Johnny Thunder’s ‘Rebirth’ Story Continues in ‘Doomsday Clock’

After making a brief, heartbreaking appearance in the pages of DC Universe: Rebirth, Johnny Thunder popped up again in today's Doomsday Clock #3.

The issue, written by Rebirth mastermind Geoff Johns, sees Thunder not being carried away by orderlies, as he was in Rebirth, or shouting at the skies, as he was in "The Button," but all dressed up with nowhere to go.

As other patients in his nursing home squabble over control of the television, Johnny wears a suit and bowtie reminiscent of the one he used to wear in his early superheroing days -- and waits for a guest who never comes to take him to dinner.

Thunder can seemingly remember the pre-Flashpoint reality, in which he and others were members of a World War II-era superhero team...but can't seem to get his powers to work or make anyone believe him.

The presence of an actual Justice Society member, though, and the continued suggestion that they had a role in DC's history, seemingly confirms long-held suspicions that Doctor Manhattan removed them from the timeline for some reason when he redesigned the DC Universe following the events of Flashpoint.

His reasons for doing so are, as yet, entirely unclear -- as are his reasons for imprisoning numerous DC characters or for reviving The Comedian and bringing him to the DCU.

While Thunder waits for his non-existent ride, another '30s and '40s-era character from DC's lore, Nathaniel Dusk, makes his first on-panel appearance in years.

In Doomsday Clock, a movie featuring Dusk -- a fictional character within the comic's universe -- plays in the background, with elements of his story eerily mirroring elements of Doomsday Clock, Watchmen, and the real world.

In the movie, Dusk is played by actor Carver Colman, whose murder is the subject of this issue's backmatter. That the movie plays in the background at Thunder's nursing home seems particularly apropos -- maybe even suspicious -- when the murder weapon used to kill Colman was a statue he earned during his glory days onscreen -- an image that eerily echoes the death of Hollis Mason, the Golden Age Nite-Owl in Watchmen.

Doomsday Clock #3 is on sale now. You can get it at your local comic shop or buy a digital copy on ComiXology.