That’s what Steve Miller expertly told us, in the 1976 Steve Miller Band mellow release titled “Fly Like An Eagle”. The song went to number 2 on the US Billboard Charts and the lyrics about time ceaselessly moving forward while we worry about life and death and freedom of the soul in the present tense, has since become quite famous.
Tick. Tick. Tick.
That’s the general sound effect for a clock, an apt aural representation of time, of course. But any reader of comic books knows that the Tick. Tick. Tick. sound is also the noise a bomb makes – right before it’s detonated.
Interestingly, today’s long anticipated release of DC Comics’ Doomsday Clock #1, the first issue of a twelve issue monthly series, plays on all three of the “time” and Tick outcomes. And all for various reasons:
The future the DC Comics Universe!
The past of DC Comics publishing!
The critical and commercial bomb that the Doomsday Clock series could be!
The best kind of art takes risks, right? Doomsday Clock #1 is a huge risk – and we all can’t wait to dive right in!
Doomsday Clock #1
Written By: Geoff Johns
Illustrated By: Gary Frank
Published By: DC Comics
In May of 2016, DC Comics ushered forth their “Rebirth” endeavour – renumbering and reconfiguring and relaunching their series of monthly publications. It had, inherent in it, the undercurrents of a company-wide story that would play out over time: a conspiracy of near mythical proportions. The DC Universe, and all of its characters it would seem, has been under the influence of a puppet master for a number of years!
The lives of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman – and all the rest – aren’t their own!
As a slow play, that storyline has been unfurled and revealed in piecemeal month by month for the last year and a half – and reading audiences have been clamoring for answers behind the shadowy, seemingly malevolent figures, fictional or otherwise, that have pulled the strings of the DC Universe.
With the Superman-centered, Doomsday Clock #1, written and illustrated by fan favourites Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, the world finally gets the big reveal. But it’s a reveal that has been teased for some months. And it’s a reveal that, to many, disrespectfully digs through sacred comic book ground in Alan Moore’s highly vaunted 1986 Watchmen graphic novel series.
Long story short: Alan Moore wrote the genre-defying, career defining, pop culture phenomenon and Holy Bible of sequential art, Watchmen. You probably know of it. Also, DC Comics essentially is the rights holder to the comic, its characters, and all the pop culture spinoffs it could possibly give birth to in all the various mediums you could possibly imagine. This is monetarily unfortunate for Alan Moore, who long ago decided to never again work the publishing company. It’s also unfortunate from a creative standpoint, as he has no say on where or how his magnum opus is used.
A few years ago, DC Comics, with much pomp and circumstance, released a number of Before Watchmen origin-esque comic books. Their publication deftly divided the comic book community into two halves: those that wanted more Watchmen and those who favoured the creator rights denied Moore.
Regardless, it happened. And it signaled that DC Comics would publish more Watchmen in the future – wherever, whenever and however they wanted.
That time is now.
It would seem that the Watchmen characters are at the heart of DC’s Rebirth storyline that began a year and a half ago. The omnipotent and uncaring and clinical Doctor Manhattan seems to be the big bad pulling the strings of the DC Universe. It can be argued that he’s a good stand-in for DC Comics, the company.
Whether you agree with Moore’s stance on his creative rights or not, of if you just want to see more Watchmen-inspired comic book stories, The Doomsday Clock series is creative risk for those involved. The series needs to live up to the hype – not of Rebirth, but of the original Watchmen series. And that’s not just a high bar. No, in so many ways, that’s the highest bar there is.
You can catch a sneak peek at Doomsday Clock #1 right here. It seems impressive reading and feels serious and meaningful and epic. Will it payoff for Geoff Johns, Gary Frank and DC Comics?
At midnight last night, Doomsday Clock #1 was released and a number of comic book shops around the world held early-release, midnight-hour parties.
If you weren’t there last night, make the run to your local comic book shop now and pick it up!
Tick. Tick. Tick.