You might have thought the greatest mystery of DC Comics’ Doomsday Clock had something to do with Doctor Manhattan’s whereabouts or the new Rorschach’s secret identity. It doesn’t. The wildest thing happening in the DC/Watchmen crossover is all about the supervillains Marionette and the Mime.
Since they recently arrived in DC’s universe, Rorschach and Ozymandias have been running around Gotham City and beyond in an attempt to find Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor—the two people on the planet they suspect might be able to lead them to the missing Doctor Manhattan. That’s all very nice and cute, and if you want to see Rorschach wander around Wayne manor while Alfred silently judges him from a distance, this week’s issue will probably delight you.
But Doomsday Clock #3, written by Geoff Johns with illustrations from Gary Frank and Brad Anderson, absolutely shines during its scenes featuring Marionette and the Mime, two criminals Ozymandias needed in order to cross the dimensional barrier to arrive in Gotham. There’s no better a place than Gotham for a pair of circus-themed villains to suddenly crash land, and the married couple quickly take advantage of their new surroundings.
Though they’re delighted to happen upon a comedy open mic at a dive bar, one of the patrons immediately informs Marionette that nobody is allowed to wear makeup in the Joker’s bar. Given that she’s from another universe where he doesn’t exist, the namedrop doesn’t phase Marionette and she very gently explains that she doesn’t give crap about whoever the Joker is. This leads to a fight and Marionette gets to work with her razor-sharp murder thread, but it’s the Mime who actually shocks the hell out of everyone when he draws his imaginary gun and fires it at someone.
His. Imaginary. Gun. Works.
Not only do the Mime’s guns work, he also pulls out an imaginary blade which he throws into a man’s neck, much to Marionette’s delight. It’s a shocking and frankly horrifying explanation of how he was able to become such an effective criminal back in his own world, and it carries a couple of significant potential implications.
Historically, there have never been metahumans in the Watchmen universe and it’s left unclear whether the Mime’s abilities are new or if he’s had them previously. There’s a prevailing theory that Doctor Manhattan may have played a key role in the creation of the DC multiverse and the existence of its infinite superpowered beings—and the Mime’s abilities may lend credence to that idea. Even if he didn’t have them before, being transported to a universe where superpowers are a common thing awakened something within him that was always there.
Or maybe this is all in his head. Who knows? This is Gotham after all.