1:23pm PT by Graeme McMillan
DC's 'Doomsday Clock' Adds Vladimir Putin to Its Cast
In its eighth issue (of 12), DC Entertainment’s Doomsday Clock pushes the political subtext of the series to the forefront with a surprising choice of guest star changing the direction of the series ahead of its final act: Vladimir Putin.
The issue, by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, allows the Watchmen elements of the series to recede as it focuses on a subplot of the series to date: the conspiracy theory that superhumans’ very existence is the result of an American plot to achieve dominance over the rest of the world. The emergence of the so-called “Superman Theory” has been seen in previous issues to have destabilized international relations as other nations have attempted to build their own superhuman armies, leading to this issue’s appearance of Putin.
The Russian president shows up in the aftermath of an apparent accident involving American superhero Firestorm, who transformed a number of Russian citizens into glass; Putin holds a press conference in the aftermath of the accident, describing it as an act on war on behalf of the United States. “They have been amassing an army covertly for more than a decade,” he tells the press. “Forcing us to amass our own. Firestorm will be found wherever he is. Along with everyone connected to his creation. Including members of the United States Government. We are at war…”
The press conference is interrupted by Superman, and later by Firestorm himself, and ends poorly, to say the least — no spoilers here — but it’s safe to say that Putin’s appearance is one that destabilizes the status quo of not only Doomsday Clock but the DC Universe as a whole to an extent that the real Russian leader might be proud of, even if the method and ultimate result wouldn’t be to his taste.
(There is more political commentary on current times to be found in the issue, as Superman speaks out against the response to superhumans — or “metahumans,” as they’re called in the DC Universe — after the Superman Theory went mainstream. “We can’t let those trying to divide us, divide us even further,” he says. “The demonization of metahumans is wrong. The demonization of any group of people is wrong.” Not that there’s any lesson there for anyone in American politics right now, no…!)
Doomsday Clock No. 8 is available digitally and in comic book stores now.