“Modified Visions of a Half-Imagined Past” – Reading Doomsday Clock #2, Action Comics #994, Detective Comics #971, Teen Titans #15 (SPOILERS)

Bleeding Cool continues in its’s belief that somehow, the DC Comics titles are merging together with Doomsday Clock, the Superman titles and Detective Comics, despite evidence to the contrary., Nevertheless we are going to hammer this together and see what kind of shape we can make.

The events of the DC Universe as portrayed in Doomsday Clock are intended to be in a year’s time, and the DC Universe will catch up to it in that period.

The big news for the DC Universe is the popularisation of The Superman Theory. In the novel Crime And Punishment, the Superman theory is that an ‘extraordinary’ person has a private right, to allow his conscience to step across moral obstacles, and then only if the execution of his idea (which may occasionally be the salvation of all mankind) requires it.

In the DC Universe, it is rather that the reason America has so many superheroes is that the government in engineering them. Which may well go right back to Superman Unchained in the current DC Universe.

Of course, knowing what we know, maybe it’s Dr Manhattan engineering them. As he told Veidt in Watchmen, he was off to make some life.

Superman exists as an old comic book no longer published in the Watchmen world. But here… did Dr Manhattan recreate Superman from reading Superman? A paradox?

Even as in the DC Universe, a DC Comics book is recreated as a piece of fiction from the time it was set, with Don McGregor and Gene Colan’s Nathaniel Dusk PI from 1984. Jacques Tourneur was a French film director known for the classic film noir Out of the Past and a series of low-budget horror films he made for RKO Studios, including Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie and The Leopard Man. He is also known for directing Night of the Demon, released by Columbia Pictures.

You’re more likely to know Hemingway and Woolf, but Vladimir Mayakovsky was a Russian futurist. He wrote poems, wrote and directed plays, appeared in films, edited the art journal LEF, and created agitprop posters in support of the Communist Party during the Russian Civil War, but his relationship with the state proved a volatile one and in 1930, committed suicide. That’s in our world – the Watchmen world or the DC world, it’s up for debate.

So just as there is protest against Ozymandias in the Watchmen world…

There is protest against the superheroes in the DC Universe.

Or at least there will be. But in today’s Detective Comics, maybe the start of something similar?

Protests against the Batman way of life, as seen in Doomsday Clock, but engineered by their current foes.

Whether or not that makes any sense.

So what else is going on? Well, when Mr Oz, now revealed to be Superman’s father Jor-El, saved from the destruction of Krypton by Dr Manhattan, first came to the DC Universe Earth he posed as Mr Oz and used the Nostalgia perfume logo as a tattoo image for his followers.

Nostalgia was the perfume from Veidt Industries in Watchmen, one that Veidt cancels when he sees the way the world is changing.

Though some people have kept theirs…

…replaced by a more forward-looking Millennium.

And why Marionette is so important?

Hang on… Veidt knew Manhattan on a physically intimate level? That’s new, isn’t it? But no time for that, we learn of the shared history of Manhattan and Marionette.

A murdering criminal survived Dr Manhattan’s instant death sentence through being pregnant. Not that he seemed that concerned in Watchmen to do anything about it in a similar situation with The Comedian.

But things are changing, and Dr Manhattan’s blue fingerprints are all over them. Talking of which, we get an explanation for Manhattan’s hue…

As well as the way they are crossing dimensions in his wake. The “how the hell” isn’t relevant right now, after all, he is the world’s stupidest dressed smartest man. Something similar has been happening in today’s Action Comics, finding a different Krypton with a different history, one that survived and prospered with General Zod and Jor-El creating a new society.

Giving Superman a nostalgia for something that never was…..

…but could have been.

And, in the process, lost children… the interaction between Manhattan, Superman and Batman in the DC Universe, has revolved around the relationship of parent and child, of father and son, and so it remains here. While the Titajns Of The Future have their own similar issues to deal with and a timeline in danher of being altered – or broken.

…for better or worse.

So as the Watchmen Four escape nuclear destruction, a few things to notice.

Sorry, Watchmen Five. Veidt refers to Nite Owl’s vehicle as the ship. Baby Bubatos is the compass. And as for locating this world’s smartest men…

It’s about navigating waters. Which all brings to mind another vessel from Watchmen.

They’re back on board the Black Freighter heading to their doom. We first meet Batman talking about boats as well, though he is lying.

In a fashion familiar to previous lies.

But that Rorschach was good at figuring out spatial stuff.

And so is this.

We may even get a name for this Rorschach.

“Reggie” – though it may be a name important to this Rorschach. Could this be Malcolm Long’s son? Or is this Malcolm Long and Reggie is his son?

In Detective Comics, as Batman faces down a very well prepared foe…

…did he do it thirty-five minutes ago? Though someone really doesn’t like that Watchmen plot.

Though when it seems that Manhattane end of to create life, he may have recreated some. Veidt is still good at dodging bullets…

…as his hands were full. And for all his bluster, Lex Luthor is not up on that ability yet.

Confused and drink he was…

So who else has Manhattan resurrected? And the quote from Carson McCullers, from “As often as not, we are homesick most

for the places we have never known.”

Talking of those who”retreat and withdraw from reality, taking recourse either in fantasies of the future or in modified visions of a half-imagined past” as Veidt wrote in that Watchmen memo…

(W) Geoff Johns (A/CA) Gary Frank
DC and Watchmen characters collide at last! The story that began in DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1 comes to a thrilling and unexpected crescendo in the pages of this titanic twelve-issue series by the all-star team that brought you BATMAN: EARTH ONE and SHAZAM!
In this second chapter: The Dark Knight discovers another relic from the Watchmen world. Lex Luthor pays a devil’s bargain. And killer clowns trek through Gotham seeking a madman.
RATED T+ In Shops: Dec 27, 2017
SRP: $4.99

(W) Dan Jurgens (A) Brett Booth, Joe Prado (CA) Trevor Scott, Dan Jurgens
“BOOSTER SHOT” part two! It’s the time-hopping team-up of Superman and Booster Gold-and on their quest to verify Mr. Oz’s identity, a mysterious force attempts to sabotage the journey! This time (pun!) our heroes wind up in the crosshairs of a deadly new villain-the time wraith responsible for their tumultuous journey!
RATED T In Shops: Dec 27, 2017
SRP: $2.99

(W) James TynionIV (A) Joe Bennett (CA) Guillem March
“Fall of the Batmen” part three! With the Victim Syndicate on the move and Clayface on the edge, the team faces a crossroads-but Batwoman believes she knows the way forward! The trick is…does Batman agree?
RATED T In Shops: Dec 27, 2017
SRP: $2.99

(W) Peter J. Tomasi (A/CA) Francis Manapul
“SUPER SONS OF TOMORROW” part three! The Batman of Tomorrow reveals himself to the Teen Titans to recruit them to his cause. But the reunion gives way to the big question: is the life of an innocent child worth more than the lives of millions? It’s the Teen Titans vs. the Super Sons in the battle you’ve been waiting for!
RATED T In Shops: Dec 27, 2017
SRP: $3.99

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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