Last night at a spot formerly occupied by the infamous New York City nightclub known as The Tunnel, DC Comics gathered together a small group of reporters for an intimate event focused on Geoff Johns’ and Gary Frank’s Doomsday Clock. The 12 issue series is a sequel of sorts to Watchmen, Alan Moore’s and Dave Gibbons’ seminal series which is regarded by many as one of the best comics of all time.

Those are some big shoes to fill and Johns, who was in attendance at the event, knows it. While we can’t reveal any specifics about the things we saw last night or what was said, we can tell you that there was a collective buzz in the room. From the pomp and circumstance of the event, hosted in an art gallery style format with an open bar and a massive recreation of Niteowl’s lair’s doors, it’s clear that the creative team behind this book and DC as a whole wants to put their best foot forward when it comes to Doomsday Clock. And indeed, in some ways, they have to, given the controversy surrounding DC’s relationship with Alan Moore in general and in particular, in regards to Watchmen.

But honestly, while I can never judge a book before I’ve read it twice over, I will say that in spite of everything surrounding the politics of Doomsday Clock, I am excited for the book itself. It’s clear that this book means something important to Johns and the rest of the creative team– they very firmly believe they have something to say. And if that is indeed true and the final product lives up to this rising crescendo of hype…well, who knows? This could be the comic event of our time.

If you’re reading this post, you likely just came away from our Doomsday Clock panel liveblog. And you likely heard that at that event, everyone in attendance received a special ashcan with black and white versions of the first six pages. Thus, if you’re not at New York Comic Con, you might be, understandably, feeling a little left out in the cold. However, there’s no need to fuss. No need to worry or look up and shout “save us.” Luckily for you, the Comics Beat has a hi-res digital copy of the ashcan for your reading pleasure.


  1. It would be a very sad thing if, as Lu writes, this is “the comic event of our time.” It’s derivative, first and last. More than that, it’s an ethical disgrace that borders on criminality. But that’s the history of mainstream American comics, over and over again. All the buzz at NYCC cannot excuse DC’s misconduct – or Johns’ culpability.

  2. How is it an “ethical disgrace”. Two parties signed a fair contract that both agreed too. After the fact and to the surprise of both sides it turned out better for one side then the other but that is life.

  3. “More than that, it’s an ethical disgrace that borders on criminality.”

    DC is a corporation, and corporations do what will make money. As long as their lawyers have cleared it, they’re within their legal rights to do whatever they want with these characters.

    Fans need to get out of their ivory towers and learn how the real world works.

  4. It is sad to say this, but I’m not surprised at the comments defending corporate behavior. This happens every time with Watchmen, I suppose. It’s still disheartening.

    But I’m not a “fan” in an “ivory tower.” Well, I am a fan. But why do other fans turn a blind eye to the tactics used by DC and Marvel to rob artists of their rights? The roll call of artists who have complained in public or in court about business practices in comics cannot be denied. It reads like an honor roll of the medium’s greatest talents. It’s not just Moore, It’s not just Kirby or Siegel and Shuster, not just Bill Finger or Steve Ditko, not just Kurtzman or Wood or Don Martin, not just Gary Friedrich or Steve Gerber or Marv Wolfman. Heck, even Stan Lee has sued Marvel.

    Dave Gibbons about Doomsday Clock: “I wasn’t told anything at all…” Obviously, that’s not quite illegal, but it’s close… oh, so close! Just as obviously, it’s not ethical. What moral code supports Dave Gibbons creating a pinnacle of the medium in the 1980’s and then making this statement in 2017? Dave Gibbons now: “I won’t be reading it.”

    It’s how the real world works, granted – a long line of great comics creators have been robbed of a lot of money and power. They’ve been robbed of what they’ve created. In the real world, some creators have really died in really reduced circumstances – really – while publishers continue to profit. This happens because fans ignore the awful business practices in order to enjoy the newest adventure of their old favorites.

    Fans should have ethics, too.


    In a medium that above all celebrated heroism,

  5. Steve Replogue, you summed it up perfectly.

    It’s incredible that some fans are always so quick to shrug their shoulders at corporate greed if it means getting something that’s basically no more than fan fiction. Back in 1986, Alan and Dave fully expected they’d have the rights to Watchmen when the book went out of print. That DC have found ways around this isn’t a business practice that any true fan of the work should be admiring.

    Watchmen was intended as a self-contained story, with no connection to the DCU. ‘Doomsday Clock’ is like someone producing a sequel to Citizen Kane where he’s revived from the dead to meet Vin Diesel in The Fast and the Furious.

  6. It’s Geoff Johns fan fiction basically. I loved Watchmen too, and dreamt of untold stories revolving around in that world. But I’m not in charge of the second largest comic publishing company in the USA, so my fan fiction, would never see the light of day.

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