Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS ahead for Doomsday Clock #2, out today.
If you thought bringing Rorschach back (kind of) was a big deal in Geoff Johns, Gary Frank, and Brad Anderson's Watchmen sequel Doomsday Clock, the cliffhanger to today's second issue will leave you even more stunned and confused.
As the comic winds to a close, there is an argument between Adrian Veidt (Ozymandias) and Lex Luthor. Luthor delivers a withering and hilarious takedown of Veidt, but readers barely have time to register the slight because moments later, Luthor is shot (seemingly non-fatally).
Shot, it turns out, by someone who was aiming for Veidt: Edward Blake, the costumed adventurer and mercenary known on Veidt's world as The Comedian.
It was Blake's murder at the hands of Veidt which touched off the events of Watchmen -- and while the obvious answer would be that the version seen here is simply the DC Universe's Blake, that is put to lie immediately with The Comedian's declaration that Ozymandias caught him off guard "the last time," but he will be ready for him now.
In Doomsday Clock #1, Rorschach returned from his explosive death at the hands of Doctor Manhattan in Watchmen -- but shortly thereafter it was revealed to be a second Rorschach, simply using the look and approach of the original. That explanation would not work as well for Blake, who appears to have both the memories and facial scars of the original Comedian.
There are other ways Blake could have returned, of course, with the most obvious being a revival at the hands of Doctor Manhattan. It is not clear from his initial, brief appearance what brings him to the DC Universe or how he came back.
It is also not clear whether he somehow broke into LexCorp tower of his own volition to hunt Ozymandias, or whether Blake was the security Luthor had been summoning to get rid of Veidt.
Clarifications are likely to be coming on January 24, when the next issue of Doomsday Clock hits the stands.