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Watchmen: Doomsday Clock

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Warning: Contains Minor Spoilers For Both The Original Series And Issue #1 Of Doomsday Clock.

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Never was a truer word said Doc… since DC Comics and sensational scribe Geoff Johns are once again returning us to the dystopian landscape of Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons and John Higgins’ original groundbreaking 80’s maxi-series.

I am a self confessed Watchmen fanboy, it is without a shadow of a doubt my favourite comic-book series of all time. When I first read Alan Moore’s trailblazing series in 1986, I was blown away, it was a unique and contemporary take on the Superhero genre, a treatise on social anxiety and a complete deconstruction of traditional Superhero conceptualisation, it was different in every single way possible to everything that came before it, and is almost single-handedly responsible for completely transforming the face of the comic-book medium for future creators and readers… a veritable masterpiece.

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Since that time we have been regaled with a scant few other forays into Moore’s apocalyptic vision, from director Zack Snyder’s masterful cinematic adaptation in 2009, a motion comic version of the original series also released in 2009 to coincide with the film, through DC’s prequel series ‘Before Watchmen’ released in 2012. And though some fans revelled in the new material presented to us (myself included) others believed that the original story should have always been left as a standalone project, with whom co-creator Alan Moore has always sided.

I personally believe that any beloved piece of creation, be it film, novel and comic-book should always be given a chance to grow and present itself to a new and modern audience, Snyder’s movie was the first instance of this for Watchmen, opening up the material to new fans, but at the same time being honest and respectful to Moore’s original vision. Watchmen is a world that has so many more tales to tell, and even more lessons to bestow upon its readership, and with Geoff John’s new 12 issue ‘Doomsday Clock’ series DC are doing just that… oh, and it also means a return of irascible masked vigilante – Rorschach, but not in the way any of us were actually expecting!

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Yay, Rorschach’s Rambunctious Return… But Wait A Minute, Didn’t Doc Manhattan literally Explode Him At The End Of The Original Series!? The Answer Is An Intriguing Enigma For Sure!

Doomsday Clock #1 is our first foray back into the pandemonium that is the world of Watchmen, a direct sequel to the iconic 80’s series, and as controversial as that seems to some fans, as I stated earlier, I’m more than happy to once again step into the chaotic and dystopic world of the titular crimebusters. Sequels, movie adaptations etc do not dilute the original works, and if done correctly can only add more layers to the existing whole, plus if the idea of a Watchmen sequel is in any way sacrilegious to you, then you can always ignore it and continue to enjoy Moore’s sterling original tale in all its well deserved glory.

The series is initially set seven years after the end of the original story, it’s 1992 and the world is still in turmoil after the event set into motion by Ozymandias, but, with his scheme now laid bare, the world is once again on the brink of nuclear armageddon. With this premise Geoff Johns and artist Gary Franks effortlessly transport us back to the wonderfully dark and grimy world set up by Moore, stylistically the comic evokes the original material beautifully, from the dialogue set through to the originals nine panel grid layout, visually this feels perfectly at home with its predecessor.

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And I haven’t even mentioned the ‘Rebirth’ connection to the DC Universe that started this soon to be iconic pairing of two distinct comic-book worlds, if you have been following along with the unfurling tale of Doctor Manhattan and his apparent meddling with the classic DC heroes, then prepare yourself for a series that will hopefully snake its eventual way to the answers behind the cryptic clues already let loose.

If you’re a fan of Watchmen, and can get past the apparent controversy that a sequel to the seminal original exists, then I say definitely pick this up. Johns has presented to us a well written, dark, but at times, also amusing return to the world of masked vigilantes, chaos and deep rooted fears and anxiety, and I for one am glad to continue my protracted stay in its fatalistic presence. Recommended.

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My copy of Doomsday Clock was purchased at my very favourite comic-book emporium – Final Frontier, located in Fore Street, Exeter in the UK.

Watchmen And Images Copyright: DC Comics.

 

 

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The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313

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Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another episode of  ‘The Week In Geek’  where we love to share our favourite Comic Book, Video-Game, and Cult Movie news for your perusal and pleasure. And so once more unto the geek dear agents, once more…

DC Set June 3rd As Wonder Woman Day…

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‘By the canescent collar of Cerberus’ will June be a month of serious Amazonian revelry and celebration, for not only will we be witness to the Themysciran Titan’s big screen solo escapades on June 2, but DC Comics have also announced that June 3 is officially Wonder Woman day! That’s right, my awesomely amazing Amazonian affiliates we’re talking a full weekend of wondrous festivity in the company of the world’s finest fictional female, so let’s all praise Hera.. for this truly is a gift from the glorious Greek Gods themselves!

Judge Dredd Will Soon Be Passing Judgement, In Your Living Room!..

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That’s right fellow Squaxx Dek Thargo, Ol’ stoney face himself – Judge Dredd will soon be invading your living rooms in the recently announced ‘Mega City One’ TV series!

The British comic book icon is set to star in his very own series thanks to 2000 AD owners Rebellion teaming up with IM Global. Rebellion have announced that development of the series is currently underway, and the cast will be unveiled soon. The series will be filmed in the UK and overseen by Rebellion themselves, which makes us supremely confident that it will remain ever faithful to the popular character.

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Rebellion owners, Chris and Jason Kingsley said: “We are very excited to be beginning the journey of getting Dredd’s Mega-City One on the television screen, thanks to the legion of fans who have kept up pressure on social media. We aim to make a big budget production that will please our fans and the general screen watching public alike.”

By Stomm, this is gruddamn Dredd-tastic news, updates as we hear them citizens!

Doomsday Approaches The DC Universe…

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Who or what is behind the reality shifting events of 2016’s biggest selling comic DC Rebirth? superstar scribe and DC Entertainment President Geoff Johns will reveal all when the mini-series ‘Doomsday Clock’ launches later this year.

“It’s Watchmen colliding with the DC Universe” Johns told SyfyWire, “It is the most personal and epic, most utterly mind-bending project I have worked on in my career.”

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At the beginning of the year Geoff Johns revealed his return to comic book writing by releasing a teaser image of Dr Manhattan on his Twitter stream, and his upcoming Doomsday Clock mini-series will ultimately reveal the intention behind Doc’s machinations, and their massive ramifications for the DC Universe, oh and Superman and Doc will clash in epic fashion!!

Alongside offering answers for Rebirth, the mini-series will also explore the the core nature of humanity that differentiates Superman and Dr Manhattan as characters (aside from them punching the hell out of each other, of course!)

Doomsday Clock releases this November…

Why not join us again next time friends for more Week In Geek

The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313

Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another episode of ‘The Week In Geek’ where we love to share our favourite Comic Book, Video-Game and Cult Movie news for your perusal and pleasure… and so once more unto the breach dear readers, once more…

Nintendo Switch Release Date And Launch Games Announced…

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You know, I have always been more of an Xbox than a Nintendo (and previous to Microsoft’s beast of a console, I was a SEGA… in fact I still am.) But the one thing I have always loved (and bought) were Nintendo’s handhelds. I have owned virtually every portable device they have launched since the classic Gameboy in 1989, which is why I am genuinely excited for the Switch, Nintendo’s first hybrid console.

The Nintendo Switch is the incoming flagship console from the legendary Japanese gaming giant, which effortlessly combines home and portable play into one very cool package, and I want one… right now! Set to be released worldwide on March 3, 2017 at a very reasonable £279.99 ($299.99) with a strong launch line up that includes – Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, Dragon Quest XI, and Skyrim (that’s right folks, a portable version of Bethesda’s classic RPG… there goes my life.) 

Geoff Johns And Dr Manhattan – Dream Team…

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DC Entertainment’s President and comic book author extraordinaire Geoff Johns is returning to writing comics again this year, and has (heavily) hinted that he may be exploring the intriguing connection between Watchmen and the DC Universe. In a series of tweets Johns has confirmed his return to his oeuvre, with an accompanying image of Watchmen’s Dr Manhattan. Johns’ last comic authorship was last May’s “DC Universe Rebirth #1” in which he eluded that the electric blue super-human may have had a hand in creating the rebooted Rebirth timeline.

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The highly enjoyable one-shot also portrayed Batman discovering the iconic blood spattered smiley badge from Alan Moore’s groundbreaking 80’s mini-series, in the Bat Cave! Hold on tight dear readers, for this promises to be one hell of a wild ride!

Constantine Set To Return, In Animated Form…

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Everyone’s favourite chain smoking, mystical, demon fighting anti-hero – John Constantine is set to return to the small screen in a new CW animated series. Following on from his fantastic (yet criminally short lived) NBC live action show, the new animation will find Constantine actor Matt Ryan reprising his role in voice over form and is being produced by Greg Berlanti. We were honestly hoping for another live action depiction of the magical man of mystery, but I guess an animated rendering is better than no return at all, plus CW’s animated Vixen series has been rather wonderful, so all the signs point to this being equally as great.

Why not join us next time friends for more Week In Geek!

Seven Years Of The Watchmen

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“Rorschach’s journal – April 6, 2016. Seven years ago I starred in one of the greatest cinematic triumphs of all time. In it the streets were extended gutters, and the gutters were full of critics, and when the drains finally scabbed over, the fans looked up and shouted save us, and Zack Snyder whispered “Yes”.

Seven years ago today, the greatest piece of comic book fiction ever wrought was finally released on film by visual auteur Zack Snyder. His triumphant cinematic reworking of the supposedly unfilmable comic series from the eighties was hailed by the fans as a masterpiece of modern dystopian Superhero cinema, but received tepid reviews from critics (Mmmm, now this seems familiar).

(Warning: Spoilers ahoy)

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Who watches the Watchmen?  Ozymandias does…

The Watchmen limited comic series was released by DC Comics in 1986, it was a collaborative effort of three superstar British comic book creators, Writer Alan Moore, Artist Dave Gibbons and Artist/Colourist John Higgins. Moore originally posited to DC that he wanted to use their acquired Charlton Comics characters as the basis for the story, but DC’s managing editor of the time Dick Giordano, persuaded Moore to create new characters instead, as the usage of DC’s now integrated (into the DC universe) Charlton heroes would have rendered them almost unusable in future timelines because of the direction they would have taken as a result of Moore’s suggested storyline. 

Alan Moore is widely regarded as the greatest comic book author of all time, apart from Watchmen, Moore also introduced us to V for Vendetta, Batman: The Killing Joke and The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but it is Watchmen that propelled Moore to the rank of numero uno in the highly competitive comic book market.

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Protagonist Rorschach narrates the story throughout with regular diary entries and monologues

Alan Moore’s writing usually takes a dark and dystopian route through pre-existing tropes, subverting and twisting characters to fit into his alternate timelines. Watchmen is a satirical look at superheroes, that reflects the era it was written, be it through the politics of the time (80’s Britain was a particularly political hot-bed) or emerging trends and people’s apprehension of the future.

Watchmen is set in an alternate 1985, and follows masked vigilante Rorschach as he and other retired members of the Superteam – Crimebusters, investigate the murder of one of their former colleagues – The Comedian. In Moore’s universe, costumed heroes first appeared in the 1940’s, and were a collection of former Police officers and disgruntled citizens who ‘masked up’ to take down an increasing number of criminals who had taken to wearing costumes to disguise themselves from recognition.

In the early eighties with the world on the brink of a nuclear holocaust, and with an outcry by the general populace against masked vigilantes, costumed heroes were outlawed, and most faded into retirement or (in the case of the Comedian and Dr Manhattan) went to work covertly for the Government. Rorschach though continued to fight crime unsanctioned, wanted by the Police he refused to abandon his principles and castigated his former team-mates for their cowardice in the face of the costumed vigilante ban.

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After the murder of The Comedian, Rorschach manages to convince former team-mates, Nite-Owl II and Silk Spectre II to come out of retirement and help investigate what he believes is a conspiracy to kill members of the Crimebusters. Moore’s take on Superheroes is not for the faint of heart, it is a mature and sometimes shocking take on a popular medium, set in a totalitarian, regressive society consumed with fear and anxiety.

Unto this premise comes visual mastermind director Zack Snyder, riding high on his successful conversion of Frank Miller’s “300” graphic novel, he set his sights on DC’s Watchmen, and in 2009 presented us with perfection in comic book to film form. His film mirrored its source material beautifully, condensing the story somewhat, but still supplying every nuance and important depth of plot that the original comic series conveyed. His choice of actors were astonishingly close to their fictional selves, especially the casting of Jackie Earle-Haley as titular protagonist Rorschach. This film has ultimately become the cornerstone of Zack Snyder’s career, only recently equalled (in our humble opinion) by his take on DC’s Trinity in Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, which shares many similarities to Watchmen in both tone and visual style.

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Seven years on and Watchmen is now more highly regarded amongst its former critics, still loved by the fans and is one of the first ‘R’ rated (18 rated here in the UK) Superhero movies, long before characters like Deadpool were ever conceived for the big screen. Snyder’s film is visually enthralling, deep and concise in its portrayal of the original classic series, as much a must watch now as it ever was, not only one of the greatest comic book movies of all time… but literally one of the greatest movies of all time! 

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Rorschach Returns?

Copyright: DC Comics

Who Watches The Watchmen? Hopefully We Do!

To an interminably die-hard Watchmen fan like myself, there can be no greater news than the live action return of Alan Moore’s fabled comic characters, and you know what, it’s looking like we are one step closer to seeing just that. Zack Snyder, director of the fantastic 2009 film adaptation of Moore’s groundbreaking graphic novel, has approached studio HBO with the (really rather marvellous) idea of a weekly Watchmen television series.  

As to what form the series may take, it’s rather early to predict at this time, but considering we have already been treated to the original 80’s tale, the series would more than likely take inspiration from the 2012 comic prequel series “Before Watchmen.”  These consisted of eight separate mini-series each following one of the main characters from the Watchmen and served as a forerunner to the original Moore series. Of course it could go the other way and create a wholly original story involving our volatile team of heroes, whatever form the show may take however, it is still exciting news. More Rorschach?… oh hell yes!

Watchmen Copyright: DC Comics

New Comics Spotlight: Pax Americana #1

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Blue Beetle: The original Nite-Owl

Pax Americana #1 is another chapter in DC Comic’s ongoing Multiversity saga, the multiple universe spanning story that takes place on alternate Earths, giving the reader variant versions of their favourite characters, Pax Americana tells the story of Earth 4’s heroes and villains.

Written by Grant Morrison, this is definitely his version of the classic 1980’s award winning comic The Watchmen. Set on Earth 4, it tells its story in an intriguing new way (which I won’t spoil here – go read it friends), when the President of the United States is assassinated, heroes Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, The Question, Nightshade and Peacemaker come together to unearth the truth behind the secrets and lies of his assassination.

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The Question in full on Rorschach mode

What really cements it as a Watchmen homage are the DC characters chosen to star in this new Multiversity story, The Question is the original template for vigilante Rorschach, Captain Atom was the original Dr Manhattan and Blue Beetle is the character that Nite-Owl was based upon.  Morrison’s love of Alan Moore’s Watchmen shines bright in this comic, a fantastic story in its own right, and a must buy for all fans of The Watchmen.

Pax Americana #1 is written by Grant Morrison, with cover and interior art by Frank Quitely.