‘Watchmen’ Meet Superman In This Week’s Best New Comics


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]]>‘Watchmen’ Meets Superman In This Week’s Best New Comics

DC Comics

For years, DC Comics kept Watchmen carefully siloed away from the larger DC universe. Largely this was because of fan preference: Alan Moore was put on a pedestal above mere Big Two superheroics. But, time, and more than a few awkward interviews and harsher critical reappreciations of Moore’s work have made the Watchmen a bit less sacrosanct, at least commercially. Batman and The Flash have already touched the Watchmen universe with the superb crossover The Button. And now, Doomsday Clock debuting today, it’s Superman’s turn.

Unlike The Button, which only lightly touches on Watchmen, Doomsday Clock is a full-on Watchmen story. Ozymandias has lived up to his name. All his great works have come to naught, we are minutes away from nuclear war, and he’s decided to find the one man who can stop all of this: Dr. Manhattan. Geoff Johns, taking on a monumental task, skillfully evokes the original while keeping his own voice. Gary Frank and Brad Anderson also have the tricky job of keeping Dave Gibbons’ style and colors while making it their own, a job they pull off.

But what of the story? Honestly, it’s tough to tell, one issue in. The setup, though, is fascinating: Ozymandias has lured two villains, the Marionette and the Mime (riffs on obscure villains Punch and Jewelee) and appears to be sending them after Manhattan into DC’s actual universe. But it’s the note the book ends on that’s the most intriguing and troubling: Clark Kent having a nightmare that seems just a little too real. Fans will likely argue about this series endlessly, but in its own right, it’s a fascinating start.

Archie Comics

Betty And Veronica: Vixens #1, Archie Comics

Jamie Lee Rotante, Eva Cabrera and Elaina Unger put another spin on Archie. In some ways, it’s a traditional story where the practical Betty and Veronica bail out their bumbling boyfriends. Except this time they do it by founding a biker gang and beating the crap of the South Side Serpents. Cabrera and Unger draw from all sorts of design and style here to create a distinct style, feeling a bit like an old-school tattoo come to life. Rotante, meanwhile, gives this story a strong thread of feminism, in part to explain why straight-laced good girl Betty would ride hogs and break faces.

Imaginary Fiends #1, DC Comics

Tim Seeley and Stephen Molar ask a seemingly simple and common question: What if imaginary friends were real? But they follow it up with an uncomfortable question: What do they get out of the bargain? It turns out, in this book, they feed off us, and if they get a taste of fear, it’s like heroin. Seeley knows this kind of horror turf well, but it’s Molnar’s mix of the realistic and carefully grotesque that sells the horror.

Void Trip #1, Image

Ryan O’Sullivan and Plaid Klaus fire up the wandering tale of Gabe and Ana, two drifters who mooch off the land, get high, and look for euphoria. The basic difference between this, and, say, Easy Rider is it’s in space, the drugs are “froot,” and euphoria is a literal place. What’s most amusing about this, beyond Plaid Klaus’ careful mix of SF trippiness and ’60s “square” imagery, is O’Sullivan is under no illusions that stoners are fun people to be around. What makes the book intriguing is that it’s not clear why the relatively stable, mature Gabe is tolerating the antics of the self-involved Ana just yet, as funny as those antics may be from a distance. But it’s a fun read and a clever take on the typical “space trip” genre.

Doctor Radar #1, Titan

Noel Simsolo and Bezian, with translation help from Ivanka Hahnenberger, deliver a delightful tribute to the murder mysteries of the 1920s. Our hero, Straus, is a dandy with too much money and a taste for adventure, and quickly falls afoul of the title villain. Simsolo’s clearly familiar with the classic mysteries of the era, though the book has a more realistic edge with its dissipated painters and discussion of how gay people are treated. And Bezian’s New Yorker-esque stylings and scratchy line evoke the art of the era while allowing for a looser, more emotional style than straight historiography would allow. It’s a delightful little Eurocomic, especially for mystery and pulp fans.


  1. [avatar]


    Thanks Dan, I always appreciate your suggestions. I’ll give a few of these a shot.

    I don’t appreciate that you made me learn a word though (sacrosanct). I don’t come to the internet to learn.

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