Year Seventeen

 

(2018)

 

–Doomsday Clock #2-4
Early January. On Earth-Watchmen the year is 1992, and chaos reigns supreme as the world has finally discovered the truth about Ozymandias‘ “alien attack” from years prior (as seen in the pages of Watchmen). With nuclear holocaust set to destroy all life on the planet, Ozymandias gathers a new Rorschach and husband-and-wife-criminal duo Marionette and The Mime to assist him on a quest to find Dr. Manhattan and convince him to save their world. (Ozymandias has traced Dr. Manhattan’s energy signature to Earth-0.) After Ozymandias shows Rorschach old security footage of Dr. Manhattan busting the couple but showing non-lethal mercy, the foursome (along with Ozymandias’ new pet lynx) travel through the Bleed via Nite Owl‘s rigged-up Owlship just as Earth-Watchmen goes kablooey. On Earth-0, Bruce undergoes his annual psych exam, lying about what he sees in rorschach pictures as he does every year in order to pass. Afterward, Lucius Fox scolds him, telling him to take LexCorp’s recent industrial espionage more seriously. They also discuss the fact that Luthor wants to purchase Wayne Enterprises in order to obtain their research on the metagene. With the espionage case linked to the “Supermen Theory” revelations, along with flames of paranoia being stoked by Russia and Markovia, anti-Batman protesters march throughout Gotham. Meanwhile, the Watchmen Universe characters arrive on Earth-0. Ozymandias handcuffs Marionette and the Mime to the inside of the Owlship before departing with Rorschach. After some research at the public library, Rorscach heads toward Wayne Manor while Ozymandias goes to LexCorp. Bruce ignores Lucius and suits up as Batman to bust an escaped Mad Hatter, Tweedledee (Deever Tweed), and Tweedledum (Dumfree Tweed). Rorschach, after a nap and breakfast in Wayne Manor, discovers the Batcave and trips the alarm. Batman returns home to confront him. Meanwhile, Marionette and the Mime escape. Concurrently, Lex Luthor, who has reverted back to his sinister old ways ever since the “Superman Theory” news leaked, fires (i.e. disappears) more failed scientists from his company. Ozymandias shows up and basically tells Lex the whole story of Watchmen. Out of nowhere, The Comedian (Edward Blake) returns! (At the time of his death, the Comedian was saved by Dr. Manhattan, whose cosmic spacetime alteration caused the Comedian’s fatal fall to land him safely in Earth-0’s Metropolis Harbor instead of splat on the sidewalk. However, since the events of the original Watchmen series happened unaltered, with the Comedian’s death still having seemingly occurred, we must assume one of the following two scenarios. Option one: Dr. Manhattan created a second divergent Watchmen timeline, from which this returning Comedian hails. Option two: This is the original Comedian, and Dr. Manhattan saved and stole him away but created another Comedian body to act as a physical replacement on the unaltered Watchmen timeline.) The Comedian accidentally shoots Lex Luthor while aiming for Ozymandias, who escapes by jumping through a window. Meanwhile, Rorschach gives Batman the original Rorschach’s journal. While Batman reads, Alfred sets Rorschach up with dinner, a shower, and a place to sleep in Wayne Manor. Meanwhile, at an old folks home, a troubled elderly Johnny Thunder ponders his life as the other nonagenarians fight over the TV, switching between a Nathaniel Dusk movie from the 50s and news—featuring stories about an explosion in Germany linked to The Wild Huntsman, anti-metahuman protests, the start of a global metahuman arms race, and Luthor’s latest metagene detector invention. The Mime and Marionette visit a Joker-run bar and brutally kill everyone inside. Twenty four hours later, having read the old Rorschach’s journal, Batman decides the current Rorschach is dangerous or crazy or both. With the backing of Arkham Asylum officials, the Dark Knight tricks Rorschach into accompanying him to Arkham, where he locks the latter in a cell. The next day, Batman—in disguise as a psychiatrist—interviews the troubled Rorschach. A day later, Batman debriefs Alfred in the Batcave. Concurrently, Saturn Girl opens Rorschach’s cell in Arkham. Having telepathically scanned his mind, she’s learned all about the history of Earth-Watchmen and that Rorschach is Reggie Long, mentally-scarred son of Malcolm Long, the original Rorschach’s psychiatrist. Reggie trained under elder vigilante Mothman (Byron Lewis) in a mental institution before becoming the second Rorschach, at which point he attempted to kill Ozymandias, but wound up reluctantly joining him instead. While Jane Doe and Reggie make a break for it, Dr. Manhattan watches everything unfold. He zaps a mosquito, which puffs into a smoke ring that resembles his signature hydrogen atom symbol. A photograph of Jon Osterman (his former self) and Janey Slater (his ex-girlfriend) floats down the hallway.