DC Comics may have had previous midnight releases for fans who couldn’t wait to get their claws, gloves, and robotic hands on variant covers and special editions before, but there’s an eerie significance to this one. Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s Doomsday Clock #1 is taking a cue from Watchmen and setting off the apocalypse 3 minutes early. Literally.
In Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock, which uses the lifespan of the human race so far to predict how long humanity has before it gets vaporized, kept creeping forward on each cover from 12 minutes to twelve until the stroke of midnight and imminent doom. This doesn’t just exist in the DC Universe. The real Doomsday Clock actually flash-forwarded from three to two minutes ahead of midnight—bonus points if you get the Iron Maiden reference—right after the recent war of words over Korea. You have every right to be terrified.
Now DC is really playing up the fear factor and giving a wink to Alan Moore’s birthday three days late with an 11:57 release on the night of November 21, and will bomb participating stores with badges, pins, Gary Frank lithographs, and an exclusive black-and-white release event cover that will give you chills.
Whether or not Doomsday Clock is intended to keep you up at night, it emerged from the DC Rebirth comics and picks up where 2016 one-shot DC Universe: Rebirth Special 1 and 2017 crossover The Button left off. Superman and Doctor Manhattan will be the focus of the series after Johns felt compelled to zero in on the dichotomy between a superhero who swoops in to save humanity and a villain who shuns it. Watch for Watchmen characters entering the DC Universe in this 12-issue miniseries that will (predictably) release over the course of a year.
This might be the one time ever you’re actually excited for Doomsday.
(via Bleeding Cool)
The Nuclear Doomsday Clock is a symbolic representation of how close the world is to catastrophic destruction by nuclear war. It is based on the real-world Doomsday Clock, which performs a similar function. The closer the clock stands to midnight, the nearer the world is to Armageddon.
In Chapter I of Watchmen, a newspaper on Adrian Veidt's desk has the headline "Nuclear Doomsday Clock Stands At Five To Midnight".
The cover page of each chapter of Watchmen has an image of a clockface. The clock on the cover of Chapter I is set at twelve minutes to midnight, and on the cover of each subsequent chapter the clock is moved forward by one minute. The clock on the cover of the final chapter, Chapter XII, is set to midnight. The final page in each Chapter also bears a clockface showing the same time as the one on the cover.
The blood-stained badge of the Comedian, which appears on the cover of Chapter I, may represent a clock with its minute hand pointing at twelve minutes to the hour.
Veidt's master plan takes place at midnight, New York local time. On page 27 of Chapter XI, a clock set to New York time is pictured at one minute to midnight. A clock, covered in blood and set to midnight, appears on the cover and first page of Chapter XII.
The Doomsday Clock makes a return appearance in DC Rebirth #1 and the eponymous series. At the end of DC Rebirth #1, the final two-page spread showed that Doctor Manhattan's experiments with time set the clock back to 11:45, fifteen minutes to midnight. It moves forward to twelve minutes by the events of Doomsday Clock. The clock takes on a new appearance for Doomsday Clock, with midnight represented by Superman's shield, once again appearing on the cover of each issue.