Doomsday Clock has finally reached the midway point. Geoff Johns and Gary Frank take a pause in the real plot of the story to give us character depth in Doomsday Clock #6. The Mime and The Marionette, are two characters created by Johns and Frank, that come from the Watchmen universe.
Doomsday Clock #6 takes us back to the childhood of the two characters to give us a better understanding of their history. Also giving us a way to sympathize with or relate to them. Though the rest of the plot will take a break from this issue, as there is no Rorschach or Ozymandias.
The story picks up with Batman now in the custody of the Joker. Batman fell out of Night Owls’ ship flown by Ozymandias in the last issue right in Jokers lap. Joker has Batman chained to a wheelchair, and it is never made clear what Joker has planned for him. Though knowing the history, things don’t look good for the caped crusader.
The Joker is accompanied by The Marionette and The Mime. Standing next to the Joker the two give off a Harley Quin type vibe, especially The Marionette. Much like Harley, they are both murderous criminals. After 5 issues of knowing virtually nothing about the characters, Johns and Frank show us how the two met by taking us back to their childhood.
Geoff Johns does a great job giving us a better understanding of the two characters who have been a significant part of the story thus far. Especially The Marionette, who he gives a dark past that fits right in with the rest of the series.
Erika (The Marionette), was a young sweet girl who lived with her father. Her father owned a puppet shop but was an immigrant, which led to Erika getting bullied. Constantly during the story, corrupt police officers visit her father’s shop and threaten both of them until the father pays money.
Across the street from the puppet store, a new Glass store has opened. This is where we find Marcos (The Mime). Erika introduces herself and shows him around her father’s store. Erika learns over time that Marcos is mute.
During a scene where Erika is being bullied and beat up, Marcos comes to defend her. Johns and Frank give a look at how their violent behavior started young as they break glass bottles over the bullies heads. This comes off as when the two of them became very close acquaintances.
Becoming Costumed Villains
During a visit from the corrupt cops, we find that the mother of Marcos was pushed to her death by the officers. It would have been nice to get more backstory on Marcos and his family since we were never introduced to them. With the constant abuse from the officers, Erika’s father has had enough. He decides the only way for her to be safe is to kill himself.
Erika boils with rage and kills one of the two cops. When the other attacks her Marcos arrives to help save her and kill the other officer. With no one but each other, the two grow up together taking care of, and watching, each other’s back.
As the two grow older and older, we see the phases they go through growing up. From living on the streets as kids, all the way to having a baby together. This brought an interesting storyline to watch going forward. As the two make a decision to look for their baby that was taken away from them when it was born.
The League Of Villainy
Despite the interesting backstories of The Mime and Marionette, the rest of the issue fails to reach the same level of intrigue. In an underground subway station, a vast amount of the DC villains have begun a meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the supermen theory. For those who have not been following the series, the supermen theory is a conspiracy that since most superheroes are American, the government must be experimenting on people to create them into supers.
Yes, it is fun to see all the villains in one setting together, but nothing really comes of it. We never get a full idea of what they are planning, if anything at all. This is because the Comedian shows up and goes on a murderous rampage.
The art of Gary Frank is easily some of the best in the business. It feels as though every time Geoff Johns talks about Doomsday Clock he mentions how the details really matter. Gary Frank is the perfect artist for a story like this. The sublime details from Frank force you to stare at each panel in depth. Geoff Johns and Gary Frank have worked on quite a few projects together, and it is clear they have formed an impeccable relationship.
Johns has spoken repeatedly of following the “Watchmen rulebook,” when it comes to the storytelling. Particularly when it comes to the 9-panel pages. This is continued heavily in this issue to the point where it is a bit overmuch. There are only a few pages that contain less than 7 panels. Though Franks art is still spectacular, I would like to see them shake it up a bit more in future issues.
Final Thoughts On Doomsday Clock #6
There have been quite a few fans that have been disgruntled with this series. Whether it’s the long delays between issues or the slow pace it seems to have. The phrase “good things come to those who wait,” is a good description for this issue.
Despite not moving the overall plot of the story forward, we got great back story on two characters that have played a prominent role in the series so far. With Doomsday Clock #6 ending with the what looks like The Mime, Marionette, and Joker planning on getting the whereabouts of Dr. Manhattan out of the comedian, I feel safe to believe things will start to pick up in issue #7
We are halfway through this huge story by Johns and Frank. It is clear that they are achieving their goal of giving us something unlike anything else on the shelves right now. With 6 issues remaining, there are still many, many questions that need answers, and a lot of stories that need to be told. I fully expect the seventh issue to provide some answers for us.