Literally from Gary Frank’s very first panel, the upcoming Doomsday Clock invites comparisons between the world of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen and DC’s main-line shared superhero universe. D-Clock (for obvious reasons, we can’t just abbreviate it DC) begins on November 22, 1992, some twenty-five years “ago”; but alludes rather pointedly to several 2017 geopolitical touchstones. November 22, 1963, for example, was also the date President John F. Kennedy was killed (an event still relevant in Watchmen‘s timeline).
This year’s November 22 is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, which Geoff Johns picked as a release date because of his affection for reading comics over the Thanksgiving break. In the comics world, however, November 1992 is infamous mainly for one thing: the death of Superman. As written and pencilled by Dan Jurgens, and inked by Brett Breeding, the Man of Steel met his end defeating the monster called (yes) Doomsday in Superman vol. 2 issue #75. According to the Grand Comics Database, that issue came out in comics shops on Thursday, November 19, 1992.
So, Doomsday Clock is set three days after Superman died, and kicks off by describing a superhero-free world beset on all sides by nightmare scenarios. While that’s the most obvious starting point, there are a few other factors to consider. We’ll start by examining how things were in the real November 1992, how they compare to Watchmen‘s world, and what it might all mean for the story that’s coming.
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- Doomsday Clock: Moving Forward… Into the Past
- Superman, or Super-Martyr?
- Doctor Manhattan: The Physicist And The Farmer
- DC Comics’ Seven Year Itch
- No Character Is Beyond Rehabilitation