What happens after legendary comic book series Watchmen? And who is behind the reality-altering events of 2016's best-selling comic book, DC Universe: Rebirth? DC Entertainment president & CCO Geoff Johns will answer both questions in a new miniseries launching later this year called Doomsday Clock.
"It is Watchmen colliding with the DC Universe," Johns told SyfyWire about the series that will see him re-team with artist Gary Frank. "It is the most personal and most epic, utterly mind-bending project I have ever worked on in my career. With [DC Universe: Rebirth], I opened the door to [Watchmen's Doctor] Manhattan. Part of that was I loved the real-world influence Watchmen has. I put Manhattan out there and always thought there was a Manhattan/Superman story to be told, but then ... it grew. And grew. It took my heart and soul over. Still, at the core of it, there’s a being who has lost his humanity, and distanced himself from it, and an alien who embodies humanity more than most humans. I love the idea that Watchmen influenced DC, but what would that look like in reverse? And it goes well beyond that."
But not too far beyond; Johns explained that Doomsday Clock is intended first and foremost as a story, and not the spine of a tentpole publishing event.
"There are no crossovers. No watered down one-shots or mini-series on top of this one," he explained. "This is a stand-alone story. There is only Doomsday Clock. We had no interest in doing a crossover with this. We didn't want to see Doctor Manhattan facing off against Superman in Action Comics, with all due respect. That is not what this is about."
Fascinatingly, despite the story having its roots in last May's DC Universe: Rebirth special issue, Johns said that Doomsday Clock as it stands came about after last November's election. The story, he said, is "about the world, and the attitude of people. I feel like there are extremes now everywhere, extremes on all sides. There is no more olive branch. It doesn't exist. I feel like people, more and more, are separated. They are choosing sides, instead of figuring out how to make life better together. There is a real sense of anger, and frustration, and there is not a lot of compassion, or willingness to understand in the world. Telling a story of two extremes, and exploring what our collective zeitgeist states through these characters is what we are doing."
Doomsday Clock launches in November.