A Lot of Talk
You see, Alan Moore has always been vehemently opposed to DC doing anything with his work from, "Watchmen," stating how he should have had the full rights. It's a long and tangled history, but the short version is: Alan Moore and DC apparently agreed that once, "Watchmen," had been out-of-print for a period of time the full rights would revert to him, the comic was a huge smashing success and DC now has forever been printing versions of it, thereby robbing Moore of what he felt was his. There are many arguments in favor of Moore, some against, and people much smarter than me have made highly detailed cases.
How then, does one review, "Doomsday Clock," considering all the elements at play here? I suppose I would review it in a number of ways with different things taken into account--which sounds complex but there are many complexities to this comic-event.
Looking at The Plot in Isolation From Other Elements
"What's the point?" could be asked about a lot of this though. Did DC absolutely have to take, "Watchmen," to use for this story or does utilizing the famous IP allow the story to feel like it has more gravitas? Moore and Gibbons comic is a masterpiece so anything attempting to follow-up on it that lacks them probably will struggle to measure up. Having read the comic, if one puts aside all the baggage of using, "Watchmen," it reads quite well, but the whole idea is taking the baggage of, "Watchmen," and using it to tell a story, which arguably is why we are in this aforementioned big ol' moral quandary. Should we work to put all that aside though and just look at the plot in isolation from all the other outside elements at play--go all, "New Criticism," on the comic, then it is pretty good.
We have the world of, "Watchmen," that seemed to achieve peace through the lie of a false alien invasion now falling apart due to the truth coming-out. Things are miserable again and its a mess. We get some info-dumps and it is a good read. I would give it a solid 4 out of 5 stars viewed by itself. We can't view it by itself though, can we?
Looking at the Plot in the Shadow of, "Watchmen."
This first issue mostly takes place in the world of, "Watchmen" so perhaps as we see more of it and the DC-Universe bleeding into one another things will flow a bit better. As it is though, when one looks at this as a sequel to something so amazing as, "Watchmen," and puts the quality and craftsmanship side-by-side, this work suffers and is more of a pale imitation, a 2 out of 5 stars.
Looking at the Comic in Regards to Creator Rights
Should someone look at this comic's existence in regards to what its progenitor--Alan Moore--would prefer, clearly it shouldn't exist. Dave Gibbons basically has faintly offered his approval/said he doesn't care, so is it enough for one of the makers of, "Watchmen," to be okay with it, or if anyone is against this should their preferences be acknowledged? Whatever the case, considering how badly Moore was screwed-over by DC when it comes to the comic in regards to creator rights, this is a 0 out of 5.
Much to Mull Over