This is the first actual physical comic book I’ve read in nearly six weeks.

§ May 31st, 2019 § Filed under this week's comics, watchmen § 4 Comments

[SPOILERS for Doomsday Clock #10]

So in the new issue of Doomsday Clock is how it introduces the idea that the various continuity shifts in the DC Universe are not only Superman-centric, but said shifts also affect the multiverse at large. Explicitly stated at last is the idea that Dr. Manhattan, as we’d figured, is responsible for the recent “Rebirth” continuity changes, as he tests out the nature of the DC Universe.

This idea of “the metaverse” (as it’s called) is a weird and interesting one, which reminds me to some extent of “Hypertime.” As you may recall, Hypertime was DC’s previous attempt at created an in-universe explanation for the various continuity boondoggles that crop up in comics, particularly since Crisis on Infinite Earths (itself created to streamline the DC Universe and reduce continuity issues, ironically enough). Hypertime was a thing where changes/glitches/inconsistencies occurred due to the intermingling of the various timelines of the DCU, basically a way of saying “don’t worry so much about stuff, just enjoy the story.” It was maybe too subtle a distinction, as eventually, as I recall, it eventually just became “here are parallel Earths again!” and I don’t know that the idea of Hypertime was cropped up much in recent years.

Anyway, we don’t have the full story yet as to why the DC Universe, or “Metaverse,” does this, outside of Manhattan’s own interference. Maybe Geoff Johns is going to bring Hypertime back in this. Wouldn’t put it past him. I do like how it’s centering on Superman, and I think it is, as I said, an interesting idea. It’s just a shame it’s being used in a series that’s (if you’ll pardon the expression) doomed to be a footnote in the history of the original Watchmen graphic novel, a curiosity that will be discussed mostly in terms of “…yeah, they actually did that comic.”

Don’t get me wrong…I’m enjoying it, sometimes on its own terms, sometimes as the off-model exploitation of a seminal, and ultimately standalone, work. But, like the “Before Watchmen” comics from some years back, like the HBO series that’s coming, like that big-budget movie, it’ll be regarded as some strange offshoots that surround the original, but never touch it.

4 Responses to “This is the first actual physical comic book I’ve read in nearly six weeks.”

  • Daniel T says:

    Despite believing this series really shouldn’t exist since there is no reason to cross the Watchmen and DC Universes except fanboy (and I guess $$$, based on how it’s selling) I’ve kind of enjoyed it.

    My biggest problem is that it feels like 3 different books. The Ozymandias plot, the DC heroes one (the Superman theory) and the Dr. Manhattan one don’t really seem to be cohering together well. Maybe that’ll change with the last 2 issues, but…

  • Allan Hoffman says:

    Hypertime has been mentioned in a few DC books recently. Multiversity, Justice League and Flash. Nothing major but it’s a sign that some creators still remember it.

  • Dave says:

    I’m just delighted to see the JSA back, not to mention Superboy.

  • Jason S. says:

    The Metaverse *is* Hypertime. Universe-Zero (or Universe-One from the Silver Age through 1985, same thing) has multiple timelines. Big “crises” happen because of entities trying to alter time and space (or, in the case of Superboy-Prime, “banging on the walls of reality” make one or another timeline the core/central/prime timeline for that Universe. Why has Superman changed again and again since 1938? “Shifting” timelines. But Dr. Manhattan is the only one to do this *deliberately*, and the Metaverse is pissed…

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