Here's How the Justice Society of America Returns in Doomsday Clock

Geoff Johns, the writer who revitalized the Justice Society of America with his JSA series and introduced a new generation of heroes to its ranks beginning with Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E., has been teasing the return of DC's first super-team ever since the start of Doomsday Clock, his ambitious sequel to Watchmen with artist Gary Frank. With the final issue out today, it is not much of a spoiler to say that the Justice Society makes an appearance in the issue. The bigger question -- how, and what role do they play? -- is a big more interesting. So let's break down how it happened.

Spoilers ahead for Doomsday Clock #12, obviously. Click away now if you don't want to know.

In earlier issues of Doomsday Clock, Johns and Frank revealed that Doctor Manhattan had tweaked bits of DC's history in order to create ripple effects that radically changed the way the universe looked. Among those was interfering with the origins of the Golden Age heroes of the Justice Society, preventing their heroism from taking root.

In the final issue of the series, Doctor Manhattan -- inspired by a selfless act from Superman -- repairs much of the damage that he has done to the timeline, reweaving the timeline together and allowing the JSA to appear. Superman, who had been fighting a group of international heroes as well as a group of villains fronted by Black Adam, suddenly finds that the legacy of the DC Universe has been restored, bringing not just the Justice Society but also the Legion of Super-Heroes to his side to put a rest to things.

"The future and the past are free," Doctor Manhattan narrates.

Besides the classic Justice Society members and Stargirl, the post-Johns characters like Cyclone, the Michael Holt Mister Terrific, and S.T.R.I.P.E. are flanked by the children of the original generation of JSA members -- the team that would go on to be called Infinity, Inc. -- like Jade and Obsidian.

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.

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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.

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