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Doomsday Clock #2 reversed Watchmen’s biggest death, #3 shows how

From cliffhanger to confirmation

The Comedian’s smiley face button from Doomsday Clock #3, DC Comics 2018. Gary Frank/DC Comics

Last month’s Doomsday Clock left readers with a surprising cliffhanger: The reappearance of a Watchmen character they thought long dead. For a month, fans have theorized and hedged their bets. Would it be revealed to be a hallucination? An illusion? Would Geoff Johns and Gary Frank walk it back?

Now that Doomsday Clock #3 is out, it seems like they’re not. Here’s what happened.

[Warning: This post will contain spoilers for Doomsday Clock #2 and #3.]

In last month’s issue, Adrian Veidt, the so-called Smartest Man in the World, went to visit the person he views to be his counterpart — or close to — in the new universe where he’s followed Doctor Manhattan. That is, a billionaire scientist called Lex Luthor.

Lex Luthor and Adrian Veidt in Doomsday Clock #2, DC Comics, 2018.
Luthor’s painting is Léon Bonnat’s Jacob Wrestling with the Angel.
Image: Geoff Johns, Gary Frank/DC Comics

And while he was there, the two men had a very unexpected visitor.

The Comedian, in Doomsday Clock #2, DC Comics, 2018.
“Last time you came at me, I was confused. Drunk.”
Geoff Johns, Gary Frank/DC Comics

Edward Blake, more famously known as the Comedian, one of the more successful costumed crimefighters of the Watchmen setting, who escaped forced retirement by working entirely for the United States government. His murder kicks off the events of Watchmen’s plot. His smiley face button, adorned with a smear of his own blood, is the first image the graphic novel displays to the reader, and its most famous visual motif. He’s definitely, definitely dead.

And this was all we knew, until today’s Doomsday Clock #3 gave us a little more. It appears that Blake was pulled out of his universe just before the moment of his death, and brought to the DC Universe by Doctor Manhattan. The first few pages of Doomsday Clock #3 replay his murder, in which he is thrown through the glass window of his his apartment and falls at least 20 floors to his death.

Except in Doomsday Clock, he never hits the ground — the universe seems to fades around him, and instead he hits the ocean. And as he makes it to shore, he’s greeted by a familiar blue dialogue balloon and some familiar blue legs.

Edward Black, the Comedian, and Doctor Manhattan in Doomsday Clock #3, DC Comics, 2018
“What am I doin’ here? And where the hell is here?”
Geoff Johns, Gary Frank/DC Comics

The comic moves from this scene back to the story’s present, and a showdown between Blake and Veidt, leaving readers with a lot of questions, primarily, “What reason would Doctor Manhattan have for pulling Blake out of their own universe?”

Response on related subreddits like r/ComicBooks and r/DCComics is ranging from those who think putting Blake in Doomsday Clock is a cop out to those who are perfectly willing to go along for the ride. And also those who just want to imagine what Watchmen writer Alan Moore’s reaction to the whole thing is.

As for this writer, I have a question of equal if not greater importance: How did Blake get his costume after being yanked out of his freefall while wearing nothing but an indecently-tied bathrobe?

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