Geoff Johns had a panel devoted to him, where he discussed his career, writing, and November’s Doomsday Clock. That’s a series many have their eyes on as it ties The Watchmen directly into the current DC Universe. Many of DC’s storylines have been leading to this 12 issue event ever since Johns’ 80-page one-shot Rebirth was released back in May 2016.
Moderator and DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio showed panels on the screen and asked Johns to play a little word association. Panels drawn by Gary Frank with colors by Brad Anderson included Dr. Manhattan’s iconic symbol on his forehead, the reveal of a new female character (who looks like a civilian and not a hero), a shot of the Daily Planet, and a car which has been abandoned.
“It’s a completely different story than I’ve ever done,” Johns said, “The process is unbelievably detail orientated because of what we’re trying to do and accomplish.” The scope is huge, and in fact, takes place one year from now in the DC universe. Johns revealed the DCU will eventually catch up to the 12 issue story.
Johns said the scope is huge but it has to be told. “This is not a normal comic for us; this is a chance to do something we’ve never done before. It’s a story we can only tell right now. It’s a risky story to tell.” It’s such an important story that Johns explained he and Gary Frank spoke for an entire hour over a single panel in one of the issues. The comic will encompass everything from 1938 (the first appearance of Superman) to today. Time is clearly going to be a big part of the plot and Johns commented that Dr. Manhattan is being used for that very reason.
Though an event series, Johns made it clear this and all of the stories he likes to tell require personal emotion in the characters, and that goes for Frank too: “It’s all about the emotional storytelling, he doesn’t get a thrill out of drawing characters but telling emotion.”
Saving the best for last, Johns detailed one of his favorite moments in the series, though he said he needed Frank’s permission to tell the audience. “One interaction in particular that I love, I love seeing the smartest man from one world talking to the smartest man from another. The smartest man in this world in DC is Lex Luthor.” Though Johns didn’t reveal who else he was talking about, he said he might reveal it at the next convention. That said, he did say the story “goes beyond Dr. Manhattan,” which could imply we’ll be seeing even more Watchmen characters come November.