Episode 1679 Talkback - Off the Racks: Doomsday Clock #1

Enclosed are the Geeks' first impressions of Doomsday Clock #1, the initial phase of a year-long DCU/Watchmen mash-up brought to you by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. Listen now. The clock is ticking... (43:51)

Hrrm... Listen here.

Comments

  • Cool! Not reading it but nice little middle of the week listen!
  • bralinatorbralinator Posts: 5,967
    edited December 2017
    Thanks for another timely episode guys! However, I got the feeling that only @pants seemed excited by the prospect and execution of this maxi-series. Everyone else seemed nonplus, troubled, or only mildly intrigued. I hope this maxi-series turns out to impress all of us. I too loved the art and I am intrigued by the premise.

    I was surprised no one mentioned that in the very first panel of Doomsday Clock #1 we see a narration caption that reads, “November 22nd, 1992… or maybe it’s the 23rd,” giving readers a starting point for the story being told. This date puts the start of Doomsday Clock right at the release of one of DC Comics' most well-known storylines, Superman #75. This connection gives the title "Doomsday Clock" a whole different meaning, perhaps referring to the villain Doomsday, and to the death of Superman, and ultimately to the death of “hope” in the DC universe. Would like to know @Adam_Murdough's thoughts on that.

    It’s been established that in the Watchmen universe that DC Comics characters exist as fictional characters in comic books, just like our reality.

    Here’s an excerpt by Night Owl aka Hollis Mason from his autobiography 'Under The Hood,' found in Watchmen #1,
    “For me, it all started in 1938, the year they invented the super-hero. I was too old for comic books when the first issue of Action Comics came out … but from the moment I set eyes on it I only had eyes for the Superman story. Here was something that presented the basic morality of the pulps without all their darkness and ambiguity...”

    I’m convinced that the era that the Doomsday Clock series takes place in is a major plot point of this maxi-series.
  • CalibanCaliban Posts: 1,348
    Like @Adam_Murdough I bought the first issue and felt guilty about. Particularly since I have now read some internet essays which compare the way DC have treated Moore and Gibbons with other examples of industry abuse of creators.

    It's interesting that CGS has recently spotlighted Jack Kirby and his struggles to get his artwork back. I wonder if in the future we will be discussing Moore & Gibbons' Watchmen rights in the same way?

    Maybe the CGS crew might talk about the ethics of this comic in future episodes?
  • bralinatorbralinator Posts: 5,967
    Regardless of what anyone thinks of Alan Moore, I understood that DC has tried to make good on the deal they reneged on, but Moore has repeatedly turned down the rights to Watchmen, ostensibly to avoid entanglement with future prequels and sequels.

    In fact, Moore has mostly turned his back on the industry and no longer speaks with Dave Gibbons.

    Story here: https://www.wired.com/2010/07/alan-moore-watchmen/
  • Regardless of what anyone thinks of Alan Moore, I understood that DC has tried to make good on the deal they reneged on, but Moore has repeatedly turned down the rights to Watchmen, ostensibly to avoid entanglement with future prequels and sequels.

    In fact, Moore has mostly turned his back on the industry and no longer speaks with Dave Gibbons.

    Story here: https://www.wired.com/2010/07/alan-moore-watchmen/

    If a contract over Watchmen doesn't involve returning the rights to Moore and Gibbons, Alan isn’t going to be interested. DC knows this. They do their due diligence anyway, and offer him gobs of money, even though they know he isn’t going to take it. Dave was being practical, knowing they will never get the rights back, and decided to try to get whatever he could out of it. And I have absolutely no problem with that. Alan doesn’t care about the money; he just wants the rights back. He knows he'll never get them back, but he is in a position in life where he can afford to tell DC to shove off. And I have absolutely no problem with that either. It’s just a shame they’ve lost a friendship over the issue. Same thing happened with Moore and Alan Davis over Captain Britain because of the Miracleman snafu.

    I'm not reading Doomsday Clock. Not because of any indignence on Alan’s behalf, I'm just not interested.
  • ChrisBeckettChrisBeckett Posts: 405
    edited December 2017
    Like Eric above, I'm not reading Doomsday Clock out of a lack of interest, but I do enjoy my CGS podcast and wanted to chime in about the question of Robert Redford as President in this timeline --- which is absolutely correct.

    edited to say: absolutely correct, as far as the way things end up in "Watchmen."

    As stated in the "Reading Watchmen" annotations by some guy named Chris Beckett (cheap plug here, for a website that brings me no money), on page 32, panel 3 of issue 12 it's confirmed that Robert Redford is the "RR" mentioned on the news headline brought up by @Pants.

    LINK

    note: There are roughly 78,000 more words on Watchmen across the rest of my site.

    And, since there's no context--only explanation--offered with my annotations, here's the page itself that confirms it's Robert Redford.

    image

    Thanks, as always, for all the work that goes into the podcast. It is much appreciated.

    chris

  • bralinatorbralinator Posts: 5,967
    edited December 2017


    If a contract over Watchmen doesn't involve returning the rights to Moore and Gibbons, Alan isn’t going to be interested. DC knows this. They do their due diligence anyway, and offer him gobs of money, even though they know he isn’t going to take it. Dave was being practical, knowing they will never get the rights back, and decided to try to get whatever he could out of it. And I have absolutely no problem with that. Alan doesn’t care about the money; he just wants the rights back. He knows he'll never get them back, but he is in a position in life where he can afford to tell DC to shove off. And I have absolutely no problem with that either. It’s just a shame they’ve lost a friendship over the issue. Same thing happened with Moore and Alan Davis over Captain Britain because of the Miracleman snafu.

    I'm not reading Doomsday Clock. Not because of any indignence on Alan’s behalf, I'm just not interested.

    Apparently the deal DC offered was gobs of money and the rights back if Moore allowed them to do the prequels and sequel.

    Alan Moore from the Wired.com article above:

    “They offered me the rights to Watchmen back, if I would agree to some dopey prequels and sequel”

    He turned them down. His prerogative. I am more in line with Gibbons, besides the characters are all essentially anagrams of DC owned Charlton characters in the first place. I’ve come to believe that the pragmatic decision would be to have begun negotiating from that DC offer Moore refers to in the Wired article.

    As for the DC (Doomsday Clock) series, I was so impressed with Rebirth #1 and this premise that I’m on board until it falls off the rails.
  • Mark_EngblomMark_Engblom Posts: 294
    edited December 2017
    The whiff of real-world political commentary is what put me off the story almost immediately. Why Geoff Johns couldn't just tell a story without the need to "virtue signal" to his crowd is really disappointing. I also share Murd's assessment of Geoff's Rorschach dialogue as feeling off and amateurish. Yes, I suppose the fact that Rorschach is now a different person could explain some of it...not to mention him being of a different political persuasion altogether than Walter Kovacs (the original Rorschach)...which makes Rorschach II's adoption of the same staccato speaking pattern even more affected and off-putting.

    As a whole, it all feels like incredibly elaborate fan fiction...taking the subtle hints and foreshadowings of Watchmen (such as the artfully hinted-at possibility of someone using Kovacs' diary to blow open Vietch's conspiracy) and just...going there immediately. There's none of Moore's original subtlety or complex "clockwork" machinery at work here, which I guess shouldn't surprise me with a writer like Geoff Johns, who built his career crafting big, loud, audacious Event Comics. It's like recruiting Michael Bay to direct a quiet Indy film. I would've much rather seen a guy like Tom King get to write a work requiring the subtlety and complex layering a merging of the DC and Watchment universes requires.
  • BrackBrack Posts: 547

    The whiff of real-world political commentary is what put me off the story almost immediately.

    The problem is it is only a whiff. It should be all-out political commentary. It's Watchmen.

    The portrayal of this president in Doomsday Clock is toothless satire. If Johns wants to attack Trump, he should have put him in the book and stuck it to him, like Moore did with Nixon.

    Of course then he'd have to think up why he was president in 1992...
  • Mark_EngblomMark_Engblom Posts: 294
    Despite Nixon's appearance in Watchmen, he was still a pretty minor element of the story's larger tapestry...which is as it should be. Watchmen was never primarily a political screed, nor should this new....whatever it is....be one.
  • PeterPeter Posts: 420
    edited January 4
    Written by an author who lived under, and wrote against, Thatcherism. Inspired by the constant threat of total nuclear destruction. Superheroes as metaphors about different kinds of power. Afghanistan, Vietnam, Russia. A president on his third (fourth?) term. A character who possibly killed JFK. Released during the Reagan era.

    Nope. No in your face real world politics in the original Watchmen to be found. ;)
  • Mark_EngblomMark_Engblom Posts: 294
    Peter said:

    Written by an author who lived under, and wrote against, Thatcherism. Inspired by the constant threat of total nuclear destruction. Superheroes as metaphors about different kinds of power. Afghanistan, Vietnam, Russia. A president on his third (fourth?) term. A character who possibly killed JFK. Released during the Reagan era.

    Nope. No in your face real world politics in the original Watchmen to be found. ;)

    I didn't say there were no political elements. I said it wasn't primarily a political screed, in the sense that, say, V for Vendetta was. The vast majority of Watchmen dealt with the interactions between the core characters.
  • Mr_CosmicMr_Cosmic Posts: 3,127
    edited January 4

    Peter said:

    Written by an author who lived under, and wrote against, Thatcherism. Inspired by the constant threat of total nuclear destruction. Superheroes as metaphors about different kinds of power. Afghanistan, Vietnam, Russia. A president on his third (fourth?) term. A character who possibly killed JFK. Released during the Reagan era.

    Nope. No in your face real world politics in the original Watchmen to be found. ;)

    I didn't say there were no political elements. I said it wasn't primarily a political screed, in the sense that, say, V for Vendetta was. The vast majority of Watchmen dealt with the interactions between the core characters.
    This new series could end up being the same - it might be too early to tell. Did Johns jump the gun by shoving the current political climate of the Watchmen universe in our faces rather than letting it unfold over the series?.. I don't know. I'll hold off judgment until I have the whole story.

  • Mark_EngblomMark_Engblom Posts: 294
    I'm really hoping that Johns will resist the urge to "touch every base" of the Watchmen universe. In other words, I really don't want to see every major (and minor) character brought back just so Johns can write them, or just to see the fan-fic match-ups (like Batman meeting Nite Owl). "Restraint" should be the guiding principal for something like this, but knowing Johns' history, I don't think that's going to happen. ...especially with 12 issues to fill.
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