Doomsday Clock (2017 – 2019)
Reprints Doomsday Clock #1-12
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank
In 2016, when DC Rebirth hit the stands, it became clear that DC Comics was working towards some crossover between their universe of characters and the Watchmen reality. For the next year, the event was teased in smaller stories, but the details remained obscure. What we knew was that Doctor Manhattan has some role in the New 52 reboot of the DCU, a 2011 line-wide decision to try and revitalize the characters. It appeared to be an in-universe way to explain why such drastic changes happened and why certain characters vanished.
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Season One, Episode Nine – “See How They Fly”
Written by Nick Cuse & Damon Lindelof
Directed by Frederick E. O. Toye
Where previous episodes have taken their time and meditated on their characters and themes, this final chapter in the HBO Watchmen sequel feels more plot-heavy and honestly a little rushed. But that is the way finales work when you are trying to tie up the loose ends of a story as complex as this. The plot beats come fast and furious, leading to a reasonably satisfying conclusion with a nice tease of an ending scene. Did this follow-up to the revered comic book match the power of that work? Not entirely, but it had genuine moments of genius and illuminated characters in deeply meaningful ways.
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Season One, Episode Eight – “A God Walks into Abar”
Written by Jeff Jensen & Damon Lindelof
Directed by Nicole Kassell
Doctor Manhattan has always been my favorite character in the Watchmen story due to his tragic nature. He’s a man transformed into a god through a horrific scientific mistake. The result is he has omnipotence and omniscience and a disconnect from his fellow humans. Manhattan exists in multiple points in space & time simultaneously and knows everything that will ever happen to him. This leads to frustration from the people he has relationships with because he will be completely open about knowing when they will split or tragedy will strike. Intimacy crumbles and the shared history between these people begin to feel like a series of steps in a procedure, the discovery and mystery of love are gone.
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Season One, Episode Seven – “An Almost Religious Awe”
Written by Stacy Osei-Kuffour
Directed by David Semel
I recently saw an acquaintance who just watched the first episode of Watchmen remark that they were confused about what this show had to do with the 1980s comic book and why they should watch the next chapter. People read Watchmen as a whole; only the original readers experienced it as a monthly, which could have led to someone reading issue one and wondering what the big deal about this series was. It’s not the individual piece, but the whole that matters with Watchmen. Seemingly unimportant background matter in issue one gains more considerable significance the deeper you get into the story, the same thing goes for the Watchmen series. Each piece leads to a greater whole.
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Season One, Episode Six – “This Extraordinary Being”
Written by Damon Lindeloff & Cord Jefferson
Directed by Stephen Williams
Once upon a time, there was a man named Bass Reeves. Reeves was a slave to many prominent men since childhood and eventually became a fugitive, hiding out in the territory of the Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole. When the dust settled from the Civil War, Reeves emerged as an expert in Native relations and was made the first black U.S. marshall west of the Mississippi River. Throughout his 32 years serving in this position, he earned accolades as a skilled marksman and phenomenal detective. At one point, he even had to bring in his own son, who had murdered Bass’s daughter-in-law.
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Superman: Year One (2019)
Written by Frank Miller
Art by John Romita, Jr.
I can’t think of many comic book talents who have undergone such a massive in public sentiment in recent years than Frank Miller. Once beloved by the community for his Daredevil, Batman, and Dark Horse work, things changed in the wake of 9/11. Miller sunk into a mire of Islamophobia, giving rants to interviewers about his views on the religion, which was based purely on the 9/11 attacks. He even went as far as to propose Batman: Holy Terror, which would have had the Dark Knight going to Afghanistan to kill Al-Qaeda. DC smartly chose to pass on the project. Miller took the idea to Dark Horse, where he dropped the Batman part and made it about a thinly veiled version of the hero. In that same year, he ranted about Occupy Wall Street, calling them “louts, thieves, and rapists.” In 2018, he walked back from those comments saying he “wasn’t thinking clearly.”
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Season One, Episode Two – “Little Fear of Lightning”
Written by Damon Lindeloff & Carly Wray
Directed by Steph Green
Trauma is an element ever-present in Moore & Gibbons’ graphic novel, and it continues to be a significant component of the television series. The trauma in focus here is Wade Tillman’s, the Tulsa police officer known as Looking Glass. It’s revealed in the cold open that Tillman was Jehovah’s Witness who traveled to Hoboken, New Jersey in 1985 as part of his mission work. This puts him front & center for Adrian Veidt’s massacre of Manhattan when he teleports in his hoax intended to unite the world. From Tillman’s perspective, he’s just been duped by a local into stripping down in a carnival funhouse, and he emerges into a world where everyone around him is dead, their brains having leaked out of their ears.
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