Doomsday Clock, a 12-issue DC Comics miniseries based on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen that could be considered both a sequel, a crossover and a response has been making waves since its second issue was released earlier this month. Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s series has already deepened the world of the DC Universe and Watchmen with just two issues, but is also making moves with another classic DC story by Alan Moore, released only a year after his monumental achievement in 1987.
In Issue #2 of Doomsday Clock, Ozymandias and the new Rorschach (who was referred to as “Reggie”), Marionette, and The Mime journey to the new world to track down Doctor Manhattan, who is the best chance to save the planet. Their journey takes them to Earth-0, which is the center of the DC Multiverse, and it is there that the foursome encounters a familiar location to many Batman fans.
New Rorschach and Ozymandias crash land the Owlship in an abandoned amusement park that has definitely seen better days. The locales such as the Fun House, Ferris Wheel, Tower, and Pink Elephant (see the image below) are all dead giveaways that this the same amusement park from Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s Batman: The Killing Joke.
Although there have been smatterings of many other DC references throughout the series already, The Killing Joke reference might be the quietest of the lot, done without a single word of text. The setting was largely set in such a park that the Joker used to psychologically torture Gotham police commissioner Jim Gordon. The amusement park connection postulates that The Killing Joke is part of the history of the Rebirth continuity. DC Comics: Rebirth #1 debuted last year, which left fans speculating as to which past stories remain official canon and which have been left out. Doomsday Clock #2 confirms that one of DC’s most notorious stories is now part of the Rebirth and Earth-0 canon.
The Killing Joke involved the infamous crippling of Barbara Gordon, thus ending her career as Batgirl and leaving her wheelchair-bound. She then became the information broker known as Oracle before The New 52 reestablished her as Batgirl. The Killing Joke was also adapted into a DC Animated Movie, which while praised for the performances of the voice actors (primarily Mark Hamill’s reprisal of his role as the Joker), was met with a polarized response largely stemming from controversy due to the addition of a subplot that portrayed a sex scene between Batgirl and Batman.
Of course, this all could just be a visceral nod. Something to honor Alan Moore’s long-tenure over at DC. However, it could also be paving the way for bigger reveals that will certainly stir up the pot before Doomsday Clock‘s 12-issue run is up.
Doomsday Clock #2 is in comic shops and online now.