOCIETY or LEGION OF SUPERHEROES book, though, it seems like that won’t happen until this is all over. As the focus has shifted away from Ozymandias, we’ve also moved away from those threads, as well, though Johns teases changes to members of both the JSA and the Legion early on in the book. Seeing Adrian Veidt at the end of this chapter, though, promises that the disparate threads will come together soon.

Considering how long we’ve waited to get this far with DOOMSDAY CLOCK, I guess a little patience isn’t too much to ask.