In a surprising move, DC seems to have suggested in the latest issue of Doomsday Clock that Marvel's Incredible Hulk is "stronger" than Doomsday, the monster who once killed Superman. The revelation comes courtesy of DC's Watchmen sequel from writer Geoff Johns and the art team of Gary Frank and colorist Brad Anderson. The final issue of the series, released today, reveals that there is a "Secret Crisis" coming in the year 2030 which would pit Superman against The Incredible Hulk and Thor. And along the way, it seems as though there will be some power levels tested, and a heroic sacrifice that, if it were to happen as written, would radically change two universes.
Of course, there is always an out. Besides the idea that the story just might never see print (it's "secret," after all), there's the possibility that any version of the familar Marvel characters could come in the form of refugees from DC's Earth-616 or something like that.
Spoilers ahead for Doomsday Clock #12, obviously. Click away now if you don't want to know.
The key moment that Doomsday Clock has been teasing for several issues -- an enraged Superman charging, fist cocked, at Doctor Manhattan -- comes and goes about halfway through the issue, and when Doctor Manhattan realizes that there is a lot more to Superman than meets the eye, he responds by re-evaluating a lot about himself. One thing he does, is to move through DC's history, undoing some of the damage that he had done (as detailed in earlier issues) to the timeline. We also learn that Doctor Manhattan's ability to see all of time at once has returned to him, and among the various exciting ideas that are teased, the one that is most likely to generate some buzz among fans is an allusion to a crossover between Superman and two of Marvel's mightiest heroes.
Per the issue, as narrated by Doctor Manhattan, "In the year 2020, Superman's timeline is bombarded by the reckless energies of the old gods, once again warping the metaverse. It's July 2nd, 2025. A Crisis unlike any the metaverse has seen, one they will call 'Time Masters,' erupts...but in its wake, Superman is revitalized....It is January 2026. The timeline is restored...and Earth-5G is born. It is June 17, 2026. Superman goes on a quest to find Bruce Wayne's lost daughter...so she can save Bruce's son. On July 10, 2030, the 'Secret Crisis' begins, throwing Superman into a brawl across the universe with Thor himself...and a green behemoth stronger than even Doomsday, who dies protecting Superman from these invaders."
See what we mean about that Doomsday thing?
Besides being a pretty weird choice because companies generally don't "neg" their own characters like that, it's also a surprising description since Superman has trounced Hulk on at least two separate occasions when the two came to blows. But we're definitely going to keep our ear to the ground to see what, if anything, comes of all this.
Doomsday Clock takes Doctor Manhattan, Ozymandias, and other characters from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons's Watchmen and transplants them into the DC Universe, fleeing the destruction left behind by a war that broke out after world leaders learned of Ozymandias's duplicity at the start of the original series. While its finale and the final episode of HBO's Watchmen both hit this week, each of them is a very different sequel to the classic '80s alt-history comic.1comments
Picking up on a plot thread writer Geoff Johns had left in DC Universe: Rebirth #1, Johns and artist Gary Frank, along with colorist Brad Anderson, return to the world of Watchmen and explore the question of just what Doctor Manhattan may have had to do with 2011's post-Flashpoint relaunch of DC's main line of continuity. Along the way, Superman has to deal with an increasingly paranoid and unhinged public who distrust him as a result of conspiracy theories being circulated to slander the metahuman community.
Doomsday Clock #12 is on sale now at comic book stores and online. The first half of the series is also available in collected edition.