Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan #4 And Mini Series Wrap Up


Comic: Dr. Manhattan #4

Written By: J Michael Straczynski

Pencils By: Adam Hughes

Publisher: DC Comics


rating: 4.5

In the previous three issues we've had the big blue doctor we all know and love literally splinter time into multiple universes, discover they all end in destruction at his hand and then carefully and cleverly put things back together into one single universe. Dr. Manhattan has seen it all, seen how to fix it and now after making his big move to better the universe, knowing that it has to involve him losing his human self within the intrinsic field chamber, something is a miss. drm2 Now we are well and truly back up to speed because as all Watchmen fans know, one of Doc. Manhattan's issues with the future is that there's static. Something powerful prevents him from seeing it's outcomes and now we see why. With this concern weighing heavy on him, the blue doctor visits Ozymandias (with the most graphic Manhattan blue penis visual yet by the way) and proceeds in telling him about the problem. It's here Ozymandias suggests sharing Manhattan's limitless power and making sure the future is safe. I've had nothing but praise for J Michael Straczynski's work in all of the Before Watchmen titles he's touched but it's here in the Dr. Manhattan mini series that he's pushed my mind, heart and soul into new places. With Adam Hughes' beautiful artwork to help him along this mini series has been well paced, brave and ultimately a four issue arc of such vast scope you couldn't really have ever imagined it were possible. drm3 This final issue is a slight change of pace and rather than the Doc studying the universe, every outcome and dissecting his part in it all, it is very much a well plotted view of how the choices he's gone with are playing out. Midway through the title the panels literally flip upside down. Is this because Ozymandias is changing the events and taking them out of Dr. Manhattan's hands? Is it because the Doc is letting it happen or that we're presented his mistake in an upside down world? There's many arguments as to what Straczynski is saying as the reality he's adapted literally turns upside down but how he says it remains constant. This miniseries has been the best thing about Before Watchmen for me. It took me to places with a character than I honestly thought had no where else to go due to his significance in the original Watchmen. Sure it's been playful, small things have only meant more to fuel the mini series' plot, only to be put back together for the sake of the original Watchmen story but it didn't matter. Dr. Manhattan soured into areas most comics can't even hope to get near without coming across as try hard or clumsy. Straczynski's carried this thing off without a hitch and right at the end he even has the balls to show us a scene AFTER Watchmen, showing us where Dr. Manhattan went to create that life he pondered about with Ozymandias. Dr. Manhattan truly is a god, Straczynski doesn't seem all that far behind him and Adam Hughes sprinkles the sugar on top. drm4 The final debate on how Before Watchmen wraps up and how valid a project it was as a whole is yet to be had but as a mini series Dr. Manhattan has to be considered one of the best titles on the last twelve months and potentially something much more special than that once this bold, brave and head spinning tale has had more time to settle in. This was a truly awe inspiring mini series and the fact it's dabbling in what was until recently untouchable comic book royalty yet still manages to shine this brightly is astounding. Mini Series Overall

rating: 5


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