Back in 2011, DC Comics rebooted their comic universe with the “New 51”, which started all their characters over from scratch. However, they realized fans weren’t all that happy with the new continuity and writers needed to be able to tell stories from the elaborate DC Comics mythos. Then “Rebirth” was launched and it had some impact on the characters and it is leading to a showdown with Doctor Manhattan but it almost never was.
After the DC Universe: Rebirth one-shot, Geoff Johns teased that the Watchman universe was going to have some impact in the DC Universe, as the reason the “New 52” happened. During last weekend’s San Diego Comic-Con event, Johns explained how the tease almost didn’t come to fruition, which would have left many fans seriously annoyed.
“On the set of Wonder Woman, we [Johns and Gary Frank] talked a lot about it,” Johns told the press according to CBR. “At the end of the day, we thought, ‘You know what? We’re not going to do it.”
“And then the election happened. And then other things in the world happened, and it changed,” Johns recalled.” Suddenly, the whole story just jumped into my head, and I called Gary and said, ‘I just have to pitch this to you, because I have this story, and the story is bigger than I thought it was, it’s different than I thought it was, it’s more risky than I thought it was.’”
“We’re not trying to replicate and do what [Moore and Gibbons] did, we’re doing our own thing,” Johns said of the final concept he and Frank have settled into crafting, re-stating promises he’s made several times since Doomsday Clock was announced. “The story we’re telling is a very different story, but it’s certainly a very personal story… It is a story about everything: Cynicism and opportunity and corruption, and lies and truth and love, and the lengths people will go for love, and hope. Optimism. Decay. Are our best days behind us, or ahead of us, you know? What is the truth? Do people give up, is it OK to give up, when do you give up, when don’t you give up?”
I know, as a fan of Rebirth, I would have been seriously annoyed if they didn’t explain the ending of the book. My only issue with Johns’ comments is that you set up a cliffhanger like that and don’t follow through would have angered some fans. However, I am glad he got a solid idea and something that motivated him. Now, we must countdown until November for the Doomsday Clock to begin ticking away.