Why Doomsday Clock Was Always Destined For Success, Despite The Moral Implications

Well, you’ve all done it now. Doomsday Clock #1 appears to be a wild success, with DC Comics already announcing a second printing the same day the comic hit stores. In a press release, DC wrote:

The wait is over, and the end is here! The release of DOOMSDAY CLOCK #1, from the New York Times best-selling writer/artist team of Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, was celebrated with a series of midnight events at over 1,000 comic book stores across the United States and United Kingdom. Due to the incredible demand for the series that promises to bring the WATCHMEN characters and the DC Universe together for the first time, DOOMSDAY CLOCK #1 has already gone back to the printer.

Fans had the opportunity to reject a comic symbolizing the mistreatment of comic book creators and the exploitation of their creations for commercial gain, but instead they chose to embrace the merging of the DC and Watchmen universes, ensuring that DC will continue to produce Watchmen sequels for decades to come.

But honestly, did anyone expect any less? Comic book fans are notoriously unable to resist a crossover, no matter much they may complain about it on the internet. It’s why Marvel does three or four of them a year, in addition to a central super-mega-crossover event, despite promising to take a break from it after every one. It’s why prices keep rising exponentially higher than the rate of inflation — we’re willing to pay them, so why not?

It’s why we keep getting sales gimmicks prioritized over worthwhile stories. It’s why we have shocking character deaths followed almost immediately by shocking character births, why we have semi-annual universe shattering status quo changes, why we have line-wide events driven by a character becoming a Nazi. Sure, this stuff causes overall lasting damage to the industry in the long term, but in the short term, in the confines of a flawed and insular direct market monopoly, it sells better than anything else.

We reap the comic book industry we sow. So of course it’s an industry where pillaging beloved properties against the wishes of their creators is rewarded with success and acclaim. That was always going to be the case.

Writer and high-ranking corporate executive Geoff “Jeff” Johns thanked fans for this support in the press release:

“DOOMSDAY CLOCK is unlike anything that we have ever done before, and both Gary and I are incredibly overwhelmed by the support that the fans have shown leading up to the release,” said Johns. “The day before Thanksgiving has always held a special meaning for me – it was when I would buy boxes of comic books before heading home for the holiday. Once there, I would eagerly read through them and discuss every little detail with my friends. My hope is that fans will have that same experience with the first issue of DOOMSDAY CLOCK.”

Oh, Geoff. People don’t talk in person anymore. We do it on Twitter.

“We know the bar is set high for fans of WATCHMEN, and we aren’t going into it thinking we can match the best comic of all time,” said artist Gary Frank, undeterred by the prospect of underachievement. “But, we are confident that we have something pretty special and we are anxious for fans to finally have the first issue in hand and see where we are taking this story.”

If you haven’t already, go ahead and go to the store and buy Doomsday Clock #1. You know you’re going to — oh come on! Don’t look at us like that, Alan Moore! Stop staring at us with those sad, soulful eyes! This isn’t our fault! We just can’t help ourselves!

About Jude Terror

A prophecy says that in the comic book industry's darkest days, a hero will come to lead the people through a plague of overpriced floppies, incentive variant covers, #1 issue reboots, and super-mega-crossover events.

Scourge of Rich Johnston, maker of puns, and seeker of the Snyder Cut, Jude Terror, sadly, is not the hero comics needs right now... but he's the one the industry deserves.

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