Rebirth Year Eighteen (Part 1)

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(January 2019 to June 2019)
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–Nightwing Vol. 4 #50
Early January. It’s now been four months since Nightwing was shot by KGBeast. For the past couple weeks, Dick—still an amnesiac with no prior attachments, and still going by the name “Ric”—has spent his days and nights drinking heavily and hanging-out at a local dive bar in Blüdhaven. In this duration, he’s also had several blackouts, waking up in completely random places following each episode. Cut to now. Babs tries, as she’s been doing for months, to reconnect with Ric, who is now moonlighting as a taxi cab driver (working for a guy named Burl). She accompanies him to his haunt, the aptly named Prodigal Bar (which is tended by Ric’s new friend and soon-to-be lover Beatrice “Bea” Bennett). At the Prodigal Bar, Ric gives Babs the brush-off, as he’s been doing, choosing to embrace his new life and new friends. Later, in the Batcave, a tearful Batgirl reports to Batman and Alfred. A stoic but clearly saddened Batman says that maybe it’s better to let Dick go, that he might be benefit from a fresh start. Meanwhile, in Blüdhaven, a man is found murdered with a crow’s feather in his hand. Scarecrow has moved to Blüdhaven. Ric goes to his Nightwing HQ and burns it to the ground. Everything is destroyed except for his old superhero costumes, which are preserved behind fireproofed antimony-fused glass.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 #74. At the urging of the Bat-Family (and because he truly cares), Batman visits Blüdhaven and spies on Ric, learning all about his new civilian life with Bea Bennett. While we won’t see it on our timeline ahead, Batman will keep tabs on Ric, moving forward, visiting Blüdhaven many times to secretly watch over him. We must simply imagine these visits sprinkled throughout the next year or so.

–REFERENCE: In Robin Vol. 3 #3. Batman easily busts the Riddler while solving Riddler’s riddles aloud. While this reference could be to numerous encounters with Riddler in the past, this one is specific because another super-villain (although we aren’t told which super-villain) bears witness to Riddler’s embarrassment. Thus, we have a unique item on our chronology here.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #86-87Batman Vol. 3 #93, and Batman Vol. 3 #95. Bruce convinces the State House of Representatives to override a regulatory board, allowing Wayne Enterprises to enter into wide-sweeping new construction projects across Gotham City. With red tape cleared, Bruce decides to move Wayne Enterprises HQ to a brand new campus in Gotham’s Tricorner Yards neighborhood. Bruce forms the Wayne Enterprises Rebuild Committee, which oversees the start of construction on both the new campus and various other projects, including a new police HQ (complete with a high-tech prison wing). Not wanting it to be a monopoly, Bruce puts out a call for competing visions for the new city. These “Wayne Rebuild Project” buildings will continue construction through the rest of the calendar year. Secretly, Batman and Lucius Fox begin building The Hibernaculum, a new Bat Bunker that will be in a sub-sub-basement beneath the new Tricorner Yards campus. This bunker, which will include an autonomous tech-building factory, won’t be ready until the very end of the year. Already seeing the future, Batman and Lucius Fox begin coming up with new designs for vehicles and weaponry. Bruce also draws up blueprints to have his Tricorner Yards office look exactly like his study in Wayne Manor. Additionally, Batman and Lucius begin construction on five Micro-Batcaves in the main building at Tricorner Yards.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 4 #41. Batman already has sonic weaponry in his utility belt, but he now designs and adds a voice-activated sonic weapon—called the “aural spike”—directly into his costume.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1009. As one of the more eco-friendly conglomerates in the world, Wayne Enterprises is invited to attend the upcoming Singapore Climate Change Summit.

–FLASHBACK: From Justice League Vol. 4 #40. Batman goes on an unspecified mission, which starts out in the Batplane. Not needing the plane upon arriving at his destination, Batman has Alfred remote-pilot it back home.

–Batman: Gotham Nights Vol. 3 #16 Part 1
Winter. A teenage boy manages to steal the Batmobile in an effort to use it to free his mother from a sweatshop being run by Penguin. Batman and Alfred monitor the situation remotely, deciding to let the kid pilot the vehicle and use its weaponry to take down Penguin’s henchmen. Batman then swoops-in and busts Penguin. (Of course, as usual, there’s no way Penguin faces any charges that stick.)

–Detective Comics #1000 Part 1
Batman continues the now sixteen-year-old “David Lambert’s looking glass case,” following recent clues to an apartment in downtown Gotham. There, Batman finds a hidden stairwell and descends into a library to find the Guild of Detection waiting for him! Finally, after sixteen long years, Batman has solved the mystery of Lambert’s looking glass. Slam Bradley introduces himself along with the current Guild lineup—Martian Manhunter, Detective Chimp, Elongated Man, Sue Dibny, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, a returning Question (Vic Sage), and two unnamed others. (Yes, there are two Questions now.) Batman is stunned to learn that this group has been leading him on a wild goose chase just as a challenge. Now officially a member of the organization, Batman is told everything. The library in which he stands holds files upon files of unsolved cases, many of which are supernatural or celestial (i.e. cosmic) in nature. Some of the texts are ancient. Batman, like a kid in a candy store, is welcomed with open arms and invited to peruse the Borgesian hall of books.

–Detective Comics #1000 Part 4
Batman gets detailed intel on an archly dangerous terror cell, after which he discovers their hideout in a Gotham warehouse. After lining the inside of the warehouse with non-lethal explosives and setting their destruct codes to link-up with the Bat-computer network in his costume, Batman crashes in and kicks ass. The leader of the terror cell is so scared when Batman approaches him that he turns over a dirty bomb detonator in tears and without a fight.

–Detective Comics #1000 Deluxe Edition Part 12
Batman finished routine patrol and is so “in the zone” that he sits down for breakfast at Wayne Manor while still wearing his Bat-costume. Batman goes to change in the Batcave but gets a police report that an escaped Two-Face has supposedly formed a pact with Mad Hatter, the Ventriloquist (with Scarface), Killer Croc, and Penguin. After taking down each super-villain in order, Batman realizes that they aren’t working with Two-Face. The latter has set them all up to take a Bat-beating because they all beat Harvey Dent in court way back in the day. Batman meets a waiting Two-Face at Demarco’s, which was Harvey Dent’s favorite restaurant before he became a super-villain. The Harvey Dent side of Two-Face allows Batman to bring him to justice. Batman then returns home to finally eat his breakfast.

–REFERENCE: In Legends of the Dark Knight Vol. 2 #11 (Legends of the Dark Knight Vol. 2 Print Edition #6). Solomon Grundy escapes from Arkham Asylum. Batman confers with Arkham staff to discuss Grundy’s undead mental state. Grundy will remain on the loose for months to come.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #85. Batman takes Scarface away from the Ventriloquist, storing the puppet with his old master, the Memory of the Mountain.

–Detective Comics #1001-1003 (“MEDIEVAL”)
The Arkham Knight and her elite team of warrior knights known as The Knights of the Sun make their debut by activating a device that causes all the bats in Gotham to drop dead. After examining the dead bats in the Batcave, Batman visits Francine Langstrom. Francine is journaling about the bat-massacre and mentions that she once became She-Bat “several years ago.” In Rebirth Era continuity, Francine became She-Bat one time indeed—in Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #35, about two years ago. Francine injects herself with Man-Bat Serum, turning into She-Bat and raging wildly. Batman is pulled across town by She-Bat to the zoo. There, Batman injects her with anti-serum, reverting her back to human form. The Knights of the Sun then activate an artificial sun that brings daylight to the midnight hour. At the nearby Kane Castle mansion, the Arkham Knight and her warriors attack Batman. (The Arkham Knight’s attack upon Batman and Gotham is also referenced in Detective Comics #1000 Part 11.) After putting a dozen armor-piercing arrows into a tough-as-nails Batman, the Arkham Knight and her men stand down. Back home, Alfred patches up the injured Batman while Robin finds the bad guys—in scuba gear and a submarine—in the waterway connecting Gotham River to Aparo Bay. After getting knocked-out, Robin wakes up in a dungeon filled with hand-drawn Bat-tapestries. The Arkham Knight shows Robin a medieval-styled Robin costume and asks him to join the Knights of the Sun. Robin quickly escapes and ascends to the top of the dungeon, emerging in the heart of Arkham Asylum. The Arkham Knight unmasks and allows Robin to go free. Back home, Alfred tailors new armored costumes for Batman and Robin. Together, the Dynamic Duo goes after the Knights of the Sun! Upon arrival back at Arkham Asylum, Jeremiah Arkham greets the Dynamic Duo, revealing that the Arkham Knight is his thirteen-year-old daughter Astrid Arkham!

–Detective Comics #1004-1005 (“MEDIEVAL” Conclusion)
Jeremiah Arkham tells the Dynamic Duo his daughter’s super-villain origin story, specifically how she was practically raised by Batman’s rogues and blames Batman for the death of her mother. Not long after, on the outskirts of the city, Batman and Robin come face-to-face with the Arkham Knight and her warriors—the Knights of the Sun, Dr. Phosphorus, Anton Arcane, and Arcane’s UnMen. The Dynamic Duo defeat all their opponents and make their way into a nearby observatory where the Arkham Knight detonates an even stronger “day bomb” that blankets all of Gotham in blinding light. A sightless Batman is able to defeat the Arkham Knight and destroy her light machine. Everyone in Gotham, including Batman, will remain blind for several days. During this time, Robin, having had his eyes protected by diffusion lenses, guides Batman on nightly patrols until the Dark Knight’s sight returns.

–Detective Comics #1006-1007
Batman tracks some would-be bank robbers for two days before busting them in the act. Across town, Detective Jim Corrigan and his partner Tony Martinez have a late diner meal. (Corrigan mentions a major league baseball game, so it must be preseason or very early in the season.) The detectives depart to survey a murder scene only to be attacked by several dudes dressed up as the Spectre (members of The Cult of the Divine Hand). The real Spectre emerges from within Corrigan to fight the attackers, leaving Corrigan himself to attend to the fatally wounded Martinez. This allows the cultists to drug and kidnap Corrigan, leaving him separated from the Spectre. Their aim is to permanently separate the two via arcane ritual so that they can control God’s Wrath. The Spectre immediately collects Batman. Together, they examine the scene of the crime and Batman scans it using his new data-analysis device. In the Batcave, the Spectre finally tells Batman the truth about he and Corrigan, revealing that they are symbiotically linked. Batman and the Spectre go on a joint investigation that eventually takes them to an abandoned church. There, Batman and the Spectre free Corrigan, who helps them defeat the Cult of the Divine Hand. Re-bonded with the Spectre, Corrigan tells Batman that he is transferring back to the NYPD.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #81 and Detective Comics #1036. Batman discovers that Clayface (Basil Karlo) is still alive. He reaches out to Clayface and their relationship stays amicable. Nevertheless, Clayface makes a solemn vow to stay out of Gotham for good.

–Detective Comics #1008
Joker sends out a public advertisement saying that he will be at Bolland Park. (Peter Tomasi insinuates that Bolland Park is supposed to be the now-refurbished and gentrified amusement park from The Killing Joke. But Doomsday Clock #2 clearly shows that the abandoned amusement park from The Killing Joke—known as Amusement Mile—is still rundown and condemned, so this cannot be that same place. Punchline #1 reinforces this, revealing that Joker still owns Amusement Mile and has left it to rot.) Why anyone would go to the park when Joker has explicitly said he will be there is beyond me. Yet, the park is filled with people, all of whom have been forced to wear explosive clown bolo ties. Sigh. After Joker kills a few folks, Batman finally arrives. With so many hostages, Batman is forced to go on rides with Joker and listen to his absurd monologues. Eventually, Batman disarms the bolo ties and knocks Joker into the bay using his classic sonic bat-attracting device. Meanwhile, in the Gotham Pine Barrens, Lex Luthor offers to help an escaped Mr. Freeze bring his frozen wife back to life. (As referenced in Detective Comics #1013, Mr. Freeze has already had a new plan to rejuvenate Nora in the works for months now, but was missing the final piece to guarantee success.)

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1018. Batman sees that serial offender Aaron Morton has been paroled, so he tails him. Batman warns Commissioner Gordon that he will surely return to a life of crime.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 Annual #5. Batman pilots the Batplane to take on an escaped Joker, who operates a towering Joker-robot and smashes buildings to bits.

–Detective Comics #1009-1011
Batman busts numerous people while on routine patrol, during which Alfred tells him that he hasn’t taken a crimefighting break in over thirty days and that he has a Wayne Enterprises meeting in a few hours. After returning home and getting literally two minutes of sleep, Bruce is rudely awakened by Alfred and shuffled off to “day work.” In a Lucius Fox-led meeting about keeping Wayne Enterprises’ global carbon footprint low and keeping environmental standards high across the board, Bruce pretends like he’s not interested, but heartily approves Lucius’ green protocols. Bruce, Lucius, and the rest of the CEOs at the meeting then depart from a private airfield to go to the Singapore Climate Change Summit. While en route, Deadshot, who had disguised himself as the co-pilot, attempts to hijack the plane. Lightning strikes the plane, causing it to tailspin and crash onto a Pacific jungle island. Deadshot then holds the airplane crash survivors hostage. Bruce, who had been thrown from the plane, is taken in by two opposing soldiers, Hiroshi and Clarence, that have been stranded on the island since WWII (à la the films Hell in the Pacific or Kong: Skull Island). The elderly soldiers give Bruce a tattered flight suit and aviator mask. Covered in mud and with this makeshift costume, Batman returns to the site of the crash to rescue his people from Deadshot. With help from Hiroshi and Clarence, Batman chases Deadshot away from the hostages. Batman then defeats Deadshot in a fistfight. The next morning, Alfred arrives with a military rescue airlift. Bruce leaves a comm-link with Hiroshi and Clarence, who decide to stay on the island. A few days later, Batman drops books and supplies for Hiroshi and Clarence. The implication here is that Batman will regularly drop goodies for them, moving forward. While we likely won’t see it on our timeline, we should assume that the Dark Knight does so. Back in Gotham, Mr. Freeze is nearly ready to awaken his wife Nora, having been slowly resurrecting her using the tech Lex Luthor gave him. However, he needs to harvest a few damaged body parts from living subjects.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #2 and Doomsday Clock #5-6.[1] An investigation into Simon Stagg stirs up evidence proving Dr. Helga Jace’s “Supermen Theory.” Department of Metahuman Affairs de-classified documents confirm Metamorpho’s false provenance, showing that he has always secretly worked with his “arch-rival” Stagg and all of his other rogues, playing out a false hero-villain narrative for years in order to mask their connections to the US government. Batman is deeply troubled by this news, especially since he has worked closely with Metamorpho. Not long after, the “Supermen Theory” is ubiquitously validated when Dr. Kirk Langstrom admits that his Man-Bat experimentation has always been secretly sponsored by the Department of Metahuman Affairs. Yet another of Batman’s allies has been working for the government on the down-low. Following his admission, Langstrom goes missing. Public trust in the metahuman community instantly drops to zero, even (or especially) after asshole President Trump calls the “Supermen Theory” fake news. Meanwhile, LexCorp finalizes purchases of Kord Industries, Genetech, and the Sunderland Corporation. A week-and-a-half later, in response to the latest revelations, Russia forms a military alliance with Markovia. A few days after that, Lex Luthor unleashes a highly-funded anti-metahuman smear campaign. Metamorpho’s longtime girlfriend Sapphire Stagg publicly turns on both Metamorpho and her father, Simon Stagg. Metamorpho and Stagg immediately go off-the-radar and into hiding. The next day, as Bruce attends a Martha Wayne Mental Health fundraiser, Luthor orders an act of industrial espionage aimed at stealing metagene research information from Wayne Enterprises. This failed thievery leads to the arrest of four Wayne Enterprises employees. Bruce speaks with the media, revealing that Wayne Enterprises is purchasing Stagg Industries. Luthor denies involvement in the theft attempt and distances himself from the crime completely. Undeterred by his inability to pilfer the metagene research, Luthor tries another means—corporate takeover. Luthor counters Bruce’s announcement by announcing his own interest in a LexCorp buyout of Wayne Enterprises, appealing directly to the Wayne Enterprises Board of Directors. Shortly thereafter, the original Killer Frost (Louise Lincoln) admits to being a Department of Metahuman Affairs agent. She also publicly accuses Firestorm, Firehawk, Captain Atom, Moonbow, and Typhoon of being secret DMA agents as well. Pozhar backs Louise Lincoln’s claims. Firestorm vehemently denies the accusation. Asshole President Trump continues public denials as well. (Moonbow and Typhoon are indeed actually DMA secret agents.) Dr. Helga Jace reveals to the news media that Geo-Force secretly worked with Batman (as part of the clandestine Outsiders team). Geo-Force publicly denies having ever worked with Batman. Meanwhile, various nations—Russia, Markovia, France, Israel, the UK, India, China, Kahndaq, Iran, Australia, and Japan—assemble official government-sponsored super-teams in response to the ever-growing “Supermen Theory” conspiracy. Russia’s People’s Heroes roster features Pozhar (ex-Red Shadows and Rocket Red Brigade), Black Eagle, Firebird (Pozhar’s neice and ex-Soyuz), Lady Flash (ex-Blue Trinity), Morozko (ex-Soyuz), Negative Woman (ex-Checkmate, Agency, and Doom Patrol), Perun (ex-Soyuz), Red Star (ex-Teen Titan), Rusalka (ex-Soyuz), Snow Owl, Steel Wolf (ex-Red Shadows and Suicide Squad), Tundra (ex-Global Guardians), Vikhor (ex-Soyuz), and Vostok-X III. Markovia’s Outsiders lineup, which consists of ex-Outsiders or folks related to the Outsiders, features Geo-Force, the Eradicator (possibly merged with Dr. David Connor again), Baroness Bedlam (likely a relative of Baron Bedlam), Charlie Wylde, Terra IV, and Knightfall (someone that wears a version of Jean-Paul Valley’s old Az-Bat costume, likely related to ex-Outsiders Atomic Knight and Windfall). The UK’s Knights Inc consists of Knight (ex-Club of Heroes, Ultramarine Corps, and Batman Inc), Beaumont, Canterbury Cricket, Crusader, Godiva (ex-JLI), Golden Pharaoh, the Hood (ex-Batman Inc, Spyral, and THEY), Jack O’Lantern (ex-Global Guardians, Leymen, and Ultramarine Corps), Looking Glass (ex-Blasters), Lionheart (ex-JLI), Mrs. Hyde, Ridge (ex-Ravagers), a new Silent Knight, a new Squire, and Templar (ex-Conglomerate). The new French-run Justice League Europe features Crimson Fox (ex-JL, JLI, Université Notre Dame des Ombres, and Global Guardians), Fleur-de-Lis (ex Département Gamma, Global Guardians, and Ultramarine Corps), The Hunchback, Musketeer (ex-Club of Heroes and Global Guardians), Nightrunner (ex-Batman Inc), and Thief of Arts. Israel unveils a new Hayoth: Seraph (ex-Global Guardians), Dybbuk (ex-Hayoth), Golem (ex-Hayoth and Leymen), Judith (ex-Hayoth), Pteradon, and Ramban (ex-Hayoth). India’s The Doomed features Celsius (ex-Doom Patrol and Black Lantern Corps), Aalok of the Komeriah, Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man (ex-Front Men), Aruna Shende, Beast Girl, Maya (ex-JLE and JLI), Solstice (ex-Teen Titans), and Son of Kalki (Celsius’ sister). China expands its Great Ten into the Great Twenty, consisting of Super-Man (ex-JLC and Ministry of Self-Reliance), Accomplished Perfect Physician (ex-Great Ten), Bat-Man (ex-JLC and Ministry of Self-Reliance), August General in Iron (ex-Great Ten, JLI, and Checkmate), Celestial Archer (ex-Great Ten), Dao (ex-Zhuguan), Flash Avery Ho (ex-JLC, China White Triad, and Ministry of Self-Reliance), Ghost Fox Killer (ex-Great Ten), Gloss (ex-New Guardians and Global Guardians), Guanxi (ex-Zhuguan), Immortal Man in Darkness (ex-Great Ten), Mother of Champions (ex-Great Ten), Night-Dragon, Ri (ex-Zhuguan), Seven Deadly Brothers (ex-Great Ten), Shaolin Robot (ex-Great Ten), Socialist Red Guardsman (ex-Great Ten), Striker Z (ex-Power Company), Thundermind (ex-Great Ten), and Wonder-Woman (ex-JLC and Ministry of Self-Reliance). Japan alters its Big Science Action into Big Monster Action, consisting of Rising Sun (ex-Global Guardians and Big Science Action), Goraiko (ex-Ultramarine Corps and Big Science Action), Hammersuit Zero-X (ex-Big Science Action), Judomaster (ex-Birds of Prey), Naiad (ex-Parliament of Waves), Ram (ex-New Guardians and Global Guardians), Samurai, Nazo Baluda, and several unnamed domesticated kaiju. Iran’s Elite Basu (aka Elite Basij) features Sayeh the Seer (ex-Others), The Blacksmith of Tehran (likely Amunet Black, meaning ex-Rogues), Manticore (likely Saied, meaning ex-Jihad, Injustice League, and Leviathan), The Patient One, Sirocco, and Super-Shayk. Australia’s team is called The Sleeping Soldiers, comprising Dreamer (ex-New Guardians), The Argonaut, Dark Ranger (ex-Batman Inc), Miss Midnight, the Tasmanian Devil (ex-Global Guardians, Ultramarine Corps, and JLI), and Umbaluru. Black Adam doesn’t go public with his Kahndaqi team’s lineup, which numbers in the dozens, but the DMA is aware that Syrian metahuman and former Global Guardian Sandstorm has joined him.

–Doomsday Clock #2-4[2][3]
Due to a reference in Justice League Vol. 4 #39, we know Doomsday Clock happens, but thanks to cosmic hoodoo (and real life backstage politics), we can’t be certain of the exact narrative details of the series. They likely occurred as presented below (possibly exactly as they were published in the comics), but it is possible that they’ve been altered or that they get partially erased from the collective consciousness by the end. Bear in mind also that our Rebirth timeline already includes soft reboot retcons based upon the aftermath of Doomsday Clock and Flash Forward, meaning the former really cannot be read as-is. On Earth-Watchmen the year is 1992, and chaos reigns supreme as the world has finally discovered the truth about Ozymandias‘ “alien attack” from years prior (as seen in the pages of Watchmen). With nuclear holocaust set to destroy all life on the planet, Ozymandias gathers a new Rorschach and husband-and-wife-criminal duo Marionette and The Mime to assist him on a quest to find Dr. Manhattan and convince him to save their world. (Ozymandias has traced Dr. Manhattan’s energy signature to Earth-0.) After Ozymandias shows Rorschach old security footage of Dr. Manhattan busting the couple but showing non-lethal mercy, the foursome (along with Ozymandias’ new pet lynx Bubastis II) travel through the Bleed via Nite Owl‘s rigged-up Owlship just as Earth-Watchmen goes kablooey. On Earth-0, Bruce undergoes his annual psych exam, lying about what he sees in rorschach pictures as he does every year in order to pass. Afterward, Lucius Fox reproves him, telling him to take LexCorp’s recent industrial espionage more seriously. They also discuss the fact that Lex Luthor wants to purchase Wayne Enterprises in order to obtain their research on the metagene. With the espionage case linked to the “Supermen Theory” revelations, along with flames of paranoia being stoked by Russia and Markovia, anti-Batman protesters march throughout Gotham. Meanwhile, the Watchmen Universe characters arrive on Earth-0. Ozymandias handcuffs Marionette and the Mime to the inside of the Owlship before departing with Rorschach. After some research at the public library, Rorscach heads toward Wayne Manor while Ozymandias goes to LexCorp. Meanwhile, Bruce ignores Lucius, dons his alternate raised-yellow-oval-chest-symbol costume, and takes to the streets to bust an escaped Mad Hatter, Tweedledee, and Tweedledum. (Batman will wear this yellow-oval costume for the remainder of the Doomsday Clock series, but will return to his regular costume afterward.) Rorschach, after a nap and breakfast in Wayne Manor, discovers the Batcave and trips the alarm. Batman returns home to confront him. Meanwhile, Marionette and the Mime escape (as part of Ozymandias’ plan). Concurrently, Luthor, fires (i.e. disappears) more failed scientists from his company. An unbidden Ozymandias shows up and basically tells Lex the whole story of Watchmen. Out of nowhere, The Comedian (Edward “Eddie” Blake) returns! (At the time of his death, Blake was saved by Dr. Manhattan, whose cosmic spacetime rejiggering caused Blake’s fatal fall to alight him safely in Earth-0’s Metropolis Harbor instead of splat on the sidewalk. However, since the events of the original Watchmen series remain unaltered, with Blake’s death still having occurred, we already know that he will return to complete his cycle of death before our series ends.) Blake accidentally shoots Luthor while aiming for Ozymandias, who jumps through a window and crash lands, winding up unconscious and in the custody of the Metropolis PD. Meanwhile, Rorschach gives Batman the original Rorschach’s journal. While Batman reads, Alfred sets Rorschach up with dinner, a shower, and a place to sleep in Wayne Manor. Meanwhile, at an assisted living home, a troubled 102-year-old Johnny Thunder ponders his life as the other geriatrics fight over the TV, switching between a Nathaniel Dusk movie from the 50s and news—featuring stories about an explosion in Germany linked to The Wild Huntsman, anti-metahuman dissidence, the ongoing global metahuman arms race, and Luthor’s latest metagene detector invention. The Mime and Marionette brutally kill everyone inside a bar owned by Joker. (Joker has recently amassed a few properties.) Twenty four hours later, having read the old Rorschach’s journal, Batman decides the current Rorschach is dangerous. With the backing of Arkham Asylum officials, the Dark Knight tricks Rorschach into accompanying him to Arkham, where he locks the latter in a cell. The next day, Batman—in disguise as a psychiatrist—interviews the troubled Rorschach. A day later, Batman debriefs Alfred in the Batcave. Concurrently, Modern Age Saturn Girl opens Rorschach’s cell in Arkham. Having telepathically scanned his mind, she’s learned all about the history of Earth-Watchmen and that Rorschach is Reggie Long, troubled son of Malcolm Long, the original Rorschach’s psychiatrist. Reggie trained under elder vigilante Mothman (Byron Lewis) in a psychiatric hospital before becoming the second Rorschach, at which point he attempted to kill Ozymandias, but wound up reluctantly joining him instead. While Saturn Girl and Reggie escape, Dr. Manhattan watches everything unfold. He zaps a mosquito, which puffs into a smoke ring that resembles his signature hydrogen atom symbol. A photograph of Jon Osterman (his former self) and Janey Slater (his ex-girlfriend) floats down the hallway. As referenced in Doomsday Clock #11, Batman finds the photo of Jon Osterman and Janey Slater in Arkham Asylum, bringing it into police evidence. This photo is collected by Lex Luthor’s science team.

–Doomsday Clock #5-7
Ozymandias easily escapes from his police-guarded hospital room and reclaims Bubastis. Meanwhile, delayed news comes in from Chechnya. Hawk and Dove have been arrested by the Rocket Red Brigade after aiding Chechen rebels against Russian armored police. The same news report says that, in direct response to Hawk and Dove’s actions, Red Star is coming out of retirement to work for the Russian Government. (TroubleAlert Magazine already reported about Red Star joining the People’s Heroes, so this is old news.) In St. Petersburg, Pozhar goes on live TV to trash Firestorm and announce that Russia’s borders are closing. Within hours, President Vladimir Putin holds a press conference with some of the People’s Heroes, citing that they will work hand-in-hand with Markovian Armed Forces and the Outsiders. At the old folks home, Johnny Thunder reads about a mysterious green flame that has been spotted in a steel mill in Pittsburgh. Knowing that it’s the the lantern-shaped Starheart (the fiery emerald—and sentient—power source for a Green Lantern that never existed on this timeline, but yet one he paradoxically has memories of), Johnny breaks out and heads toward the Iron City via bus. As Blake carves his way through Gotham, Marionette and the Mime do the same, learning that Joker and his gang are joining the anti-Bat protests at GCPD HQ. Meanwhile, Batman locates the Owlship in Joker’s old abandoned circus yard and waits patiently for Ozymandias to arrive. Just as they greet each other, a news bulletin goes out telling that the city government has caved to the pressure and put out a warrant for Batman’s arrest. As Batman and Ozymandias fly over the city and argue with each other, more news from abroad reaches the States. Black Adam violated international law, crossing into Syria to rescue Jack Ryder (aka the Creeper) from King Kobra, after which he declared Kahndaq as a refuge for any metahumans seeking asylum. (Three months ago, Jack Ryder was abducted by King Kobra. This led to world leaders, two months ago, legitimizing Black Adam’s government and granting him authority to execute oppressive Kahndaqi law, specifically to start a “war on terror” against King Kobra.) Shortly after Black Adam’s declaration of Kahndaq as a refuge nation, the US Government decides to pull all its troops out of the Middle East. With Superman listening outside the window, Lois Lane visits Lex Luthor in the hospital, accusing him of being responsible for the Supermen Theory and subsequent world turmoil. He denies being involved, but says that his sources believe the secret head of the Department of Metahuman Affairs is an ex-Justice Leaguer. (Luthor could be playing down what he knows—he might already know the full truth, being an ex-POTUS.) In Gotham, GCPD HQ is overrun, the Bat-Signal is smashed, and Commissioner Gordon is knocked unconscious. (Jim Gordon has been reinstated as Commissioner at this juncture.) Ozymandias dumps Batman out of the Owlship into the arms of the angry protestors, who swarm the Dark Knight. A battered and beaten Batman is approached by Joker, Marionette, and the Mime. Concurrently, at the All American Steel Mill in Pittsburgh, Johnny Thunder finds the emerald lantern and is rescued from some drug-addicted attackers by Rorschach and Saturn Girl, who has her Legion ring. In Gotham, Joker collects the badly beaten and unconscious Batman and straps him into a wheelchair. He, along with Marionette, Mime, and his henchmen, attend an underground meeting of Riddler’s brand new team: The League of Villainy. In attendance are: Mr. Freeze, Mr. Freeze’s henchmen, Sonar, Dr. Poison, Hector Hammond, Dr. Psycho, Giganta, The Judge of Owls, a bunch of Court of Owls members, Captain Cold, Mirror Master, The Top, Heat Wave, Captain Boomerang, Black Mask, Dr. Sivana, Moonbow, Typhoon, Black Bison, Two-Face, Scarecrow, Penguin, Professor Pyg, Prankster, Toyman, Mad Hatter, Tweedledum, Tweedledee, Nocturna, Tattooed Man, and four others that are obscured and hard to correctly identify.[4] Via the villains’ discussion, we learn that Bane has been busted by the feds, the Suicide Squad has gone MIA in Kahndaq, many of the other villains have fled into hiding, and Wonder Woman has been supposedly kidnapped back to Themyscira by her own people. The assemblage argues on whether or not to flee to Kahndaq or remain in the States. When Joker arrives, the bad guys don’t believe he’s got the real Batman strapped in the chair. Before they can investigate further, Blake blows Typhoon’s head off and starts spraying bullets into the crowd. At least one Court of Owls member drops dead and Riddler gets capped in the knee. (We must imagine some serious sci-fi healing for Riddler following this affair because this injury won’t have any lasting effect upon him.) Blake detonates a grenade and the villains all scatter. Later, Marionette and Mime regroup and have sex at a hotel only to be interrupted by Blake, who has tracked them. Joker, having followed Blake (and still wheeling around Batman), zaps him into unconsciousness and takes his smiley face button-pin. Meanwhile, Moonbow reports back to the secret head of the Department of Metahuman Affairs, asking that her partner Typhoon get the hero’s treatment he deserves as a fallen undercover government agent. The DMA director denies her request, citing that Typhoon’s manufactured history as a villain must remain intact for ongoing security reasons. In Pittsburg, Ozymandias picks up Saturn Girl, Rorschach, and Johnny Thunder. Onboard the Owl Ship, they watch the most recent TV news roundup on CNN, which includes stories about the ongoing metahuman arms race: the People’s Heroes shaking hands with the Outsiders; Big Monster Action’s kaiju (fire trolls) raging out of control in Japan; the Doomed helping children in Calcutta only for their own team member Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man to eat said children; Hayoth’s Dybbuk shutting down Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence computer network; the Sleeping Soldiers entering Chinese President Xi Jinping‘s mind while he sleeps; more paparazzi hounding Firestorm; Superman saving kids in Benghazi, which earns the Man of Steel approval from most international governments, including Libya; and security cam footage of Blake. At Joker’s lair, Mime and Marionette torture Blake, who says that Dr. Manhattan tasked him with killing Bubastis. (Bubastis has been cloned from the original pet lynx, which had fused with Dr. Manhattan’s DNA at the end of the original Watchmen series. Thus, the new Bubastis is a literal compass that leads to and can summon Dr. Manhattan.) Batman rises out of his chair—(he’s either made a quick recovery or he’s been playing possum for a bit in order to get information)—and begins kicking asses. Ozymandias, with the lantern and Bubastis in his arms, arrives to interrupt the fight. He summons Dr. Manhattan, who appears! Batman says he knows who Dr. Manhattan is—having learned about him from Rorschach’s journal. Dr. Manhattan then teleports all the Earth-Watchmen characters to a faraway jungle. Dr. Manhattan tells them he won’t help them, also revealing that he spared the life of Marionette all those years ago because of who her son would grow up to be. He also tells Marionette she is pregnant again and outs Ozymandias, revealing that he doesn’t actually have cancer. Ozymandias was merely faking illness in order to get Rorschach on his side. Dr. Manhattan then drops the biggest bombshell—that he can no longer see the future beyond one month from now. Dr. Manhattan then takes his crew to Washington DC where full scale rioting has begun. After a brief moment there, Dr. Manhattan takes the crew to a repertory theater in Hollywood, which is screening The Adjournment as part of a Nathaniel Dusk movie marathon. Dr. Manhattan says how he was present for the murder of actor Carver Colman (who played Nathaniel Dusk) in 1954.[5] Dr. Manhattan then disappears and sends everyone back to Joker’s lair where the fighting picks up where it left off. Rorshach wails on Ozymandias and bludgeons Joker before shedding his mask and fleeing the scene. While Batman collects a badly-beaten Joker (and Rorschach’s mask), Ozymandias sneaks back onto the Owl Ship and knocks-out Saturn Girl and Johnny Thunder. As live news reports show Black Adam and the Creeper invading Jerusalem, Ozymandias says to himself “I have a plan.” When Ozymandias has a plan, you can be rest assured that things are gonna get wild. Elsewhere, Lex Luthor mails a package to Lois Lane at the Daily Planet. (Note that Lois is not currently employed at the Daily Planet and Luthor knows this, so him mailing her something there is a continuity error.) On Mars, Dr. Manhattan looks as far ahead into the future as he can, seeing exactly one month to the day an image of what appears to be an angry Superman punching him in the face. (Superman isn’t actually punching him—he’s punching a bad guy behind Dr. Manhattan.) In any case, Dr. Manhattan wonders what will become of the universe.

–Doomsday Clock #8-9
Nearly three weeks have passed since Doomsday Clock #7. Ozymandias breaks into the Oval Office at the White House and peeps some top secret files, setting into motion a devious plan. A day later, at the Daily Planet offices, Lois complains that someone has rifled through her locked desk. (Note that Lois being at the Daily Planet offices is a continuity error as she currently would not be employed by the paper at the moment.) The entire Daily Planet staff (including Ron Troupe, Cat Grant, and Steve Lombard) watches on live TV as an angry Firestorm confronts the People’s Heroes in front of the Kremlin. The conflict turns ugly when Firestorm accidentally goes kablooey turning a bunch of civilians (including women and children) into seemingly lifeless silverly glass statues. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev immediately denounces Firestorm’s actions as an American terrorist attack. Firestorm disappears and immediate rumors follow that he’s fled to Kahndaq. Superman flies directly to Kahndaq. There, he sees that Giganta has joined Black Adam’s forces. Superman then meets with Black Adam, who welcomes the Man of Steel to his country. Superman meets Sandstorm, learning that he’s only young boy, who escaped the horrors of war-torn Syria. After a brief but tense chat with Black Adam, Superman, satisfied that Firestorm isn’t in Kahndaq, departs for Russia. Back in Metropolis, Lois finds the package that was mailed to her by Luthor. She pops in a flash-drive from the package and watches a video of WWII newsreel footage depicting the Justice Society of America in action. How did Luthor get his hands on footage that’s been erased from history?! Lois doesn’t know what to make of it. Hours later, in Russia, Superman finds Firestorm frantically trying to fix one of the children he’s changed into a statue. With Superman’s stolid presence, Firestorm is able to fix the poor kid, who is thrilled to meet the Man of Steel. In Moscow, Vladimir Putin holds a live news conference at the scene of the Firestorm incident. With the People’s Heroes at his side, Putin declares that the United States has essentially waged war against Russia via the actions of Firestorm. Superman greets Putin and takes the stage. Speaking before the entire world, Superman defends Firestorm’s probity and says that he can redress the damage he’s done. Superman tells the world that the Supermen Theory is a baseless conspiracy theory with no merit. He denounces the demonization of any group, whether they are metahuman or not. Batman, who had taken off for Russia in the Bat-plane the second the Firestorm incident occurred, nears Russian airspace. Via high-frequency radio, the Dark Knight contacts Superman mid-speech, telling him to shut up and not take a side. Putin interrupts Superman, telling him that he and Pozhar have proof that the Supermen Theory is true. Firestorm returns, hoping to heal his victims, but he instills fear in the gathered masses. Russian military shoots at Firestorm and chaos erupts. Several of the statue people are shattered and the People’s Heroes attack Superman and Firestorm. The world watches in stunned silence as Superman battles against Russian military tanks on live TV. As Batman flies over Moscow, he realizes something is off with Firestorm. In a panic, Batman radios to Superman that Firestorm is not in control of his own actions. But it’s too late. Firestorm explodes in a nuclear blast that seems to wipe out most of Red Square. This explosion creates a tachyon cloud that disrupts Dr. Manhattan’s ability to see through time. From a secret location, Ozymandias smiles. Superman, Batman, and Firestorm go into comas. They are rescued by Hal Jordan and Hawkman. Batman goes into Alfred’s care in the Batcave while Superman and Firestorm go into a medical bay at the Hall of Justice. (Batman will remain in a coma for the next five days.) With the two main heroes out of commission and unable to defend themselves against calumny, Superman is charged with a litany of crimes. As the global court of opinion fully turns against the heroes, protestors picket all over Washington DC. Hoping to distance himself from the debacle, asshole President Trump tweets anti-Superman propaganda. Meanwhile, the Justice League determines that whoever caused Firestorm to go kaboom is currently on Mars. A large contingency of superheroes gathers into an armada of spaceships and departs for the red planet. Among the heroes are: the Justice League, Justice League Dark, the LAW, a few Green Lanterns, the Doom Patrol, the Metal Men, Black Alice (dressed up as a female Blue Devil), the Shazam Family (Shazam, Mary Bromfield aka Lady Shazam, Freddy Freeman, Darla Dudley, Pedro Peña, and Eugene Choi), Alpha Centurion, Stargirl (Courtney Whitmore) and her sentient Cosmic Staff, Robby Reed (having turned into “Human Starfish” via the power of an H-Dial), and just about everyone else you can imagine.[6] Interestingly, those present aboard the Bat-Family rocket are: Batgirl, Red Hood, Batwoman, Black Lightning, Metamorpho, Katana, Halo, Atomic Knight, and Atomic Knight’s giant dalmatian. (Nightwing’s appearance here is a bad continuity error. He is currently not active as a superhero.) Having been out cold for the past five days, Batman finally wakes up from his coma. Upon hearing that everyone has taken off to Mars, Batman realizes that they’ve all been played. He immediately transmits an injunction to Mars, but the message fails to send. In the Hall of Justice, Lois watches over her still-comatose husband. Lex Luthor arrives, telling Lois that he sent her the Justice Society footage. On Mars, the superhero army confronts and fights a confused Dr. Manhattan. As he battles them, Dr. Manhattan shows Ronnie Raymond (now awake from his coma) the truth behind his origin. Ronnie not only learns that Professor Martin Stein is the secret director of the DMA, but also that Stein purposefully caused the accident that merged them together to become Firestorm seven years ago. Dr. Manhattan shrugs-off every depredation, defeating all the heroes. Back on Earth, Black Adam, Giganta, and the Creeper attack the UN Building where Wonder Woman is currently giving a peace speech.

–Doomsday Clock #11-12
A few days have passed since Doomsday Clock #9-10. Alfred, on Batman’s orders, reads Rorschach’s  journal and heads out in search of Reggie. With the looming threat of Russian retaliation combined with Black Adam’s attack on the UN Building, asshole President Trump seemingly orders a nuclear strike. (This nuclear threat might be phony—actually manufactured by Ozymandias merely to set up Batman to become outlawed by the government.) Sure enough, Batman responds by breaking into a Strategic Air Command (SAC) facility to physically stop military troops from launching the warheads, an act that supposedly stymies the entire North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) nuclear grid. After doing so, Batman is ambushed by US National Guard troops, but defeats them and escapes. Sure enough, President Trump outlaws Batman, charging him with treason and officially tasking the National Guard with arresting him. General Sam Lane meets with the President and tries to reason with him to no avail. (Note that Sam Lane will now be referred to both as general and colonel, depending on the comic book. So either DC can’t decide or Sam Lane is a US Army general while simultaneously an ARGUS colonel. I guess that’s possible?) Following his conversation with Lane, the President also officially outlaws Superman. At LexCorp, Lex Luthor shows Lois Lane a series of identical photographs his team has found in recent months. Each photo comes from a different time period, but is otherwise identical—the photo of Jon Osterman and Janey Slater. Doctor Manhattan has unknowingly been replicating this cherished item throughout time, leaving it as “chronal debris.” Luthor also shows a “chronal debris” photo of Flash (Barry Allen) teaming up with Flash (Jay Garrick), citing that it was discovered with the JSA film. Luthor, who has long known about the existence of the multiverse, now knows about the Metaverse, citing these images as proof that reality has been rebooted multiple times. His inner hope is to finally find a way to close the “endless loop” that is his war against the Man of Steel. In Gotham, the Mime, the Marionette, and Blake wage war against Joker and his henchmen. At Ozymandias’ secret lair, the master villain addresses Saturn Girl, telling her about his master plan to save both Earths—how he manipulated Firestorm, caused the Russian explosions using Bubastis II, and chose the Mime and Marionette to accompany him because their child was adopted by Dan Dreiberg (ex Nite Owl) and Laurie Juspeczyk (ex Silk Spectre). Ozymandias also tells Saturn Girl that she’s a chronal anomaly, existing only because of her metapower. Just like Back to the Future, she disappears into the ether, wiped from reality. (Ozymandias is correct. This Saturn Girl is not the Rebirth Era Saturn Girl—instead she’s a leftover from the Modern Age, and only her incredible cosmic power had been keeping her in existence.) In New York, the Amazons, worried about Wonder Woman, remove her from her battle against Black Adam’s forces, stealing her away to Themyscira. Black Adam and his crew—Giganta, the Creeper, Man-Bat (Kirk Langstrom), Sandstorm, Killer Frost (Louise Lincoln), Lady Clayface, Stingaree, Doc Dread, Moonbow, and Manhunter (possibly Leviathan leader Mark Shaw?)—crash their way onto the White House lawn. Superman wakes up fully healed only to be accosted by US Army soldiers. He ignores them and immediately flies to confront Black Adam. After a brief altercation with Black Adam, Superman soon finds himself face-to-face with Dr. Manhattan. Before they can really confront one another, the Man of Steel is attacked by the Markovian Outsiders, the People’s Heroes, the Elite Basij, and Black Adam’s crew. On the steps of the US Capitol, Knights Inc, Justice League Europe, Hayoth, the Doomed, Big Monster Action, the Great Twenty, and the Sleeping Soldiers join the fray, helping Superman. In Gotham, Reggie is attacked by a racist asshole wearing a thinly-veiled MAGA cap. Alfred saves Reggie after which they are joined by Batman, who apologizes to Reggie and encourages him to put the Rorshach mask back on as a superhero. As Superman begins to succumb to superior numbers, he begs Dr. Manhattan to take action, reminding him that he was once human. Dr. Manhattan, thinking of his long lost love Janey Slater, decides to act. He reboots the entire DCU! (Or so he thinks he does. We’ll return to the details of this reboot at the very end of our synopsis.) After the heroes mop up the villains, Dr. Manhattan sees far into the future of the metaverse, bearing witness to: a warp in the timeline in 2020 (i.e. Death Metal), another Crisis event in July 2025, a reboot in January 2026 that brings us Earth 5-G, an event involving Bruce’s son and daughter in June 2026, a Marvel/DC Crisis Crossover in July 2030, another reboot in 2038, another reboot not long afterward, then yet another reboot in 2965 (telling us that DC will be rebooting for the next thousand years, so get used to it). Just like Grant Morrison’s ouroboros message at the end of the Modern Age, Johns is telling us here that we better get used to the rinse-repeat MO of superhero stories, for better or worse. Dr. Manhattan also sees (or possibly creates) an existing timeline that resembles a version of the old Modern Age timeline (Earth-1985) and an existing timeline that resembles a version of the old New 52 timeline (Earth-52).[7] Coming back to the present reality, remaining paradox loops are closed as Dr. Manhattan meets with all the Earth-Watchmen characters and Lex Luthor. The latter sends Blake back to his death plummet from his penthouse in the original Watchmen. Batman puts Rorschach’s journal into his Batcave Hall of Trophies. The Watchmen characters return home to a saved planet (except Mime and Marionette, who stay on Earth-0). On the saved Earth-Watchmen, in 1993, Ozymandias goes to jail and his young daughter Cleopatra Pak obsesses over him. The Mime and Marionette’s son, Clark, who has been gifted superpowers (by Dr. Manhattan in his apparent final act), goes to live with Dan Dreiberg, Laurie Juspeczyk, and their daughter Sally. Okay, but what about that dang reboot, eh? NOT SO FAST, DOC! Here’s where the messiness strikes. I’ve already mentioned details in a footnote above, but I will reiterate here. Thanks to the publication delays, internal power struggles behind the scenes at the DC home office, and other troublesome continuity shenanigans, Dr. Manhattan’s reboot doesn’t seem to take in full. In our story, Dr. Manhattan’s reboot reverses the deaths of Ma and Pa Kent, restores the primary version of the Justice Society of America to the Earth-0 timeline (including an active Wonder Woman in the 20th century), and restores the full history of the Legion (including the team’s interactions with teenage Clark aka Superboy). As referenced in Justice League Vol. 4 #39, the Flash Forward TPB Epilogue, Dark Nights: Death Metal #1-2, and Dark Nights: Death Metal – Speed Metal #1, the Batman Who Laughs uses Perpetua’s power to alter Dr. Manhattan’s reboot, making it flaccid. To quote Wally West in Dark Nights: Death Metal #1: “Dr. Manhattan tried to mend the fractures in our multiverse, to heal the scars of former crises… but his attempt did not have the intended effect.” (At the end of the Flash Forward TPB, Wally wields Dr. Manhattan’s power in an effort to push the “intended effect” through, but he too is blocked by the Batman Who Laughs.) While Ma and Pa Kent are indeed revived and restored to collective memory, as stated above, the rest of the reboot goes soft by: restoring the Justice Society of America’s 20th century history, which includes an active Wonder Woman, but blocking said history from everyone’s memories in the present day and future; restoring Kal-El’s time as Superboy with the Legion of Super-Heroes, but blocking said history from everyone’s memories in present day and future; re-adding Barry Allen’s death in the original Crisis and his resurrection in Final Crisis; re-adding Stephanie Brown’s brief time as a Robin; and re-adding Cassie Cain’s time as Batgirl. Since our chronology already reflects these changes, we must imagine the final Doomsday Clock battle against the villains as not including the JSA or Legion. Oddly enough, because the main narrative of Doomsday Clock is so intertwined with multiple canonical stories on our timeline (Rebirth, “The Button,” “City of Bane,” Heroes in Crisis, Flash Forward, Man of Steel, “Unity Saga,” and more), this means that all of Doomsday Clock‘s myriad references are canonical, even if parts of the primary story itself are not.

–Justice League Vol. 4 #19-21 (“THE SIXTH DIMENSION”)
The Justice League decides that it needs 5th Dimensional firepower to deal with the pending Legion of Doom/Perpetua situation, which could explode at any moment. Thus, under the guise of a Wayne Industries “air control experiment”—a giant dome is erected in midtown Metropolis. Under this dome, the magickally-disguised JL (with Starman) preps to entrap Mr. Mxyzptlk, who is due to arrive. Clark wraps up an article at work and joins the rest of the team just in time to witness Mxyzptlk emerge from his 5th Dimensional gateway. J’onn is able to telepathically control Mxyzptlk, who submits and agrees to help the JL. At the Hall of Justice, Mxyzptlk explains that everyone in the 5th Dimension has been dying since the Source Wall was destroyed. He also explains that the Monitor, Anti-Monitor, World Forger, and Perpetua created everything from the 6th Dimension. (The World Forge itself seems to co-exist in both the 6th Dimension and the Dark Multiverse.) Mxyzptlk opens a door to the 6th Dimension, through which Superman goes. Instantly, a gray-haired Superman wearing a weird white costume emerges back through, citing that he’s been gone for a decade, but now knows how to defeat the bad guys and save the multiverse. The JLers join this older Superman through the door, winding-up in an alternate future world where they are greeted by alternate future versions of themselves (6th Dimensional Batman, 6th Dimensional John Stewart, 6th Dimensonal Flash, 6th Dimensional Hawkgirl, 6th Dimensional Martian Manhunter, and 6th Dimensional Wonder Woman). Trickery is afoot, though. The real Superman remains trapped in a sun-less pocket dimension filled with corpses, all alone and unable to fly. Old Superman is really the resurrected World Forger (Alpheus), son of Perpetua, and brother to the Anti-Monitor and original Montior Mar Novu. (Alpheus, along with his family, created the entire multiverse! He helped imprison his evil mom long ago.). This alt-future world is merely a template, one of many possible futures, created by the World Forger from his anvil in the 6th Dimension. In this alt-future, the elder JL shows-off a utopian version of Earth where all crime has ended. The alt-future’s Batman, Dick Grayson, tells Batman how the their version of Bruce Wayne sacrificed his life to ensure the peace they now have. Alt-Dick gives Batman a tour of the Pennyworth Home rehabilitation center. As Hawkgirl and Martian Manhunter admire the scenery, Shayne J’onzz (the son of their alt-future counterparts) pulls back the curtain, revealing a hidden aspect of this reality—a gulag (on Apokolips) filled with over a trillion detainees. J’onn, Hawkgirl, and Shayne call the JL to an emergency meeting, but it is interrupted by Old Superman, who has just confronted Superman, telling him that he’s been imprisoned because he will be the cause of the destruction of the multiverse. Old Superman reveals himself to be Alpheus. Meanwhile, on Earth, Lex Luthor and Brainiac begin a plan to capture Mxyzptlk, causing the imp to lose control and grow to immense size. as Mzyzptlk begins unconsciously un-imagining Earth into non-existence, Starman, Mera, and Jarro try to contain him. (A cute visual reference in Justice League Vol. 4 #29 tells tale of Jarro “officially” joining the JL.) In the alt-future, Alpheus tells the JL that, in order to preserve the utopia that he has shown them, their alt-future counterparts engaged in a pre-emptive war to defeat the Legion of Doom. This war saw the JL travel the multiverse and imprison trillions into the gulag. The JL holds a plebiscite on whether or not to go down Alpheus’ unethical but sure-footed path towards semi-utopia by allowing the future reality to overwrite their own. Everyone votes hell no except for Batman, citing that all hope seems lost. A disappointed Alpheus teleports the JL to the Apokoliptian gulag where they meet its wardens: an aged 6th Dimensional Lois Lane and 6th Dimensional Jimmy Olsen.

–Justice League Vol. 4 #23-25 (“THE SIXTH DIMENSION” Conclusion)
Warden Lois Lane of the Apokoliptian gulag tells the JL—sans Batman—that she is originally from another alternate universe that the World Forger (Alpheus) created. Warden Lane says that she’s seen many alternate worlds and that this one is a template for the best possible scenario. The JLers present refuse to believe this, fight back, and wind up behind bars. Meanwhile, Batman chats with Alpheus, who tells him that this future world must replace Universe-0—in order to please (and fool) the Judges of the Source. Or something like that. Alpheus reveals that, at this very moment on Earth-0, Bat-Mite is battling Mxyzptlk, who is currently slowly erasing Universe-0 from existence, after which he (Alpheus) will replace Universe-0 with the alt-future world template. With Superman being the only real threat to stopping this from happening, Alpheus instructs Batman to pull the execution switch on his friend—an act that will shut down the artificial suns dimly lighting the Man of Steel’s pocket universe prison, effectively killing him and sending his essence into Alpheus himself. Reluctantly, Batman pulls the switch. In the gulag, Shayne uses his explosive telekinetic powers to destroy the entire building. This leads to a bunch of angry alt-future super-villains chasing after the JL. The JL is rescued by an alt-future Legion of Doom that is led by an alt-future Darkseid! Meanwhile, Alpheus shows Batman the Son Box, a Minority Report-type chamber that Batman’s alt-future counterpart built to determine who would side with him or against him. Alpheus also shows Batman the “Final Bat-Suit,” an ultimate Gundam-style war-mech, also devised by the deceased alt-future Batman, which has the power to brainwash people and rewrite people’s cellular structure. The alt-future LOD sacrifices their own lives to help the JL escape recapture. Back at the alt-future Hall of Justice, the JL faces-off against their alt-future doppelgängers, Alpheus, and Batman, who dons his menacing Final Bat-Suit. The JL fights against the future JL, Batman, some future Flash-Family members, and Alpheus. Batman has a change of heart and betrays the 6th Dimensional forces, using his Gundam-suit to create a fake sun, which not only re-powers Superman, but provides a guiding light for him to follow. Superman shows up angry as hell and kicks everyone’s asses. Alpheus tells the JL that he’s seen every possible outcome from the 6th Dimension. He tells them they’ve doomed their world by their actions—as revealed in Justice League Vol. 4 #29, by witnessing and denying his alt-future, they have unleashed the sixth Dark Force, which is linked to visions of impossible futures. However, Batman and Superman tell Alpheus that there’s still another possible outcome, one where they come out on top. They recruit Alpheus into the JL and return home with him (and Shayne) to challenge the Legion of Doom. But upon arrival back home, Washington DC is smoldering and partly in ruin. The heroes enter the Hall of Justice to learn that while only hours seemed to have passed in the 6th Dimension, a full week has transpired. Mera tells the returning heroes that the Legion of Doom defeated Mxyzptlk, after which Lex Luthor gave a public speech to the populace of the world. They watch a video of Luthor, who reveals to the world that the Source Wall was destroyed “a few short weeks ago.” This contradicts Year of the Villain #1 Part 3, which says the Source Wall was destroyed a “few months ago.” (The Source Wall was destroyed five months ago, so Luthor is lying here for whatever reason.) Luthor tells all that the JL has hidden the fact that the universe is dying, urging everyone to rise up and become villains in order to save themselves. Luthor says he is dissolving LexCorp and giving all his money and technology to certain unspecified people. As the video ends, Mera continues her narration of events. Luthor’s harangue and actions led to a week of global rioting and panic, which culminated in the events of Year of the Villain #1 Part 1, in which the LOD attacked asshole President Trump and Amanda Waller in the Oval Office, stealing all of Waller’s top secrets. As part of a supposedly foolproof Perpetua-powered resurrection scheme that will cause the entire planet to fall under his power, Luthor then publicly killed himself, blowing up LexCorp Tower in the process. To prepare for the coming battle, the heroes decide that they must seek out the aid of the Monitor, Anti-Monitor, Justice Incarnate, and as many Earth-0 heroes as they can recruit. (The epilogue to “Sixth Dimension” takes place at the end of Year of the Villain #1 Part 3, a few days from now.)

–Year of the Villain #1 Part 3
Editorial notation tells us that the Source Wall was destroyed a “few months ago”—over five months ago to be exact. The Justice League enacts a monumental plan of action that involves saving several entire alien civilizations that are being threatened with extinction thanks to the destruction of the Source Wall. After helping these civilizations aboard massive arks, which fly them to safety, one veers dangerously off course thanks to a terrorist that would rather kill his people than ever face Perpetua and her “great minion.” The JL meets and decides that it must gather all of Earth’s superheroes in order to successfully deal with the threat. Meanwhile, in the Hall of Doom, the Legion of Doom gathers as Perpetua comes out of her inert state. (The Batman Who Laughs is shown secretly spying on them.) Perpetua’s plan of multiversial conquest/annihilation has begun. The deceased Lex Luthor floats in a tank, ready to be reborn as something new. As seen in the epilogue to Justice League Vol. 4 #25, at the Hall of Doom, thanks to Perpetua’s machinations, Luthor is indeed resurrected with cosmic power.

–Justice League Vol. 4 #26-28 (“APEX PREDATOR”)
The superheroes mobilize as the resurrected Lex Luthor, seemingly with godlike powers, makes his return public. Many refuse to believe that Luthor is indeed alive again. However, Luthor is very much alive. He begins making offers and handing out gifts of terror all over the planet. Global unrest ensues. Batman, Superman, John Stewart, Flash, and Wonder Woman travel to the former satellite domain of the original Montior, the House of Heroes, located in the Bleed-space between universes. There, with help from Harbinger and Justice Incarnate, the Earth-0 heroes put a call out to the multiverse. Soon, well over a hundred superheroes from throughout the local multiverse arrive, including Earth-2’s Wonders of the World (featuring Earth-2 Batman), Earth-4’s Pax Americana, the Earth-6 Justice League of America (featuring Earth-6 Wonder Woman), Earth-6 Shazam, Earth-8’s Retaliators, Earth-9 Atom, Earth-9 Superman, Earth-10’s Uncle Sam, Earth-11 Superwoman, Earth-12 Batman, the Earth-13 League of Shadows, Earth-16 Batman, Earth-17’s Atomic Knights of Justice, Earth-18’s Justice Riders, Earth-19’s Accelerated Man, Earth-19 Wonder Woman, Earth-19’s Bat Man, Earth-20’s Society of Super-Heroes, the Earth-21 Justice League of America, the Earth-22 Justice League (featuring Earth-22 Alan Scott, Earth-22 Superman, and Earth-22 Starman), Earth-22 Nightstar, Earth-22 Deadman, the Earth-23 Justice League, Earth-26’s Zoo Crew, Earth-29’s Unjustice League of Unamerica, Earth-30 Batman, Earth-30’s Soviet Superman, Earth-30 Flash, Earth-31’s Captain Leatherwing, Earth-31 Green Lantern, Earth-32’s Justice Titans, Earth-35’s Super-Americans, Earth-41’s Nimrod Squad, Earth-43 Batman, Earth-47’s Love Syndicate of Dreamworld, and Earth-48’s Royal Family of Warworld! Superman recruits them into the war against Perpetua and Luthor, citing that if Earth-0 falls, the rest of the multiverse will too. Alpheus tells everyone they will need to find his brothers, the Anti-Monitor and the Monitor. At the Hall of Justice, Hawkgirl and Mera oversee operations. The JL Science Division, the Question (Vic Sage), Detective Chimp, Plastic Man, Green Arrow, and John Constantine try to pinpoint the location of the hidden Hall of Doom. Hawkman, Black Canary, and Orphan act as coaches, training the Titans, Teen Titans (Djinn, Crush, Roundhouse, and Kid Flash), and Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) for the upcoming war. Jarro and Starman attempt to find help from the distant past and future. Concurrently, Martian Manhunter searches for Luthor alone, following breadcrumbs to an abandoned shack in California. There, one of Professor Ivo’s androids (a Lionel Luthor lookalike) captures J’onn. Meanwhile, Superman, Batman, John Stewart, Wonder Woman, Flash, and Alpheus visit the desolate home-realm of the Monitors, Nil. As they walk about, Alpheus tells them the true history of the DCU’s reboots—the history of the “Metaverse,” if you will. After the original Monitor (Mar Novu) reluctantly joins their crusade, the heroes depart for Qward (in Universe-3), home to the Anti-Monitor (Mobius). In California, Professor Ivo (remotely, through a lookalike android of himself) explains that Lex Luthor hired him to replicate Perpetua’s old army of “apex predators” (i.e. her army of nascent Human-Martian hybrids). Hawkgirl, having tracked J’onn, rescues him. Together, they smash up a bunch of Amazos and find hundreds of incomplete “apex predators.” Hawkgirl calls into the Hall of Justice and orders a pick-up to place them all into safe-storage. A drone then appears and projects a live holographic video feed of Lex Luthor, who makes J’onn an offer. The next day, while the JL visits the planet Qward (in Universe-3) only to find a bunch of massacred Weaponers and a message from Mobius telling them not to look for him, J’onn meets with Lex at an old Legionnaire’s Club hideout (the very place he was once kidnapped to as a child). Lex shows J’onn video of some of the folks to whom he’s made other offers (or will soon make other offers to), including Jericho, Harley Quinn, Bane, Black Adam, Lobo, and more. Lex tells J’onn that they should merge into one being to become the ultimate “apex predator” hybrid of Perpetua’s dreams. When J’onn refuses, Lex absorbs J’onn into his body! Hawkgirl tries to fight Lex, but he holds her back behind a force field. Meanwhile, Sinestro, Cheetah, and Grodd confront the JL on Qward. With the odds stacked against them, the heroes retreat, teleporting back home.

–REFERENCE: In Adventures of the Super Sons #1. June—an editor’s note places this item before Superman Special Vol. 2 #1, meaning prior to Bendis’ Man of Steel. Damian and Jon finish the school year at West-Reeve. The boys mention that their parents are set to go on unspecified business for a couple weeks. I’m not sure what this is in reference to (or if it even is a reference to something). I’d assume that, even if plans were made, they likely get cancelled.

–REFERENCE: In Adventures of the Super Sons #12. June. When Robin and Superboy, having just recently finished the school year, are whisked away on an interdimensional adventure courtesy of the Hypercube (as seen in Adventures of the Super Sons #1-12), Batman and Superman become very concerned. However, Alfred is able to track the boys’ energy signatures and vital signs, ensuring Batman and Superman they are okay. Upon their return, the boys think weeks have passed, but in order to jibe with everything else on our timeline, only a few days could have passed. (The boys adventure did indeed last several weeks, but time was flowing differently throughout their interdimensional experience in comparison to the regular flow of time back on Earth-0.) To further muddle the chronology of this arc, when the boys return, Alfred tells them that months have passed and school is already about to begin again, implying that their adventure spanned the entire summer. Impossible! We just have to assume that Alfred, upon hearing that they clearly have no idea how long they’ve been gone for, is totally messing with them. Also, the entirety of Adventures of the Super Sons #1-12 is told by very unreliable narrators—an old Damien and old Jonathan—decades in the future (sometime in the 2070s). This is yet another reason we shouldn’t trust any dates attached to this item. To reiterate, the entirety of Adventures of the Super Sons #1-12 occurs now and spans only a few days.

–Justice League Vol. 4 #29
The Justice League names the unnamed Dark Forces. The fourth Dark Force, released when the Key to the Graveyard of the Gods was destroyed, is labeled as “The Void Wind.” Its opposite is The Sphere of the Gods. The fifth Dark Force, released when the Martian elder lifted the Absorbascon veil over Thanagar, is labeled as “The Black Apple.” Its opposite is the Collective Unconscious. The sixth Dark Force, released when the JL traveled to the 6th Dimension, is labeled as “The Sixth Note.” Its opposite is the Dimensional Superstructure. (The oppositional forces are first referenced in Justice League Vol. 4 #30.) The JL discusses the fact that Lex Luthor now has six of seven Dark Forces stored within his cosmic doorknob artifact. (The final Dark Force is still unknown, but it would give he and Perpetua power without finitude.) Batman meets with and checks-in with his fellow Justice Leaguers to draw up war plans. Hawgirl has fallen into a deep sadness. John Stewart says that nearly all of the Green Lantern Corp is ready to fight against Perpetua and the Legion of Doom. Wonder Woman says that the JLD and several gods are as well. The Monitor and the World Forger are off searching for their brother. Later, Jarro sees a vision of the JL being defeated by the Legion of Doom. Panicking, Jarro mind-controls all the heroes in the Hall of Justice and makes them see a shared illusion that they (along with Jarro in a tiny starfish-shaped Robin costume) have defeated their villainous rivals. Jarro’s plan is to take his friends to the O-World (home planet of the Star Conquerors) where he can keep them hidden away. Batman sees through the illusion and rips a Jarro-fish off of his face. Batman scolds Jarro, telling him that what he’s done is not the heroes way. Jarro releases everyone from the hallucination. Batman gives Jarro a loving hug. Elsewhere, Brainiac and Lex Luthor gloat. Thanks to a severed tentacle from the original Starro, which they have stored at the Hall of Doom, they were able to physically link to the Hall of Justice when Jarro took over everyone’s minds. The LOD now knows all of the heroes’ battle plans.

–Red Hood: Outlaw #32
Red Hood holds Penguin hostage inside the Iceberg Lounge Casino, replacing Penguin’s goons with his own gang consisting of Suzie Su, Blanc Su, Candy Su, Anastasia Su, Night Su, Bunker, and the new Wingman. (Don’t forget, Wingman is Jason’s dad, who is secretly working for Batman.) After gloating about being the new owner of the Iceberg Lounge during a live TV interview with Vicki Vale, Jason is visited by an angry Batman, who is quite displeased about Jason’s bold move. They argue as they so often do, but Batman ultimately leaves, huffing and puffing as he goes. (This item culminates in Red Hood: Outlaw #36, which sees Penguin escape, Lex Luthor make an offer to Jason, and Suzie Su take over the Iceberg Lounge. Yet, multiple series/arcs—including the upcoming Batman Who Laughs, “Tyrant Wing,” and later “Joker War”—will show Penguin in charge. This means, you guessed it, there will soon be two Iceberg Lounges in Gotham. Sigh.)

–Villains Giant #1 Part 1 (Batman: Gotham Nights Vol. 3 #6)
An escaped Joker addresses Gotham on live TV, stating he will initiate “Jokeraid,” paying off medical bills of a select individuals that post the word “Balyushka” on his social media account, provided they demean themselves and/or do dangerous stunts in public. During the first week, Bruce meets with his financial advisor, hoping to find some extra capital to support those desperate enough to apply for Jokeraid. But five people are selected, and they each wildly embarrass themselves in public, earning tens of thousands of dollars for their trouble. This causes a mass of people to make fools of themselves and cause extreme chaos across Gotham in the hopes of attracting Joker’s attention. Batman prevents as much harm as he can for a week straight, eventually busting Joker after a second payout. Joker tells Batman that he’s done nothing illegal this time—the money was coming purely from ad revenue from his social media account. He blames Batman for ignoring the real ills of society—lack of healthcare for the needy and wealth disparity—in favor of old-school street crime. Joker is right, people! Enlightened and troubled, Bruce calls an emergency meeting of Gotham’s top millionaires, politicians, and industrialists, pleading with them to reinstate a health-care-for-all fund. They agree, but the assholes gut the college/education fund in order to do so. Despite being back behind bars, Joker has recorded plenty of delayed-release “Balyusha” videos. Plus, the system is automated to make payouts from his ad revenue. As such, his scheme continues with a life of its own (with those burdened by student loan debt as his next target). In this way, Joker has proven that Batman can’t (and shouldn’t) ignore the real heart of 21st century crime: a neoliberal late capitalist nightmare society run by kleptocratic billionaires. Amen, Joker.

–Batman Giant Vol. 2 #5 Part 1 (Batman: Gotham Nights Vol. 3 #7)
Killer Moth returns, luring Batman to a warehouse on the edge of town. There, Batman finds a corpse dressed up in Killer Moth’s costume. An old security guard tells Batman he shot Killer Moth dead, but Batman realizes that the guard is actually Killer Moth, who is playing him. Batman busts Killer Moth, who reveals the dead man is his mentor, the super-villain Night Moon. (Note that Batman Giant Vol. 2 #5 Part 2—re-printed as Batman: Gotham Nights Vol. 3 #9 Part 2—tells a Batman-less apocryphal Joker origin story that even includes an editor’s note that says it might not be true.)

–Shazam! Vol. 3 #12
Shazam kayos Herkimer the Crocodile Man and then hangs out with Freddy Freeman aka Shazam Jr, who makes fun of his Rogues Gallery. This inspires the foolhardy Shazam to travel to Gotham to take on an escaped Scarecrow. The veteran villain hits Shazam with a mega-dose of Fear Gas, but Batman arrives in time to save the day. Afterward, Batman gives Billy Batson a pep talk.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Secret Files: The Signal #1. Sixteen-year-old tech genius and billionaire Xander Pearl puts out feelers regarding purchasing Wayne Enterprises, but Bruce turns him down.

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  1. [1]TODD CUNNINGHAM: All of Doomsday Clock‘s preliminary narrative and Doomsday Clock itself must occur prior to Scott Snyder’s “Sixth Dimension” and “Apex Predator” arcs where Lex Luthor blows up LexCorp and becomes “Apex Lex.” Much of Doomsday Clock’s narrative revolves heavily around a non-metahuman Lex Luthor and his various machinations and dealings at LexCorp.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: It’s Doomsday Clock time, folks. Geoff Johns’ mega arc was supposed to be a major reboot story akin to the original Crisis on Infinite Earths. And, despite being written as such, DC Senior VP Dan DiDio opted not to follow through. The continuity and ultimate end-result of Doomsday Clock, which we will discuss in great detail below, stands on very odd ground due to many reasons, but mainly because the series faced horrible publication delays and because of an internal power struggle between different editorial camps in the DC office. To address the former, Doomsday Clock was originally announced to run from November 2017 through January 2019, but postponements led to the final issue being released in December 2019, eleven months after the original plan and over two years after the first issue’s release. Because Doomsday Clock was plagued with these massive delays, many of the other main line DC stories that were supposed to lead up to it seemed to pass it by. It was hard for other DC writers to keep their internal continuities intact in a way that wouldn’t violate Doomsday Clock‘s narrative. In fact, in October 2019, two months before Doomsday Clock‘s final issue was released, senior DC Comics sources told Bleeding Cool’s Rich Johnston that “if Doomsday Clock had begun publication now, it would most definitely have been a Black Label comic book. And, as a result, out of continuity.” To address the power struggle, Dan DiDio and Geoff Johns, both architects of the main line, had starkly different visions of where DC was heading in late 2019/early 2020. DiDio had plans for his own massive 5G (aka “Generations”) reboot, which was at loggerheads with Johns’ Doomsday Clock reboot. Both DiDio and Johns eventually lost their jobs as chief architects (with DiDio being unceremoniously fired entirely), leaving writer Scott Snyder to handle reboot duties. Thus, Snyder’s ongoing Justice League arc began to (kinda sorta) trump Doomsday Clock‘s in terms of official canonical status, despite the fact that their apparent reboot-effects were virtually identical. What makes all this even messier is that DC released material in anticipation of each prospective reboot. Doomsday Clock was released, but then neutered. A bit of DiDio’s 5G stuff came out, but was then scrapped. And Snyder’s arc was already contradicting both! DiDio tried to snuff out Johns’ reboot in favor of his own. Then DiDio got canned, Johns lost power, and Snyder picked up the pieces and was tasked with handling the “official” reboot.

    So, is Doomsday Clock canon? Yes, it is. Snyder has re-avowed Doomsday Clock (and will honor its reboot effects come the end of Dark Nights: Death Metal). Even some 5G material has been folded-in (i.e. fanwanked-in).

    Snyder’s Dark Nights: Death Metal reboot explains that the Batman Who Laughs, wielding the power of Perpetua, blocked Dr. Manhattan’s reboot attempt. (The epilogue to the Flash Forward TPB confirms this as well, showing the Batman Who Laughs blocking Wally West from attempting Dr. Manhattan’s reboot for a second time.) Snyder’s Justice League Vol. 4 #39 further explains this, citing that the end of Doomsday Clock #12 unfolds outside of everyone’s purview, disconnected from reality. Dr. Manhattan attempts to restore the existence of both the JSA and Legion and reverse the deaths of Ma and Pa Kent. The latter deaths are indeed undone, but, despite all appearances to the contrary, the rest of the reboot doesn’t quite happen as planned. As such, parts of the Doomsday Clock narrative cannot be read as-is. We’ll address these moments as we get to them below.

  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: Beyond dotty continuity resulting from publication delays and internal power struggles, Doomsday Clock further complicates itself by utilizing a deliberately screwy internal timeline of its own, one that doesn’t make much sense in the linear sense of things. And this this is true despite the fact that Doomsday Clock is a mostly continuous and uninterrupted story, meaning, while there are some elisions, its narrative usually flows from one issue to the next, picking up where each prior issue leaves off. I will break down these time discrepancies issue by issue and try to explain them below.

    Doomsday Clock #1: Original solicitation date November 2017. Released November 22, 2017. Cover date January 2018. (Take note of the odd difference between the release date and cover date—and this is even before the title’s horrible delays that stretched things out for two full years. It’s especially ironic that the cover to issue #1 is emblazoned with “THE END IS HERE.” The end is nowhere in sight. Sigh.) On Earth-Watchmen, we are told it is November 22, 1992 or November 23, 1992 in the very first line. And in the very fist line, writer Geoff Johns begins what will seemingly be a recurring leitmotif in this series: dates are not to be trusted. Supplemental material shows newspapers from a couple weeks earlier, dated November 5, 1992. Thus, the November 22 date seems merely to correlate with the release date of this issue.

    Doomsday Clock #2: Original solicitation date December 2017. Released December 27, 2017. Cover date February 2018. The “dates can’t be trusted” theme continues with a flashback security video sequence in which Marionette says “Happy Monday” and the banker says, “It’s Wednesday.” Marionette replies, “Whatever.” Supplemental material shows internet articles dated December 7, 2017, December 10, 2017, December 11, 2017, and December 20, 2017. This seems to place the main action of Doomsday Clock in mid to late December or early January. Despite it being November in the previous issue, we can chalk this up to the fact that issue #2 brought us to a new Earth. The December 7, 2017 article in the supplemental material says that Helga Jace’s Supermen Theory first went public six months prior, which would mean June 2017. The December 2017 date seems merely to correlate with the release date of the issue.

    Doomsday Clock #3: Original solicitation date January 2018. Released January 24, 2018. Cover date March 2018. The “dates can’t be trusted” theme continues with Batman’s dialogue, “I ran a search for temporal anomalies.” Johnny Thunder says it’s the first Monday of the month. While the old feller is far from a reliable timekeeper, we can use this to place us on the calendar. As per the last issue, we have to be either in mid to late December or early January. Thus, if we take Johnny’s line as gospel, then we must be (and must have been) in January this whole time. The January date also correlates with the release date, so take that for what it’s worth.

    Doomsday Clock #4: Original solicitation date March 2018. Released March 28, 2018. Cover date May 2018. The “dates can’t be trusted” theme continues with Mothman’s dialogue: “It’s warm for December. They say the dimensional rift that opened altered our seasonal clock. It’s going to snow in June. Isn’t that funny?” March is not referenced in the issue.

    Doomsday Clock #5: Original solicitation date May. (Things switch to an every-two-month release schedule instead of monthly.) Released May 30, 2018. Cover date July 2018. Clark mentions that it’s “ten years too late” to ask someone else to be Jon’s godfather. The dialogic intent of this line is to let us know that Jon was born roughly ten years ago, placing us in 2017/2018. However, specific mention is made of Johnny Thunder being 102-years-old. Johns’ “The Button” told us specifically Johnny was born in 1917, which would put us in 2019. This seems very deliberate, as if Johns is course correcting, placing us nearer to where we need to be by story’s end (i.e. 2019, when Doomsday Clock ends it publication run). While Doomsday Clock did eke out its final release in December 2019, the lateness of its final issue seems to place our story in 2020, making Johns’ course correcting still incorrect. Supplemental material gives the date May 30, 2019. This correlates with the release date.

    Doomsday Clock #6: Original solicitation date July 2018. Released July 25, 2018. No cover date. This issue picks up immediately where issue #5 leaves off. Supplemental material places the primary action of issue #6 on Wednesday July 25, correlating exactly with the release date of the comic. No specific year is attached.

    Doomsday Clock #7: Original solicitation date September 2018. Released September 26, 2018. Cover date November 2018. This issue picks up immediately where issue #6 leaves off. We get a myriad of date references as Dr. Manhattan scans through his memories, viewing time as occurring all at once, but none of the dates are important to the continuity of present-day narrative, so there are no problems or contradictions. Likewise, the supplemental material isn’t about ongoing narrative, so it doesn’t contain any continuity problems or contradictions either. While the “dates can’t be trusted” theme seems to be formally abandoned within the narrative here (i.e. no errors), we still get a very brusque message to “not believe what you perceive to be true.” While there might not be any continuity errors in Doomsday Clock #7, the omnipotent Dr. Manhattan speaks about time extensively and talks about how he can no longer see the future. Dr. Manhattan says that his fight against Superman, of which we see brief flashes, will occur in one month’s time. Johns even ends Doomsday Clock #7 with an R Buckminster Fuller quote: “Seeing-is-believing is a blind spot in man’s vision.”

    Doomsday Clock #8: Original solicitation date November 2018. Released December 5, 2018. (Release schedule begins to slip behind and will only worsen for the rest of the series.) Cover date February 2019. This issue picks up three weeks after issue #7 leaves off. There aren’t really any time references, although the scenes in Moscow look like it is autumn or winter—there are no leaves on trees and everyone is wearing cold-weather gear. Heretofore, I’m not entirely certain there had been any true indicator of season. If it is indeed meant to be fall or winter, this is contradicted by the supplemental material of Doomsday Clock #8, which features several newspaper articles responding to the narrative action of this very issue. The articles place the narrative action on June 5, 2019.

    Doomsday Clock #9: Original solicitation date January 2019. Released March 6, 2019. Cover date May 2019. This issue, which occurs a mere five days after Doomsday Clock #8, shows Washington DC with leafless trees, hinting at wintertime (just as the Russia scenes implied in the previous issue)! So, maybe we are in winter? This issue also is chock-full of time references and callbacks to Dr. Manhattan’s cosmic ability to view all time at once (although his vision is blocked by tachyons, just like it was in the original Watchmen). The issue starts with Manhattan talking stochastically about future dates in quick succession. Even the omnipotent Dr. Manhattan cannot see the “truth” of this inconsistent timeline.

    Doomsday Clock #10: Original solicitation date March 2019. Released May 29, 2019. No cover date. Hooo-daisy, this one’s the kicker! Doc Manhattan recalls all the previous DC continuities and reboots in the same way we (the readers) have perceived them over the years, realizing that the multiverse is actually a “metaverse”—an über-narrative that has changed throughout history, with each change coinciding with a publication release date for a continuity-altering comic book issue. Did Manhattan have a direct hand in affecting previous continuities? Or, would current continuity have originally resembled the Golden Age, Silver Age, and several other continuities if not for Manhattan’s meddling? The only chronologies we know 100% for certain that he messed with are the New 52 and Rebirth Era timelines (which are more or less the same for the purposes of this story). While I’m not quite sure about anything that happens in this issue, I am sure that the “dates can’t be trusted” theme has exploded all over every page. Doomsday Clock #10 is about how time is constantly literally being rewritten in the DCU—and how it has been rebooted numerous times in the past eighty years. Beyond this conceit, there are a bunch of glaring chronal inconsistencies (even within the internal narrative of this issue) worth pointing out. First, while technically not an error per se, I’m personally quite miffed that Doc Manhattan’s vision of the Silver Age Superman’s debut is set in 1956, which means that it doesn’t take into account Sliding-Time. C’mon! Sliding-Time moved Superman’s debut to 1966! But I get it, I get it. Manhattan also tells us that Carver Colman left Philly on December 25, 1928 and arrived in Hollywood on December 31. However, on January 19, 1929, Manhattan tells us that Colman has been already been working at Paramount for eight months—an impossibility based upon the timeline he himself gives. There are also a few contradictions regarding the release dates of the Nathaniel Dusk films within this issue. Furthermore, we are shown Colman holding his Best Actor Oscar trophy on April 18, 1952, but Doomsday Clock #3 tells us specifically that he won the award on March 18, 1953, which is nearly a year later. There are also some Los Angeles historical inaccuracies in Doomsday Clock #10, but we can chalk those up to the DCU’s LA being different than our real world LA. Last but not least, Manhattan makes reference to the events of DC Universe: Rebirth #1 as happening “one year ago,” but they actually happened three years ago. This one seems less deliberate than the rest, so we unfortunately should likely chalk this up to the abject publication delays. Sigh.

    Doomsday Clock #11: Original solicitation date May 2019. Released September 4, 2019. Cover date November 2019. This item takes place a couple days after Doomsday Clock #10. While Doomsday Clock #10 mistakenly told us that DC Universe: Rebirth #1 happened “one year ago,” curiously, in this issue, Lex Luthor hints at DC Universe: Rebirth #1 as happening the correct two years ago! Like the last issue, we get a lot of trippy stuff about alternate realities and alternate timelines, including “chronal debris” and Back to the Future style erasures. Admittedly, this issue’s time material is much messier than in prior issues. Time is wonky, as per the theme.

    Doomsday Clock #12: Original solicitation date unknown. Released December 18, 2019. Cover date February 2020. This item continues right from where Doomsday Clock #10 leaves off. Same topoi and same deal here, right up to the very end. Superman, quite meta-cheekily, utters the line “Better late than never.” What more can we say? Clearly, the dates throughout the entire series are deliberately disordered and should not be exactly relied upon to gauge actual time. Johns, in late 2017, said in interviews that the story would wind up being one year ahead of other ongoing DC stories. Since Doomsday Clock ended publication in late December 2019, we must assume that 2019 is when Doomsday Clock takes place narratively. Most of the dates, especially in supplemental material, are therefore irrelevant, merely referencing the release dates of the issues. This is obviously deliberately in Johns’ part in order to keep in step with the theme of Dr. Manhattan’s chronal-manipulation. In the end, however, with what went down with Johns, DiDio, and Snyder behind the scenes, all of Doomsday Clock‘s in-universe chronal strangeness winds up amounting to a narrative hill of beans anyway.

    Doomsday Clock should have been one of the most important and game-changing stories in DC Comics history, but the publishers and creators undercut it, essentially nullifying its impact completely. Whether it was publication delays, power struggles, a funky narrative flow, or one reboot cancelling out another, Doomsday Clock was doomed from the start.

  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: Note that the second Tattooed Man, Mark Richards, is shown here, and he insinuates that the first Tattooed Man, Abel Tarrant, died during the Sanctuary massacre. This could be a big-time continuity error that happened due to a miscommunication between creators and editors. It was actually Mark that died during the Sanctuary massacre, which means the Tattooed Man in Doomsday Clock #6 should instead be Abel. And, furthermore, Abel should be saying that his counterpart (Mark) died at Sanctuary. See? They seemingly got it all twisted around. However, another fanwanky perspective is that this is Mark, having somehow come back from the dead (or having miraculously survived the Sanctuary massacre), and, since he is with the villains again, he doesn’t want anyone to know that he had been part of a hero-sponsored rehab venture. Thus, the still-alive Mark is deflecting by falsely claiming that it was the other Tattooed Man at Sanctuary instead of himself. But who really knows.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: The supplemental material from Doomsday Clock #3 tells us that Carver Colman was acquaintances with Frank Farr (Rita Farr’s father), John Law, Sgt. Frank Rock, Jackie Johnson, Randy Booth, Ted Grant, and Libby Lawrence, all of whom are cognate to the JSA. Rita Farr is Elasti-Girl. John Law is Tarantula. Sgt. Rock, Jackie Johnson, and Randy Booth are all in the US Army’s Easy Company. Ted Grant is Wildcat. Libby Lawrence is Liberty Belle, who is first married to John Law and then Johnny Quick (John Chambers). The supplemental material from Doomsday Clock #3 also mentions Detective Bruce Nelson, who was one of the stars of Detective Comics #1, years before Batman appeared in the title.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: Recently, an H-Dial wound up in the ownership of a teenager named Miguel Montez—as seen in Brian Michael Bendis’ Dial H for Hero series. Robby also co-stars in this series and is the “Operator of the Heroverse” (i.e. master of the H-Dial’s mystic power). Thus, it makes sense that Robby is present here, H-Dialed-up to the max.
  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: Geoff Johns labels these Earths (1985 and 52) in order to distinguish that they are attached to new timelines—not the original timelines. Since Earth-52 bears the designation of number 52, we’re still operating within the confines of the Local Multiverse map of Earths 0 through 52. (There’s already a pre-existing Earth-52, created by Scott Snyder in Metal. It is home to the Primate Legion, so it would seem that Dr. Manhattan has merged the ape world’s history with a version of the defunct primary New 52 timeline). Earth-1985, on the other hand, with its designation number of 1985 (obviously a cute nod to the original Crisis), seems to be way out in the fringes of the greater omniverse. To be clear, Universe-52 and Universe-1985 cannot be the original New 52 or the original Modern Age, respectively. Those timelines are defunct, so these new ones are merely copies. The nice thing here (as opposed to the quagmire created by Convergence when that story tried something similar) is that Johns is deliberately vague as a means of implying that these are definitely not the originals. In fact, if we go by how Johns has handled similar things in his own writing before (Infinite Crisis, for example), then we can even make a further assumption that these new Earths are not the originals, but merely reflections of the originals.

62 Responses to Rebirth Year Eighteen (Part 1)

  1. Martín Lel says:

    When would you place “Deathstroke: Arkham”? It’s confusing because the villain is Hugo Strange, but he’s seen out of Arkham in this Wednesday’s Detective Comics, which was published after Deathstroke.

    • I don’t stress too much about villains appearing and re-appearing in-and-out of prison. It just happens. They escape one day and go back the next day only to escape yet again. Such is the world of the DCU. In ‘tec Hugo is free. We can assume that he goes back to prison afterward (and we can assume he was in prison shortly before too). Thus, for placing “Deathstroke: Arkham,” I’d look towards Deathstroke’s other appearances in conjunction with Hugo’s. Deathstroke appears in Bendis’ “Batman: Universe” arc and in Drowned Earth. “Deathstroke: Arkham” has to be either before “Batman: Universe,” or in-between “Batman: Universe” and ‘tec, or in-between ‘tec and Drowned Earth. Hell, there’s even a slight possibility that it goes post-Drowned Earth.

  2. Antonio says:

    Hey Collin, how’s it going? Antonio here… Hope everything is going well in your life.
    I’d like to share some thouths with you. What do you think of Tom King’s Heroes In Crisis? I heard he’s receiving death threats…
    Now, I know there are some really bad nuts out there… you just can tell a guy you’re going to kill him just because he mistreated your favourite character!

    Anyway, I’d like to hear from you what you think of HIC… I think that with issue number 8 it reached to a point where one can finally say it is pure crap! It doesn’t make any sense to me… and honestly I think poor Wally just deserves better. I was totally in love with DC when they brought him back with Rebirth… but recently they just treated him incredibly poorly.

    Ok, and what about his entire Batman’s run? I don’t know… Tom King is giving me the same bad vibes that Bendis is giving me with his Superman’s run.
    All right, let me know, Collin.

    • I saw the death threats thing. It’s only comics, people, jeez. Not cool.

      But yeah. Heroes in Crisis sucks, no other way to say it. Most reviews have not been kind, nor should they. I’m hesitant to comment more than that since there’s still one more issue, so anything could happen. But it appears as though Wally’s character has been fully assassinated beyond the point of return. Even as a deep analysis/commentary of mental illness via the superhero genre, I’m still not into it.

      And I’ve been vocally critical of King’s run for quite some time now. I hated Vision, but I loved Grayson—so I wasn’t sure what I was going to get. Seventy issues into his run and I’m left feeling meh. There are some powerful individual moments, but as a whole it’s not very strong, especially compared to other long runs in Bat-history.

      Bendis was kinda-sorta born again upon his return to DC—I dig his energy and seeming willingness to consider all DC’s history canon (for better or worse). I hate that Jonathan is like seventeen now, but hopefully that will be reverted. And I’m still waiting for an answer as to how its possible for Impulse and Conner Kent to be back in-continuity without breaking every comic book law of physics that exists. “Leviathan Rising” and Naomi both have potential, so we’ll see. I think Tom King will probably phase himself out of superhero comics once he’s done with Batman, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Bendis gets the keys to the castle after that… for better or worse, as always with comics.

  3. Antonio says:

    Yeah, I forgot asking you what’s happening with young Justice!!! How’s that possibile? Which Conner are we having back??? And what about Tim..? It looks like they know each other and everyone, including Tim, is coming from modern age continuity, but that is impossible, referring to Tim, at least.
    I think Jon being 17 diminishes both his father’s character and his own character. A dumb move, pure and simple. But the worst thing about Bendis is how he writes Lois.
    Hopefully the Greg Rucka series is coming soon to give Lois what she deserves. Hopefully.

    Back to Batman I’ve heard rumors that King’s going to end his run with Selina finally saying YES to Bruce. I hope it’s true.

    • SPOILER: This week’s issue begins to address that situation. It’s kinda sorta the same explanation we got when Wally returned (and in Titans Hunt)—at some point Connor and company were exiled and erased from everyone’s memory.

      And if Selina and Bruce DO tie the knot—the only logical (and satisfying) conclusion to this 100+ issue arc—then maybe it’ll all have been worth it.

  4. Antonio says:

    OK Collin, How’s it going? Antonio here…
    I’ve got some questions about the black label stuff that DC is currently publishing. I mean… are they in continuity? DCeased… seems not to me.
    Last knight on Earth… seems not to me as well, but I read that Snyder said it is the natural conclusion of his batman’s run… which, for the most part (with the only exception of Year Zero, maybe) has been totally canon. So what??
    And how about Superman Year Zero by Frank Miller? Are we talking about the dark knight returns universe’s Superman or are canon-Superman’s origins being rewritten for the millionth time? Bah…

    Also… what about the Kents? Are they back..? Conner clearly used the present tense talking about Pa Kent… and I think Superman did the same talking about his mom…
    I think, but I’m not completely sure, Bendis answered some questions about that saying that things will be totally in place once Doomsday Clock is over. So, I guess at least Martha Kent will be brought back to life..? Does that mean that the Brainiac story and the death of Jonathan Kent is back in continuity? Also… will the Death of Superman return to its original version with the Kents and Conner?

    So sorry for annoying you, Collin. But you’re such an invaluable resource… 🙂
    P.S. How about the placement of all three Batman TMNT? The third one is kind of a strange one…

    • DCeased is out-of-continuity.
      Last Night on Earth is out-of-continuity. It continues Snyder’s “possible future Bruce-clones” storyline, but that storyline isn’t really canon either.
      Superman Year One is out-of-continuity—although, I literally made a joke to a friend last night that Dr. Manhattan is going to make this canon soon LOL.

      Basically, DC has always said that all Black Label stuff would be like Prestige Elseworlds, non-canon. The only exception (so far) will be Three Jokers, which will be canon.

      I’m not sure about the Kents, we’ll wait and see… Doomsday Clock could very well change things, and Bendis has already hinted at certain things. For now, technically, the Kents are still New 52 version—dead on prom night. I’ve chalked up Conner’s line about Pa Kent being due to the fact that he is partly cloned from Clark and might have some of Clark’s memories implanted into his mind. Still… very curious.

      All three Batman/TMNT series are canon. Although, the third one might only feature Batmen from alternate Earths. Again, we’ll have to wait and see how it ends.

  5. Antonio says:

    Thank you Collin, you’re such a kind human being.

  6. Antonio says:

    Holy Bat the site is back on!!! Thank you Collin!!!!

  7. Antonio says:

    Hey Collin, it’s Antonio. Glad the site is back on…
    Well, I have a question. Just finished reading Batman 75… and now Gotham is totally in Bane’s hands. Ok. Alt-Thomas Wayne is kicking asses and Bruce is down looking for the Memory of the Mountain. Hmmmm….
    But how about the ending of Batman 74? We had left Bruce and Alt Thomas down in the pit with Bruce defeating him and comin’ out of the chasm… I can’t understand.
    Please can you make things clearer for this below average guy from italy that I am??
    Thank you.

    P.S. : I Hate Tom King.

    • Glad it’s back too! Tom King has been a very polarizing figure, maybe the most polarizing figure in terms of lead Bat-writer in the past 25 years (topping Morrison and Snyder even). I think King can be a talented writer (see Grayson), but I think his pacing is way off and his plot choices are ho-hum. Bane has conquered Gotham before—from “Knightfall” to Forever Evil Arkham War, we’ve seen it before. Not to mention, we’ve seen “Hell Comes to Gotham” in some form or another over and over since the dawn of the Modern Age. It just doesn’t feel that original, which is a non-starter for me. The one thing (and, in my opinion, only thing) that King will hopefully deliver is the Bat-Cat marriage. I’m still looking forward to that, although, based upon what I’ve now seen for the past two years, I seriously worry about execution.

      King likes to include ellipses and have you fill-in the gaps yourself. He is big on this style of writing. So you get Batman defeating Flashpoint Batman, declaring that he isn’t broken, climbing out of the pit triumphantly… and then “later…” editorial notation followed by a broken Batman, a conquered Gotham, etc… Obviously, a lot of other stories—notably the JL, Year of the Villain, Event Leviathan stuff—goes before Batman #75, so the jump to “City of Bane” out of nowhere does read as very strange. Flashpoint Batman was supposed to be a big part of Bane’s plan. Yet, when Flashpoint Batman fails, Bane’s plan moves ahead anyway. What was the point of Flashpoint Batman? Maybe King will give us some flashbacks. We’ll see.

  8. Austin Eaton says:

    Hey Colin. Could you explain what each of the known hidden forces are and their counterparts? I’m a bit confused.

  9. Martín says:

    I know it doesn’t make sense with any other title other than Batman, but I’m pretty sure the ending of The Fall and the Fallen was supposed to be that Thomas stepped out, not Bruce, and that leads directly into City of Bane.

    • There is a serious disconnect between #74 and #75, and while some might argue that it’s King’s signature writing style, putting in random ellipses here and there, I’d argue that it’s simply slapdash writing. #74 is the story of Bruce crawling out of the pit—both literally and metaphorically. That was the set-up and the delivery. If it’s not Bruce that emerges, it’s a cheap twist, the cheapest twist imaginable. I wouldn’t put it past Tom “Swerve” King. But, Martín, it certainly would make a hell of a lot more sense as to how we go from #74 straight into City of Lame… er City of Bane.

      I’m waiting for the inevitable flashback issue that undoubtedly will cast light on what happened way down in the hole. If it ever comes, it won’t be too hard to shuffle things around. After all, King’s strong suit (if he even has one) was certainly never continuity. On first read, I myself stared at that final panel of #74 trying to determine WHOSE GLOVE COULD IT BE? We’ll find out one day soon enough. Thanks for your insight!

  10. diego2024 says:

    hello colin !! I am impressed by your talent to organize so many chronological data. Every day I visit this page (15-20 times a day), but I did not find an option to receive notifications for updates (my method is very silly … I inspect year by year) is there an option or something similar?

    If you saw any mistake in my text, it’s because … I’m Argentine haha

    • Hi Diego, thanks for visiting so often! I used to have a manual change-log on the site, but it was too difficult to keep up to date since changes happen a lot, so I scrapped it. I’ll look into change-log plug-ins for WordPress, but I’m not sure any of them are front-end facing. Plus, I’m hesitant to attach a third-party plug-in, because it could lead to site issues and glitches.

      I’ll look into a solution for this though. You certainly aren’t the first person to make this observation/request.

  11. Austin Eaton says:

    Hey, Colin. How’s it going? I’m sure you’ve already talked about this somewhere on the website, but how do we know that DC doesn’t operate on a sliding timescale like Marvel does where every four or so years is one year?

    • Hey Austin, there’s nothing concrete indicating DC has been using a sliding-timescale. In fact, last time DC definitively was using one (as could be gleaned via temporal info in the comics and by publisher interviews) was around 2002. But even then, DC’s use of Sliding-Time was different from Marvel’s, which, as you’ve noted quite correctly, always vaguely places everything in it’s past a set number of X years prior, keeping the overall Floating Timeline quite short. Since 1968, Marvel has operated with this type of sliding-timescale, one that constantly moves—instantly retconning all stories into reference material and ignoring topical references—to keep its shared-multiversial start date perpetually around 15 years prior to current ongoing publications. (Thus, the formula is really is close to every 4 years = 1 year in Marvel Comics.) In contrast, DC’s Floating Timelines always altered origin-points with exact specificity. While indeed “floating” like Marvel’s, they didn’t constantly float. Instead, they’d be editorially moved (sometimes officially but sometimes unofficially) every now and again, and really not that often.

      I think by 2011, DC was ready to float things again, but they decided for an all-out reboot instead. And since Rebirth turned out to be a legit reboot in 2017, DC’s primary continuity hasn’t really been “in-need” of a slide. We know DC isn’t using a sliding-timescale simply because every temporal reference in the Rebirth era seems to indicate that they aren’t.

      In fact, the very existence of my website is the ultimate case study for examining how DC doesn’t do Sliding-Time like Marvel does. I literally couldn’t do what I’ve done here if DC did. 😉

      • Austin Eaton says:

        So if this website was based around a Marvel character, how different would it be formatted?

        • It would merely be a “reading order list.” And summaries wouldn’t make mention of any dates, specificity, or topical/seasonal references. Basically, you couldn’t even begin to accurately gauge things year-to-year, season-through-season. It’s hard enough making sense of the history of the Robins in the various DCU chronologies, but it’s truly impossible for Marvel’s youth (Franklin Richards is the prime example), at least in regard to creating a timeline that has very specific dates.

  12. Antonio says:

    Hey Collin, Antonio here…
    Ok… what’s your feeling about Doomsday Clock now that’s coming close to an end? It just seems to me like a missed opportunity by Johns. The incredible delay from issue to issue didn’t help, but overall it just felt like a big mess to me.
    Plus… given what is currently happening to Lex on Justice League… how can that be related to what is happening in DClock? I mean… at this point, with all the Totality and stuff, Luthor should be well aware of alternate timelines, Manhattan and everything else.
    I don’t know… it seems like DClock is happening farther into the future than 2019… bah!

    What do you think is gonna happen in the last issue? Clark punching Manhattan, forcing him (or making him understand) to undo whay he’s done and… bam… what happens? Another reboot? The Kents are alive..? What?

    P.S.: I’ve heard rumors of a “Black Batman” in 2020… do you know anything about it?

    • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I truly enjoy Doomsday Clock and think it is one of the better titles that DC has had going recently. Fifty years ago DC’s characters discovered the multiverse, and they are finally discovering the metaverse. Pretty interesting (and novel) stuff. Now, the delays hurt. That’s undeniable. “Rebirth” as a legitimate reboot hurts too. Doomsday Clock is the perfect response to the New 52. The problem is: It’s merely an okay response to the Rebirth Era—and we are in the Rebirth Era now, not the New 52.

      A couple years ago, Dan DiDio and Jim Lee put a moratorium on using the Legion or JSA in any capacity until Doomsday Clock ended. Of course, Bendis and Snyder had already been promised they could use the Legion and JSA, respectively. When Doomsday Clock dragged a year—and then two years—past it’s projected solicitation end date, Bendis and Snyder couldn’t (or wouldn’t) hold back their stories any longer. That’s the rumbling on the web, anyway. To me, this is a failure of editorial more than anything else. Let’s get the damn book out on time. Your entire line’s continuity is at stake. You’ve made this arc THE MOST IMPORTANT arc in history, so let’s deliver. And if you fail to deliver on time, so god help you DO NOT allow your other writers to contradict this story. I repeat, DO NOT ALLOW! I mean, you’ve gone a few years already without the Legion. You can’t wait a few more months? And you’ve gone nearly a decade without the JSA! C’mon. I know the delays are terrible, but just chill and wait, okay?

      So, yeah, things are a mess right now, and I don’t know how they’ll explain things. Luthor has to return to his old life, which means a big status quo shift for him after Justice/Doom War. And, like you said, after both Superman (by Bendis) and Justice/Doom (by Snyder), the existence of the Legion and JSA shouldn’t be a new concept to anyone. So, what does this mean? It means we might have some serious fanwanking to do. Maybe no one will remember parts of Justice/Doom? Maybe it’ll be all about semantics—like the Justice/Doom JSA isn’t the real JSA, merely an alt-Hypertime JSA (which is what they appear to be anyway). This way, the revelation of the JSA having been a part of the true primary timeline’s history still gets to sorta kinda be a big revelation? The introduction of the Legion is truly premature though. Not sure about how they’ll handle that. Maybe they’ll be some alt-Legion too. After all, there were three Legions in the Modern Age. No matter the case, it seems to me that DiDio has really backed himself into a corner here.

      Doomsday Clock #11 (coming out tomorrow) is by far the clunkiest and temporally (chronally?) dubious of the Doomsday Clock issues thus far. And I still have no clue what’ll happen with Doomsday Clock #12. The prospect of another reboot is always there, but I don’t think it’ll necessarily happen. We might get some sort of soft continuity shift à la Infinite Crisis. After all, Johns did that one too.

      And I haven’t heard anything about Black Batman, but I welcome the change!

  13. Antonio says:

    Really? So, you’d like another person being Batman other than Bruce?
    Isn’t that idea a little bit old now?

    I love black characters (John Henry Irons being one of my favourites) but Batman must remain Bruce Wayne.

    Anyway, thank you for your answer about Doomsday Clock and its implications…

  14. Antonio says:

    Hey Collin, Antonio here… Sorry for bothering you once again.
    Ok, Questions.

    Since we witnessed Alfred’s death in COB, and since (pretty much confirmed) rumors say that he will stay dead (and one year from now Bruce will stay home with Selina, will be presumed dead himself by the JL and will be mentoring Luke Fox as the new -oh my God- PERMANENT Batman)… how in the world can Doomsday Clock be possible since Alfred is alive and well?

    Could it be that Doomsday Clock comes BEFORE the events of City Of Bane?

    Plus… I saw that you have put the Deadman/Ras story by Neal Adams in continuity, but don’t you thing that is a bit of a stretch? I mean… we’re talking about Neal Adams here… Has he ever written something canon about Batman in his life? Maybe in the 70’s… but still up for grabs.
    I’d say that story is out of con. Neal is out of con himself 🙂
    But, of course, you know better.
    Thanks.
    P.S.: If Alfred really stays dead… what’s your take on that? I think that’d be the biggest change in a million years. But Alfred is too important of a character for Batman’s life. Like Lois for Superman. I mean… Snyder cutting his hand made people crazy about it… and now King killing him?
    Thank again.

    • You’ve been reading a lot of Bleeding Cool reports, eh? Like I always say, “we’ll see.” I’ll wait until the dust settles before I make any big moves. Time and comics have proven one constant: when you mix Geoff Johns, Dan DiDio, Scott Snyder, and Tom King… you can throw teamwork (i.e. continuity) out the window. And, if we are to believe Bleeding Cool, Alfred’s death wasn’t originally meant to stick—it was supposed to be a Psycho-Pirate mind-trick, nothing but mere illusion. AND THEN the brain trust decided, “hey, let’s actually kill Alfred.” As an afterthought. As a plot device, after the fact.

      Bring on the mess, I guess? And we already have the impatience of an entire publishing staff (combined with Gary Frank’s frustratingly slow-ass illustration) possibly forcing Doomsday Clock earlier, which would mean numerous continuity errors there as well—I’m looking at you Nightwing on Mars. Shouldn’t you be driving a taxi, Ric? Not to mention, shouldn’t Colonel—errr General—Sam Lane be in the hospital? Don’t worry though, I’m here to apply the ultimate fanwanks like I’ve always done. Where there’s nonsense and chaos, there’s sense to be mined, harvested, created, etc… But, like I said, I’d like to see more pieces of the puzzle on the table before I start trying to cram anything together.

      In regard to the madman Neal Adams, who, yes, truly lives on his own parallel universe: My aim when timeline-building has always been to attempt to rationalize everything that gets published onto a chronology—this includes the works of Neal Adams. Now, Odyssey (the ultimate bonkers head-trip) didn’t fit, that’s for certain. The Coming of the Superman… might? Geoff Johns was seemingly a fan of that one. Deadman Vol. 5, which links to Batman vs Ra’s al Ghul directly… who knows. There’s a fair chance I’ll remove Mr. Adams’ entire corpus soon enough. It’s already stretching continuity (and surreality) to the limit. Oh, in case you missed it, Alfred’s in Batman vs Ra’s al Ghul too LOL.

      • Antonio says:

        Yeah I’ve been reading a lot of BC reports 🙂 … and, boy, I hope they are wrong.
        I think, well, I KNOW that killing Alfred would be an incredibly dumb move. You create good stuff with good stories, not by killing main characters as an afterthought, as you said.

        The black Batman would be another example of that: how many times now has Bruce been supposed dead and replaced by another guy? Jean Paul, Dick… Is this something new to work with? Hell no!

        If really Doomsday Clock moves earlier than the current events on the main titles, well, I think DC needs to reconfigure its entire lineup, because that would be a mess nearly impossible to fix.

        We’ll see about the Neal Adams stuff. Still pretty sure you’ll have to remove it from continuity sooner than later.

        I really really hope Alfred doesn’t stay dead and Bruce will still be the one and only Batman. But as you said… those DC guys together in the same room deciding the fate of characters… it’s like having Trump and Johnson in the same room deciding the fate of humanity.
        You just can’t be optimistic about that.

  15. Austin Eaton says:

    I know this is one of those situations where ya gotta be careful with word of mouth and take it with a grain of salt, but Tom King said in a Tweet that in his upcoming Batman/Catwoman maxiseries he’s acting as if Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is canon. My first thought is “How does that work since Batman: Year Two is canon and Mask of the Phantasm is based on it?” Idk. I just figured I’d bring it to your attention.
    https://twitter.com/tomkingtk/status/1175486136514416640?s=21

    • Hey Austin, solicits came out for this a few months ago, I think. Pretty soon everything will be canon—in some way shape or form, of course. There are already like 13 Reapers in canon, so what’s one more LOL? I’m not opposed to canonizing everything (Morrison’s been doing it rather successfully for decades), but I will say there is definitely not that much space left in the early years. Year Zero, Year One, War of Jokes and Riddles, nearly every rogue’s debut, Robin’s training and debut, meeting Superman and WW, and much much more… these things populate Batman’s first two jam-packed years already.

  16. Austin Eaton says:

    Hey Colin, how’s it going? I wanna create my own DC Metaverse timeline so I was wondering if you simply have any recommended Comics to read that would give me some material. You already have a DC Multiverse timeline on Year Fifteen, which is amazing, but I wanna get into even more detail and events. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Just confirming, do you mean a TPB/major arc reading list for the entire DCU? I could cook something up for ya.

      Also, did you see Didio showed the pending NEW DCU Timeline at NY Comic Con yesterday? Looks like a MAJOR REBOOT is coming very soon…

  17. Austin Eaton says:

    Yeah, a major arc reading list would be great. Also, the most recent Green Lantern stories involving the history of the Maltusians and stories involving the Old Gods and whatnot. Like how the Witching Hour arc reveals Hecate’s history and Drowned Earth reveals history of Atlantis. I hope the New Timeline is more like a soft reboot, but Wonder Woman being the first superhero is a pretty significant change that’s definitely there just to capitalize off the movies.

    • I’ll see what I draft for you. Please give me a nudge if I haven’t done it in a week or so—my schedule is hella packed this month.

      Back to the new timeline—it looks to be about as soft as a bed of tempered nails. Dick debuts as Robin in Year 3, JL debut is Year 4, Crisis on Infinite Earths is Year 15, Wonder Woman being around as early as WWI, Steph as an ex-Robin again, etc… Also, if we are to believe the new timeline, Batman and Superman will currently be in their 35th active year as of 2020, meaning they’ll both be in their 50s! Is Damian in his late 20s then? I know it hasn’t been officially released yet, but I’m scratching my head here. It doesn’t make sense, so I must be reading it wrongly. In any case, it all seems a bit insane—the very antithesis of what DC should be doing to produce a line that makes cohesive sense.

      Bleeding Cool is also reporting that DC higher-ups are flummoxed about how to handle the Doomsday Clock situation. The entire line was meant to have dovetailed with Doomsday Clock A YEAR AGO. Snyder and Bendis clearly delayed their story-arcs for as long as they could in a vain attempt to give Johns the room he needed, but an extra 12 months was impossible to grant. So instead of having Doomsday Clock reintroduce both the JSA and Legion and then lead directly to Snyder’s use of the JSA and Bendis’ use of the Legion, you have them both moving forward anyway, which now leaves Doomsday Clock in a continuity quagmire. Everyone—Didio, Johns, Snyder, Bendis—shit the bed here. I’m curious to see how they try to reconcile everything. December/January are going to be veeeeeerrry interesting.

      • Austin Eaton says:

        Not to rush you or anything but I was wondering how’s the project you were doing for me going?

        • Hey Austin,

          I haven’t had any time to work on any special projects lately, but I promise I will get to it in the coming weeks. Feel free to give me another nudge if need be.

          Thanks!

          • Austin Eaton says:

            Have you started that project?

            • Hey Austin, thus far, by combing through my site and by cribbing off the amazing resources that are Trade Reading Order and Comic Reading Orders, I’ve assembled a master list of 200 trade paperbacks/essentials from the dawn of Batman up to present day—a “metaverse” list, if you will. If you are looking for a more detailed list with specific arcs/titles, especially in the Golden, Silver, and Bronze eras, let me know. That is going to take a little more work.

              The Batman Chronicles Vol. 1-2
              Batman: The Dark Knight Archives Vol. 1
              Batman Archives Vol. 1-2
              The Batman Chronicles Vol. 3-4
              All Star Comics Archives Vol. 1
              Batman: The Dark Knight Archives Vol. 2-3
              The Batman Chronicles Vol. 5-6
              Batman Archives Vol. 3-4
              The Batman Chronicles Vol. 7-8
              Batman: The Dark Knight Archives Vol. 4-6
              The Batman Chronicles Vol. 9-10
              Batman: The World’s Finest Comics Archives Vol. 1-2
              Batman: The Dark Knight Archives Vol. 7
              Batman Archives Vol. 5-6
              The Robin Archives Vol. 1-2
              Batman In The Forties
              Batman Archives Vol. 7
              World’s Finest Comics Archives Vol. 1-2
              Justice League Of America Archives Vol. 1-3
              The Brave And The Bold Team-Up Archives Vol. 1
              Justice League Of America Archives Vol. 4-5
              Batman: The Dynamic Duo Archives Vol. 1-2
              Showcase Presents: World’s Finest Vol. 1-2
              Showcase Presents: The Justice League of America Vol. 2
              Showcase Presents: Batman Vol. 1
              Crisis on Multiple Earths Vol. 1
              The Brave And The Bold Team-Up Archives Vol. 1
              Showcase Presents: Batman Vol. 1
              The Silver Age Teen Titans Archives Vol. 1
              Justice League Of America Archives Vol. 6-8
              Batman Illustrated by Neal Adams Vol. 1-3
              Batman in The Sixties
              Justice League Of America Archives Vol. 9
              Crisis on Multiple Earths Vol. 2
              Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus Vol. 1-4
              Deadman: The Deadman Collection
              Showcase Presents: Batgirl
              Batman: The Saga of Ra’s Al Ghul / Tales of the Demon
              Crisis on Multiple Earths Vol. 3-5
              Batman In The Seventies
              Huntress: Dark Knight Daughter
              Batman: Strange Apparitions
              The New Teen Titans Archives Vol. 1-2
              Crisis on Infinite Earths
              Watchmen
              —Batman Year One by Miller/Mazzucchelli
              —Batman & The Monster Men by Wagner
              —Prey by Moench/Gulacy
              —Batman & The Mad Monk by Wagner
              —The Man Who Laughs
              —Shaman by O’Neil/Hannigan
              —The Long Halloween by Loeb/Sale
              —Dark Victory by Loeb/Sale
              —Dark Detective by Englehart/Rogers (aka Strange Apparitions)
              —Justice League International Vol. 1 by Giffen/MacGuire
              —Ten Nights of the Beast
              —Arkham Asylum by Morrison
              —Justice League International Vol. 2
              Millennium
              Invasion
              —Cosmic Odyssey by Starlin/Mignola
              —Killing Joke by Moore/Bolland
              —A Death in the Family by Starlin/Aparo
              —Birth of the Demon
              —Vengeance of Bane
              —Knightfall/Knight’s End
              —JLA: New World Order by Morrison
              —JLA: American Dreams by Morrison
              —JLA: Earth-2 by Morrison/Quitely
              —Cataclysm
              — “No Man’s Land” (the government declares Gotham a wasteland, cut-off from the rest of society)
              — “Bruce Wayne: Murderer/Fugitive” (Bruce is framed for murder)
              — “Hush” (introduction of Hush)
              — “War Games” (crime war involving Black Mask, Stephanie Brown as Robin)
              —Identity Crisis
              —The OMAC Project
              — “Under the Hood” (Jason Todd returns)
              —Infinite Crisis
              — “Black Case Book” (beginning of Grant Morrison run)
              — “Batman and Son” (introduction of Damian aka Bruce’s son with Talia)
              — “Batman RIP” (the final Bruce Wayne story-arc before Final Crisis where he “dies”)
              —Final Crisis
              —Batman & Robin: Batman Reborn
              —The Return of Bruce Wayne
              —Batman Incorporated Vol. 1
              —Batman Incorporated Vol. 2
              Flashpoint
              DC Comics: The New 52
              Batman: Volume 4-5: Zero Year: Secret City/Dark City
              Justice League: Volume 1: Origin
              Batman: Volume 1: The Court of Owls
              Batman: Detective Comics: Volume 1: Faces of Death
              Batwoman: Volume 1: Hydrology
              Batman and Robin: Volume 1: Born to Kill
              Batman: The Dark Knight: Volume 1: Knight Terrors
              Justice League: Volume 2: The Villain’s Journey
              Batman: The Night of the Owls / City of Owls
              Batman: Detective Comics: Volume 2: Scare Tactics
              Batman and Robin: Volume 2: Pearl
              Batman: The Dark Knight: Volume 2: Cycle of Violence
              Justice League: Volume 3: Throne of Atlantis
              Batman: Volume 3: Death of the Family
              Batman and Robin: Volume 3: Death of the Family
              Batman Incorporated: Volume 1-2: Demon Star / Gotham’s Most Wanted
              Batman: Detective Comics: Volume 3: Emperor Penguin
              Batman and Robin: Volume 4: Requiem for Damian
              Batman: The Dark Knight: Volume 3: Mad
              Batwoman: Volume 4: This Blood Is Thick
              Justice League: Trinity War
              Justice League: Volume 4: The Grid
              Forever Evil / Forever Evil: Arkham War
              Batman/Superman: Volume 1: Cross World
              Batman: The Dark Knight: Volume 4: Clay
              Justice League: Volume 5: Forever Heroes
              Batman/Superman: Volume 2: Game Over
              Batman and Robin: Volume 5: The Big Burn
              Batman: Eternal: Volume 1
              Future’s End: Volume 1
              Superman Unchained
              Justice League: Volume 6: Injustice League
              Batman: Volume 6
              Batman/Superman: Volume 3
              Batman: Detective Comics: Volume 6: Icarus
              Batman and Robin: Volume 6: The Hunt for Robin
              Grayson: Volume 1
              Batman: Eternal: Volume 2
              Gotham Academy: Volume 1
              Multiversity
              Justice League of America: Power & Glory
              Batman: Endgame
              We are Robin / Robin War
              Batman: Superheavy
              Justice League: Darkseid War
              Gotham Academy: Volume 2: Second Semester
              Batman/Superman: The Final Days of Superman
              DC Universe: Rebirth
              Batman: The War of Jokes & Riddles
              All-Star Batman: The Cursed Wheel
              Justice League: The Extinction Machines
              Batman: I am Gotham
              Detective Comics: Rise of the Batmen
              Batman: Night of the Monster Men
              Detective Comics: The Victim Syndicate
              Batman: I am Suicide
              Batman: Rooftops
              Trinity: Better Together
              Justice League of America: The Extremists
              Batman: I am Bane
              All-Star Batman: My Own Worst Enemy
              Detective Comics: Batwoman Begins
              All-Star Batman: Ends of the Earth
              Detective Comics: League of Shadows
              Superman Reborn
              Superman: Black Dawn
              Justice League: Legacy
              The Button
              All-Star Batman: The First Ally
              Justice League of America: Panic in the Microverse!
              Detective Comics: Intelligence
              Deathstroke vs Batman
              Detective Comics: A Lonely Place of Living
              Milk Wars
              Batman: Superfriends
              Dark Nights: Metal
              Detective Comics: Fall of the Batmen
              Super Sons of Tomorrow
              Batman: Everyone Loves Ivy
              Detective Comics: Batmen Eternal
              Justice Leauge: The People vs The Justice League
              Justice League of America: Dawn of Time
              Justice Leauge: Justice Lost
              Batman: The Best Man
              Batwoman: Fall of the House of Kane
              Justice League: No Justice
              Detective Comics: On the Outside
              Batman Vol. 3 #50
              Batman: Cold Days
              Batman Universe
              Flash: Flash War
              Heroes in Crisis
              Batman: Beasts of Burden
              Batman/Flash: The Price
              Justice League: Totality
              Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth
              Justice League: Escape from Hawkworld
              Detective Comics: Mythology
              Justice League: The Sixth Dimension
              Event Leviathan
              Justice League: Apex Predator
              The Batman Who Laughs: Laughing House
              Batman and The Outsiders: Lesser Gods
              Detective Comics: Cold Dark World
              Batman/Superman: Who are the Secret Six?
              Batman: The Tyrant Wing
              Batman: Knightmares
              Batman: The Fall and the Fallen
              Batman: City of Bane
              Justice League: Justice/Doom War
              Doomsday Clock

  18. Austin Eaton says:

    Take as much time as you need. The surprising thing about the timeline to me is if Superman and Batman do end up in their 50s since DC has always been against their characters aging. The funny thing about Doomsday Clock is I’m trying to remain hopeful it’ll still have big consequences, which is very appropriate since a part of the story is hope vs pessimism.

  19. Antonio says:

    Well, it appears the definitive timeline will be split into 4 Generations. Superman and Batman debuted in Generation 2. Go figure…

    Collin, I can’t see the Neal Adams crazy stuff on the timeline anymore… did you eventually remove it? Also Batman vs TMNT III… did you move it back on the timeline?

    Thank you.

    • Yeah, sure smells like a major reboot. Interesting times ahead.

      I removed the Neal Adams stuff (Deadman and Ra’s vs Batman) for now. Although, the latest issue implies that Batman is stuck in some sort of hallucinogenic magick simulation while there are multiple doppelgängers of the Bat-Family running loose. Not that this leans us any closer to canon. After all, this is bonkers to the max Neal Adams shit here. I’d love to add this Adams’ run back in, but I won’t force a square peg into a round hole.

      Batman/TMNT III got moved back to a place where the Bat-Family was still all chill with one another, where Nightwing was actually Nightwing, and where Tim was still RED Robin.

      • Antonio says:

        It looks like DC is trying to implement the idea that “everything is canon”. So, Golden Age is canon, Silver Age is canon, Bronze Age is canon… and so on. Morrison did pretty much the same with his Batman’s run.
        I don’t necessarily dislike the idea, but having both Clark and Bruce in their mid 50’s seems a bit of a stretch. And, furthermore, I don’t like when a timeline becomes to compressed.
        We’ll see.
        Certainly I want Alfred back. Still think that this is going to be a huge mistake, like splitting Lois & Clark in the new 52.
        No Clark without Lois. No Bruce without Alfred.

        With the new “4 Generations” timeline coming soon and the new Batman approaching (oh my God) you could make a highly definitive timeline… God help you! :-))))

  20. Antonio says:

    Sorry for posting so much Collin and bothering you… but if Doomsday Clock is to be considered as out of con, how do we explain now what happened to Jor-El? Who took him before the explosion of Krypton? And that’s just one of the million questions one could ask out of Johns’s book.
    The new 52 timeline is not even worth mentioning because they are erasing it completely from any timeline, as if it never happened in any form… that’s what I heard.

  21. diego2024 says:

    Hello Collin!! I was reading the comments and they mention the DC timeline revealed “accidentally” in the New York CC. I read that… and I don’t dislike it, but I definitely don’t love it!! ¿Will it affect your work here if this timeline is declared “official”? for example ¿would there be modifications to the New52 and Rebirh lines, etc? ¿Or will you leave them unchanged?

    • Hey Diego. If a primary universe gets modified to such an extent as is hinted at in Didio’s new timeline, then we’d have to call it a reboot, no? Just like before, I wouldn’t erase any timelines. If it looks like the Rebirth Era is coming to an end come X-mas time (and it certainly does, then that means we’d have to move onto a new timeline. So that will definitely affect my work here. I won’t speculate too much yet, though. We’ll just wait and see…

  22. Austin Eaton says:

    Hey, Colin, how’s it going? Do you know in what specific issue does Bruce reveal to Lucius Fox that he’s Batman?

    • Going well! I’m fairly certain there’s never been an issue where that is shown. In the Silver/Bronze Age, Lucius definitely never knew Batman’s secret ID. In the Modern Age and New 52, it’s not really implied that Lucius knows his secret until Batman Incorporated, and even there it’s pretty vague. The concept of Lucius knowing 100% really comes from the Christopher Nolan films, which also played pretty coy with it. In the Rebirth Era, we get 100% confirmation that Lucius knows Bruce’s secret and has known for a long time in Doomsday Clock #2 & Detective Comics #1015, but these are merely references, not actual scenes.

  23. Antonio says:

    Hey Collin, Antonio here.
    I hope you’re doing well.

    So, what are your final thoughts on Doomsday Clock? And how about Alfred? How come that he was alive and well? Is he gonna stay dead?
    So, Ma and Pa Kent never died?

    Please, help me understand things a little better outta this mess… thank you!

    • Alfred is alive and well because Alfred was never supposed to die. Dan Didio (who has a hard-on for killing beloved characters) made that last second decision last month. Same goes for the death of Sam Lane—although in Lane’s case, it probably has more to do with the extreme delays for Doomsday Clock. I think when this was all originally mapped out, Doomsday Clock was likely supposed to have ended prior to Event Leviathan, “Justice/Doom War,” and the conclusion of Bendis’ “Unity Saga.”

      So, is it one of the biggest continuity messes in DCU history? Unfortunately, yes. Either we ignore Alfred and Sam or they’ve both been resurrected prior to the story. And for those folks still chanting to the heavens that Doomsday Clock is non-canon now—that seems dubious to me. Doomsday Clock is linked to “The Button” and dozens of other stories including Tom King’s epic run that just wrapped. So, I think it’s gotta be canon, no? If it is (or if it isn’t), we’ll soon find out in a few months simply by seeing if the effects of Dr. Manhattan’s reboot have stuck or not. (I say “a few months” because solicitations have shown that most current/ongoing arcs will wrap around March.)

      Overall, I like Doomsday Clock a lot, although I’m not sure it’s better than HBO’s Watchmen sequel. (Both are interesting, to say the least.) I was loving the first eight or nine issues of Doomsday Clock, but I think things dipped off towards the very end. The final issue, which was filled with powerful moments galore, was truly undercut by things that have happened in the DCU lately in other titles. Sure, the JSA in Snyder’s books is a “Hypertime JSA” with no history on Earth-0 and Bendis’ Legion is a “future only” team that never helped shape teenage Clark—but the fact that we see any versions of the JSA or Legion prior to Doomsday Clock #12 certainly didn’t contribute to creating excitement in moments they appear in the latter.

      We all knew that Doomsday Clock #12 would end with a hope-filled reboot, and it did. I even called what would happen to Comedian nearly two years ago LOL. I’m all for some predictability in storytelling because predictability is not always a bad thing—it can mean delivering what makes sense (or what people want) as opposed to doing something random just to subvert expectations. (This is why, for example, IMO, The Mandalorian works but Last Jedi doesn’t.) However, Watchmen is so so complex, far more so than Star Wars, which sort of pushes Watchmen into a territory where it begs and beckons for the most complex narrative possible if one is continuing the story. This is partly what makes the Doomsday Clock ending interesting and difficult to digest upon first reading, especially when we compare to the other sequel on TV. HBO’s Watchmen is way less predictable and mega-super upends expectations through-in and through-out, right up to the last episode. And, as I said, above, maybe it’s better because it never attempts to simplify things or reduce things. But then again, maybe it’s not, or maybe it’s a different beast entirely. Doomsday Clock was intensely complex for the first ten issues or so, but then swung into its more predictable hope-filled Superman-fueled narrative. But I think this was done purposefully—as Johns was shaping that dark Watchmen-style complexity into the simpler hope-filled superhero world(s) of yesteryear. I do like the one big subversion of expectations we get in Doomsday Clock #12, though, that Manhattan and Superman never fight—that’s a nice little twist.

      There’s a lot to process, and a lot to figure out in regard to this website. I’m sure I’ll have more to say in the near future.

  24. diego2024 says:

    Hi, Collin. It’s finally December 18th! I was thinking… Bane City is over and J/D War is close to having the same destiny. In this fictional year of 2019 would ¿Doomsday Clock be located then between October and November? Because it must be located after everything I’ve mentioned. Year of the Villain ¿when did it start? ¿March/May approximately? I think so only because of its publication date. I honestly have no other reason. Event Leviathan happens practically at the same time, but concludes earlier. The Firestorm incident happens in June (I think that’s too soon)… but in #9 it seems like we’re in a winter without SNOW and a temperature that doesn’t need coats in USA.

    • I wouldn’t look for topical clues in Doomsday Clock, nor would I in the pages of Justice League either. In one issue it’s clearly winter, then it looks like summer the next. I’d argue that all seasonal references on either title should be summarily ignored. Detective Comics is said to be squarely in winter, so we might want to start there as a late 2019 anchor. If we are keeping Doomsday Clock on the timeline—which we are—then it should likely come at the end of all current arcs, some of which (“Hell Arisen”) won’t end for a few months. Maybe then, we’ll be able to figure out more specific dates, seasons, months of the year, etc. Keep an eye out, I’ll likely split Year 17 into to halves as I’ve done with the prior years.

      • diego2024 says:

        Thank you very much for your immediate response. Yes, while writing my comment I thought it was “extreme” to use seasonal references. Unfortunately, I had no other clues. Besides, honestly, I had completely forgotten Hell Arisen (my bad!!). I’ll be watching the changes in year 17 of this fantastic chronology!!

  25. Antonio says:

    Thank you Collin.
    We’ll see.

    Thank yoy for your incredibly good work and effort on this phenomenal website.

  26. Tari says:

    Hi I’m just wondering if/when you’ll start looking into adding a new tab for the new post-Doomsday Clock 2020 timeline? It is a different timeline now right? And I guess it’s useful to know that it may last until the end of 2025 too. It still doesn’t line up exactly with the pre-flashpoint timeline, but hopefully it borrows heavily from that.

    Anyway this site is a great resource. I’ve been using it to construct a visual pre-flashpoint timeline from the beginning of time to the end of time. With a few wishful thinking things labelled in red: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/3oz8YD

    • Hi Tari! Thanks for your patronage. I was checking our your ArtStation site—some pretty incredible work, and quite a timeline you’ve built. Very interesting speculation as to what the future holds for the DCU. Thanks so much for sharing!

      In regard to a post-Doomsday Clock timeline, are we there yet? That remains to be seen, especially since DC doesn’t advertise reboots or call attention to them the way they did 20 or 30 years ago. Most current arcs will wrap around March, so by then we’ll either see (or have seen) evidence of a brand new radically-altered DCU or they’ll just ignore everything that Johns has done in Doomsday Clock. Of course, I don’t think the latter will happen. After all, Doomsday Clock was what everything has been leading up to for the past few years. I think the coming months will round-out all the narrative threads that are ongoing and then we’ll really see a post-Doomsday Clock multiverse. But, you never know. “Rebirth” happened rather quickly and out-of-the blue, so maybe this’ll be similar. The next few weeks and months of comics should be interesting.

      I think that the reboot ushered-in by Doomsday Clock certainly warrants a new “Age/Era” tab on my website, but whether or not I will venture down that rabbit hole also remains to be seen.

  27. Frank says:

    Hi Collin! I hope you are well! 😉

    I wanted to ask you a question about your summary on Doomsday Clock 12: After the events between Superman and Dr Manhattan at the beginning of the episode, you say that “Dr Manhattan also sees an existing version from the old chronology of the modern era on Earth-1985 and an existing version of the old chronology from the New 52 on Earth-52. ”

    concretely what does this mean for you?

    Are these the same lands that disappeared after Crisis on infinites Earths and Flashpoint return or are they similar lands?

    We had discussed one day on this subject and you told me that Convergence had tried to achieve the same thing but had failed because of serious problems of continuity that this created and made the thing impossible or even obsolete.

    What about this time? do you have a theory?

    Sincerely

    Frank

    • A theory about Doomsday Clock? LOL, don’t open up that can of worms! Ok, I’ll bite. In giving them clear numbers, I think there’s distinction here that these are new Earths/Universes. We are still operating with the Local Multiverse map of Earths 0 through 52. There’s already an Earth-52, created by Scott Snyder in Metal. It is home to the Primate Justice League, but I think this action might have now merged their world with a version of the New 52. In any case, bearing the designation of “52” seems to place it within the confines of the Local Multiverse. Earth-1985, on the other hand, with it’s designation way up in the 1900s, seems to be way out in the fringes of the greater omniverse. But, to get back to addressing your question, Universe-52 and Universe-1985 cannot be THE New 52 and THE Modern Age, respectively. They are merely copies. And, the nice thing here (as opposed to the mess from Convergence) is that Johns is deliberately vague as a means of implying that these are definitely not the originals. In fact, if we go by how Johns has handled similar things in his own writing before (Infinite Crisis, for example), then we can even make a further assumption that these new Earths are not the originals, but merely reflect the originals.

      Thanks for the inquiry, Frank! Seems worth adding this discussion as a footnote too.

  28. Frank says:

    thank you for your clear answer Colin. For the occasional CD player that I am, it is not always easy to spot in the middle of different universes. among others here is an excerpt from an article dedicated to Doomsday clock 12 on comicbook.com which made me ask you the question because from what I understand from the article now at each Crisis a version of the Earth ( the original version?) will be preserved. What to be a little lost lol

    Sincerely Frank

    https://comicbook.com/dc/2019/12/18/watchmen-doomsday-clock-12-rewrites-the-dc-multiverse/

    “Instead, in Doomsday Clock we learn that the “metaverse” idea — reality bending around Superman — did not result in alternate timelines until the Silver Age of comics because it wasn’t until Barry Allen was struck by lightning that the multiverse was born. Per the issue, it was the birth of the Speed Force and a second Flash that gave birth to Earth-2, home of the Justice Society of America and the original Superman. Even with the merged history restored at the end of Doomsday Clock and the JSA and others restored to their rightful place in DC’s main timeline, Earth-2 exists so that the Golden Age versions of Superman, Batman, and other heroes can be there, undisturbed by changes in the era. After the birth of the multiverse, each new iteration of Superman would spin off a new DC Universe into a new Earth, allowing every generation’s Superman (and every generation’s DC Universe) to remain alive out there, somewhere.
    Two examples given are Earth-1985, where the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths verison of Earth-1 lives on…and Earth-52, where the world Doctor Manhattan manipulated into being remains vibrant, unchanged by the events of Rebirth. The issue also teases the birth of Earth-5G, which sounds like it will be another take on the history where Superman and other heroes are repalced by younger and more diverse versions of themselves. that it will have its own Earth and not be intended as a permanent replacement for the DC Universe as it exists is likely a way to help fans adjust to such a world, something that Marvel learned (with their Marvel NOW! initiative) can be a tough adjustment for old school fans”

    • Thanks for sharing this article, hadn’t read it before this. With all of this stuff, it boils down to semantics. The quote “…allowing every generation’s Superman (and every generation’s DC Universe) to remain alive out there, somewhere” kinda sounds a lot like Hypertime to me. Nothing is every truly lost. “Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends.” Ouroboros.

      It’s up to the reader, as it is with all superhero comics, to really decide. If you were to truly believe that the original Golden Age timeline (or Modern Age timeline) is still active, go ahead and play that game—it’ll be a losing effort, I guarantee it. Retcons are a thing, sure. But they affect fiction. You can’t re-write actual history. Not even Doc Manhattan has that power (at least I don’t think he does, gulp).

      When these eras of yesteryear are shown (as Johns is wont to do because he PASSIONATELY LOVES yesteryear), they aren’t meant to fuck with old timelines. Based upon things Johns has said and works he’s published, Johns holds those old timelines in glass cases atop gold-plated pedestals. They are relics to be revered and worshipped, but not etched-into or re-worked. A fine replica will do when it comes to molding something new out of old.

      Convergence (sorry to always go back to Convergence) was the equivalent of visiting the museum and then pulling Starry Night off the wall and trying to paint overtop of it. Bad idea. Thankfully, museum officials had some decent art restorers to return it to its former Van Gogh-lory.

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