Doomsday Clock #2: Dr. Manhattan, The Supermen Theory And Fatherhood

What is Dr. Manhattan's plan? DC Comics/Gary Frank

Doomsday Clock is arguably the biggest story in comics in 2017. The creative team of Geoff Johns and Gary Frank bring the Watchmen and DC Comics Universes together for the first time and everything will change.

But what is Dr. Manhattan’s plan for the DC Universe? Why did he take years away from our heroes? These questions will be in background of Doomsday Clock throughout the 12-issue series.

Now, with the release of the second issue, some new information has set off alarms in my head about what Manhattan is trying to do. From the “Supermen Theory” to Marionette’s role in the story, it all seems to come together to explain that  Manhattan has come to the DCU to father a child. I don’t necessarily mean in the biological sense (although that can still be the case) but Dr. Manhattan is trying to create the DCU in his image, like the god that Ozymandias has constantly called him in the first two issues of the series.

To explain Manhattan’s possible motives in Doomsday Clock, we’ll have to go back to the original Watchmen graphic novel.

SPOILERS! Doomsday Clock #2 plot points will be discussed.

Dr. Manhattan’s Desire to Create

In the original Watchmen story, Dr. Manhattan leaves Earth and creates his castle on Mars. However, when Silk Spectre convinces him to return to his homeworld and stop Ozymandias, the omnipotent being has a revelation.Dr. Manhattan decides humans are too unpredictable and wants a universe that’s less complicated.

Ozymandias asks if he has regained interest in humans, Dr.Manhattan answers, “Yes, I have. I think perhaps I’ll create some.”

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Dr. Manhattan talking to Ozymandias in Watchmen Photo: DC Comics
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Dr. Manhattan explaining why he's leaving. Photo: DC Comics

In Doomsday Clock, Johns and Frank seem to have taken this scene to explain which universe Dr. Manhattan has gone to, but the DCU already had humans (complicated ones at that) so where does the “create” part come in?

The “Supermen Theory”

Doomsday Clock #2 introduces the “Supermen Theory” in the first pages of the issue and in the backmatter that dives into the timeline.  Johns said in a recent interview with CBR that the Supermen Theory will play a major role in the book.

“...this concept of the Supermen Theory — when you look at a world map, 97 percent of all metahumans are American. Why is that? What is the truth behind these supervillains and superheroes? That’s going to play a big factor in the background going forward in our series, and it’s going to affect the fabric of the DC Universe.”

This theory argues the U.S. government creates metahumans (superheroes and villains) and are in the government’s employ. This excludes Superman, whose origin has been accepted throughout the world, but doesn’t explain all of the other superpowered beings.

Perhaps Manhattan has used his powers to “create” these metahumans on the downlow, to make the world more like him.

Marionette and Her Baby

Marionette and the Mime are two new characters from the Watchmen universe, introduced in Doomsday Clock. Ozymandias brings Marionette to his team because she represents a “moment in Jon’s past” where they can remind him of who he was and to appeal to his human side. This moment happens when Manhattan stops Marionette and Mime from robbing a bank. Before he kills them, he hears her unborn child in her womb and stops.

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Dr. Manhattan and Marionette meet. Photo: DC Comics/Gary Frank

In this same conversation, the new Rorschach says they should have brought Silk Spectre to join them but Ozymandias says “seeing her with Dan [Nite Owl] could upset him.”

Manhattan loved Silk Spectre but their differences pushed her away to Nite Owl. It was a lost opportunity for Manhattan to create, to be a father.

Superman’s Nightmare

In Doomsday Clock #1 , Superman has a nightmare about his parent’s death. A particular line of dialogue could hint at Manhattan’s intentions. Before they die, Martha Kent says, “I wish we could've given him more. A brother or a sister.” Jonathan Kent answers with, “Me, too, Martha. But this is God’s plan.”

This may not seem like much, but Superman never has a nightmare and the “God” could very well refer to Manhattan. His plan is to make more metahumans (brothers and sisters) like Superman, something the Kents can’t do.


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Superman's nightmare in Doomsday Clock #1 Photo: DC Comics


Is this a warning? Is this a message from Manhattan? With 10 more issues to go in Doomsday Clock, Dr. Manhattan’s plans for the DCU and for himself will become clear eventually. In the meantime, what do you guys think of this theory? Sound off in the comments section below. 

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