How and why did Doctor Manhattan affect the DC Universe? And is he the only one? Answers and more questions in the latest issue of the Geoff Johns maxiseries!

Doomsday Clock 10
Written by Geoff Johns
Pencils and Inks by Gary Frank
Colors by Brad Anderson

During my PODCAST appearance with the esteemed Russell Sellers last month, I discussed one of the things I love about Geoff Johns’ writing – he can take the smallest germ of an idea in an old story and create an entire world around it. He did it for Green Lantern, he did it for the Justice Society and he did it with various members of the Justice League during the New 52 era.

But this may be his masterstroke. Here, in the latest issue of DOOMSDAY CLOCK, Geoff Johns has managed to retcon the retcon.

The Golden Age, the Silver Age, the Bronze Age and the Modern Age aren’t different representations within the DC Multiverse. No, instead, they are all the same world, with various changes made to the world – centered around Superman, of course – moving it forward through time and resetting everyone’s continuity. And it was only the most recent change, the start of the New 52, that was made by Doctor Manhattan.

DOOMSDAY CLOCK continues to get better with each issue, and despite being little more than a history lesson to explain away Geoff Johns’ newly-created Metaverse, I’m not sure many issues of any comic book this year will surpass the quality here.

I love the way Johns paced this issue, as Doctor Manhattan arrives on the DC Earth in April 1938, after fleeing his world at the end of WATCHMEN, and befriending the homeless would-be actor Carver Colman as he’s being beaten by Hollywood police. As Manhattan observes the changes in his new world, he comes back to Colman year after year, like Morpheus and Hob Gadling’s regular meetings in SANDMAN.

We were sold on DOOMSDAY CLOCK with the expectation of a confrontation between Manhattan and Superman, and throughout the series Manhattan has noted that his final vision of the future is that confrontation, leaving him unaware of the fate of the world in the aftermath. This certainly sets up some more reasoning for the fight, especially if Superman realizes Manhattan has been manipulating his life and the lives of all of his friends.

With just two issues left, things are going to get interesting as Johns will likely pull at all the threads he’s weaved. I’m looking forward to rereading this over and over.