Doomsday Clock #4
Written by: Geoff Johns
Art by: Gary Frank and Brad Anderson
Published by: DC Comics

Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

One of the dying questions I’ve had since picking up the first issue of Doomsday Clock is who is the man behind Rorschach’s mask. The answers come flying out in Doomsday Clock #4 though I will warn everyone quite in advance: this issue basically deals with that answer and not much else. So while it is very interesting (especially to me), it doesn’t do much to drive the narrative forward. I’m completely fine with it as it means there’s a less of an excuse for a “Before Doomsday Clock” series 25 years from now.

Rorschach has been locked away in Arkham Asylum by Batman after just showing up in the Batcave (Rorschach needed Batman’s help but failed to convince him). Rorschach now has to deal with living amongst the worst criminals, crooks, and baddies that Gotham City has ever seen. It’s not the greatest place to be for a man with an already damaged psyche. So as we see Rorschach dealing with the doctors and inmates of Gotham, we learn about the man behind the mask.

He is a man from the alternate Earth who was there when Veidt killed millions. We learn who he was before this event and how he ties oh-so-briefly into the world of Watchmen. We learn what happened to him after the event. Not just him but the thousands of people who were “lucky” enough to survive Ozymandias’ attack. We see where Rorschach is forced to go and how he deals with those who want to do him harm simply because he is a damaged soul. The old Rorschach was never a man with superpowers – he was a man of extraordinary fighting skills who was made a bit callous by the world around him. I can say the same about the new Rorschach as well.

Even though we’ve been reading along with Rorschach for the past three issues, issue #4 certainly brings a new layer of depth. I do wish that the story just continued along from #3, as so much happened in that issue, but I’ll be more than happy having it continue with #5. Doomsday Clock is the book that got me reading mainstream comic books again and it hasn’t failed in any aspect of its storytelling. What I thought was an unneeded sequel to Watchmen has become the must read book of 2018. I continue to be completely blown away by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. They are killing it. If you aren’t reading? Pick this book up. Doomsday Clock is the comic event of the century and it should not be missed.

RATING: A+

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