The journey to find Doctor Manhattan continues, as our main characters are still on the hunt for the big blue God. Will they find him this time? Will Marionette and Mime find their son? Will Alan Scott and the JSA make a return to the DC Universe now that Johnny Thunder has the Lantern? Well let’s stop asking questions and find out!
As we pick up with issue 7, we turn the clock back to 1940 and Dr. Manhattan is narrating the origin and life of Alan Scott, the original/Golden Age Green Lantern. Now we all know in this crazy New 52 / Rebirth universe, that there is no Alan Scott GL. At least not on this earth. So he tells an alternate origin where instead of Alan finding the magical lantern in a train crash and becoming a superhero, the good doctor moves the lantern only a few inches out Alan’s reach, killing him. He then recounts the lantern’s journey from the magical meteor crash to Johnny Thunder, Saturn Girl, and eventually Rorschach II finding it.
In the present, our trio of misfit heroes joins up with Ozymandias, having found the lantern. On board the Archimedes (Nite Owl II’s ship) Reggie / Rorschach II introduces his new friends to Ozymandias while the news reports from the Archimedes’ monitor displays more occurrences of metahuman activity across the world. We see Geo-Force of Markovia joining with Russia’s super team, an espionage mission carried out by Australian metas against China, Firestorm’s continued questioning by the media, and even Superman rescuing kids from terrorists in Libya.
While this new barrage plays in the background, Ozymandias suffers a small episode due to his cancer, showing that he may not have long for this earth (no multiversal pun intended). He’s comforted by his Bubastis kitten when she begins to glow. The cat was cloned from the original Bubastis that was destroyed when Ozy tried to kill Dr. M in Watchmen, so she’s able to gather his scent from things, like the lantern. As he’s explaining this, he sees a news report with footage of the Comedian walking away from the carnage of last issue. Ozy makes a crack about how there aren’t any coincidences with Manhattan.
Now we switch over to the Joker helping Marionette and Mime interrogate the Comedian for Dr. Manhattan’s location. Did I say interrogate? I meant torture. Batman frees himself from his constraints and starts a fight with the twisted lovers, and the Joker chimes in with a flamethrower from the side lines. The fight gets broken up when Ozymandias and his crew interrupt the fight and summon Dr. Manhattan with the power of the Lantern and Bubastis. It actually works and Dr. M shows up in all his naked blue glory (wink wink), eliciting reactions of awe from the Watchmen characters. Batman gives his typical badass reaction of “I know who you are” and the Joker covers an eye and asks him to put some pants on.
Doctor Manhattan immediately whisks the Watchmen characters away to the jungle to talk. There, Ozy asks him to come back to their universe and help fix the problem he started. Dr. M declines stating he’s busy. Rorschach II tries to sway Manhattan by saying that Ozy has changed ever since he got cancer. Dr. M says Ozy doesn’t have cancer which he confirms stating he just needed help. Rorschach II proceeds to try to choke out Ozy right before Dr. M teleports the group across time and space.
Dr. M starts monologuing about how he tried to live among this world of hope, how he foresees the most hopeful among it hopeless, and how he was wrong and that “everything ends”. He then vanishes, leaving Rorschach II and Ozy to fight. Afterwards, Rorschach II beats the Joker to a pulp after the clown prince electrocutes Batman. The comic closes with Rorschach II quitting and mailing all his resources to Lois Lane. Ozymandias kicks Saturn Girl and Johnny Thunder out of Archimedes, still believing he can save the world, and Doctor Manhattan returns to Mars and foresees a fight between Superman and himself, and then darkness...
This issue was really great! The build-up, the pay-off, the set-up for the continuing story, and pretty much everything about this issue was outstanding. Geoff Johns loves to tell a story in quite a reserved, calculated, and scheduled way but when the time comes for the pay-off, he really knows how to handle it. Issues like this make this series worth it. Of course the art is amazing and props as usual to the incredible Gary Frank. Even the “Supermen Theory” stuff that is being told in the background of the story is conveyed very intelligently to the reader. All around, a fantastic issue and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next issue.
Verdict: 9/10 Lantern Batteries