Doomsday Clock #3 by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank continued to echo the original Watchmen while dropping hints and providing subtext to the story's themes.
The book also established some continuity of its own, from the new Rorscach's love of pancakes (now mentioned in all three issues) to a continuing pattern of Doctor Manhattan stealing people from their deaths.
From the subtle to the more obvious, here are a few things we noticed in Doomsday Clock #3 — and feel free to add any you noticed in the comments below.
Button, Button, Who's Got the Button?
When Eddie Blake/The Comedian climbed onto the beach (in what appears to be Metropolis), it looks like Jon Osterman/Doctor Manhattan tossed his blood-splattered button onto the sand in front of him. Presumably, this is the button that Jon took from Professor Zoom when he killed the character during the DC crossover, "The Button." Zoom had taken it from the Batcave, where it was deposited during DC Universe: Rebirth as Wally entered the "Rebirth" universe.
That button has come a long way.
This is also the button that, again presumably, Eddie is wearing in Lex Luthor's office. He apparently cleaned it and slapped it onto a new costume after entering the DCU.
OK, so if Eddie Blake didn't fall to the ground — because he was transported by Jon to the DCU — then there's a timeline where the Watchmen story happened differently, right? Or at least, Blake's body was never found.
Is this version of the Watchmen characters from that different timeline, one that evolved from the Comedian's disappearance (as opposed to his dead body)?
We think not. Considering that Adrian is surprised to see Comedian, it's much more likely that Dr. Manhattan's thievery somehow didn't affect the Watchmen timeline from whence they came. After all, Ozymandias is smart enough to have noticed that Comedian's body disappeared and would probably know who did it.
Everything You Did…
Blake seems to know about Ozymandias carrying out his plan in the Watchmen universe. Not only does he believe he'll be a hero there if he kills Adrian, but he uses the past tense "everything you did" to refer to Adrian's plan. Did Jon tell him?
Batman's Yellow Oval
Batman's wearing a different costume from the one he's been wearing in the "Rebirth" timeline. Of course, this story takes place in the future of the current-day DCU, so maybe Bruce has a different costume coming?
Here in My Coat
Rorschach has Kovacs' journal in his inner trench coat pocket. The last we saw that journal, it was sitting in the "crank files" at the office of the New Frontiersman newspaper in the Watchmen universe.
Because the public in the beginning of Doomsday Clock knew about Adrian's actions, it's pretty safe to assume the journal was finally used to expose him. However, somehow, it ended up in the new Rorscach's coat.
DC character Sgt. Rock got two mentions in the comic book — in the back-up and in the Johnny Thunder scene within the home for the elderly.
When a woman is naming heroes, she drops the names "Teddy Roosevelt" (who is quoted at the end of the issue and ties into the title of this chapter), Frank Rock (better known as Sgt. Rock), and Joe Dimaggio, famed baseball player.
It's not clear why the fictional film, The Adjournment, is being featured so heavily in this issue. However, it's actually the second appearance of the movie in Doomsday Clock, since it was shown briefly in issue #2.
The writer of the film, which was the last of the Nathaniel Dusk movies starring Carver Colman, is named John Law. This is probably a reference to the DC character John Law, a writer who became the costumed hero Tarantula. He was a member of the All-Star Squadron and fought next to the JSA.
As Newsarama has previously noted, Nathaniel Dusk is the name of a detective character from DC comics, and Verner Brothers Studios employed DC character Blue Devil. The director of The Adjournment, Jaques Torneur, is the name of a real-world director of classic film noir movies.
The names Carver Colman, Alastair Tempus and Bentley Farmer are a mystery to us so far, although Colman might be a veiled reference to Nathaniel Dusk co-creator Gene Colan, and there has been a "Tempus" time traveler in past comics. The meaning of the name Murray Abrahams is also unknown (unless he has a connection to well-known actor F. Murray Abraham?).
Luthor Office Aftermath
"Lex Luthor's attacker" — the one in the news report who's in "serious but stable condition" — isn't actually named, but considering the extent of the injuries on Ozymandias, he could be the one in the hospital.
The comic mentions that Pakistan, Israel, Russia and Qurac are all misusing the metagene detection technology. The first three are real-world countries, but Qurac is a fictional country in the the Middle East of the DCU, best known as the home of Black Adam.
Most fans were hoping the Justice Society of America would be addressed in this comic book, and the appearance of former JSA member Johnny Thunder just raised their hopes higher.Yeah hi
This is the second reference during "Rebirth" that Geoff Johns has made to Johnny Thunder having a great-grandson.
In DC Universe: Rebirth #1, Wally West mentioned the boy as he was narrating Johnny Thunder's scene in the home for the elderly. "He tells tales of his youth to everyone he sees," Wally's thought boxes said in Rebirth. "Except for his great-grandson, they all think he's crazy."
We've mentioned on Newsarama before that it's possible the great-grandson Wally mentions is a "Rebirth" version of Jakeem Thunder, a young hero who — in past DC continuity — took over Johnny's Thunder's abilities as part of the JSA.
Mime and Marionette are going to find the Joker. Is this the first step in Johns addressing that hint he dropped about there being three Jokers? Most fans are expecting that story element to be addressed as part of Doomsday Clock.
Doomsday Clock #3 revealed more about the new Rorscach, but we still don't understand why he's helping Ozymandias if he hates him so much.
We also noticed that the new Rorschach wasn't mumbling in disjointed thoughts when readers were shown the flashback/dream where he was driving in New York. So his current habit of talking in broken phrases is probably the result of the trauma caused by the alien monster. (Hmmm…maybe Batman's right and he does belong in Arkham?)
Who Else is in Arkham?
Now that Rorscach is locked up in Arkham Asylum, we can't help thinking readers will see more of Saturn Girl soon. After all, she's also locked up in Arkham. Maybe the two will compare notes.
We're All Mad
The writing on the wall in Rorschach's cell — "we're all mad here" — is from Alice in Wonderland, so it's likely that the Mad Hatter has been in this cell.
Lots of references to DC characters amidst real-world Hollywoood figures make their way into the back-up story from "Screenland Secrets."
Writer Hedda Hopper was a real-world gossip columnist and William Desmond Taylor is a real world murder victim. But Bruce Nelson was an early DC character who appeared in Detective Comics #1. Frank Farr is probably the father of the Doom Patro's Rita Farr, who was also an actress. And as previously mentioned, Sgt. Rock and John Law are straight out of DC books. Other actors and films mentioned are a similar mix of real and made up.