Publisher’s Summary: The series you thought you’d never see reaches its fourth issue with a shocking revelation about the aftermath of Ozymandias’ actions and how they reach into even the darkest corners of the DC Universe. Don’t miss the latest chapter by the acclaimed team of writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank!
Geoff johns takes a step back from pushing the plot forward to add some depth to the story by giving readers a look into Reggie’s past, and in doing so, showcases the events that led to him (Reggie) becoming the new Rorschach.
With so much going on and so many questions that need to be answered I’m unsure if now was the right time for this issue; I can appreciate Johns’ attempt to add some more depth to this sequel, but how much momentum did the main plot lose here? I think it lost quite a bit and I also think that this loss could have been avoided by deeming this issue ‘Doomsday Clock: Rorschach #1,’ and publishing it alongside Doomsday Clock #5, which, if this happened, would have been Doomsday Clock #4.
Doomsday Clock #4 looks, reads, and feels very similar to Watchmen; yes, the previous issues did too, in a way, but here, it is obvious that Johns and Frank were intentionally trying harder than they had previously to produce a book that looks and feels like it came from Moore and Gibbons, and ultimately, they were successful in their attempt. But, despite their efforts, readers are quickly reminded that they are reading a comic book published by DC once the details of Reggie (the new Rorschach)’s backstory are put on display.
Much like their major competitor’s parent company, Disney, having a dead parent or parents is practically a prerequisite to becoming a major player in the DC Universe. In the comic book industry, no one does the whole ‘dark and gloomy backstory’ or ‘vengeful orphan’ thing quite like DC does. Reggie’s backstory feels very DC (as it should I suppose), but a very DC backstory detracts from the Watchmen experience and reminds readers that Moore and Gibbons have nothing to do with the Watchmen story that they’re reading.
Regardless of almost everything that I just said, Doomsday Clock #4 is a great comic book that expands upon the Watchmen mythos in a way that works and should be read by readers who are keeping up-to-date with all things DC and Doomsday Clock.
The Bottom Line:
Here, in Issue #4, the Doomsday Clock plot comes to an unexpected halt. Rather than progress the plot, Geoff Johns adds depth to the story by focusing in on, and providing additional back story for, Reggie, the new Rorschach. Despite its lack of forward movement, Doomsday Clock #4 is very well-written and reads like something penned by Alan Moore.