"Discouraged of Man": As Doctor Manhttan prepares for his first and final encounter with Superman, he reflects over what he believes to be his own false conclusion; "Nothing lasts forever." Jon recalls being trapped in the test chamber in search of Janey's watch, as well as his time with her bef
Synopsis for "Discouraged of Man"
As Doctor Manhttan prepares for his first and final encounter with Superman, he reflects over what he believes to be his own false conclusion; "Nothing lasts forever." Jon recalls being trapped in the test chamber in search of Janey's watch, as well as his time with her before his transformation. Jon greets Superman, explaining that in eleven minutes, either he destroys everything, or Superman will destroy him.
The two are then surrounded by both The People's Heroes and Black Adam's Meta-Human Army; with the two factions intending to kill Superman. As Superman battles both groups, Meta-humans from across the world are sent to intervene in the conflict.
As Reggie Long watches a television outside a closed store, he is attacked by the owner who mistook him for an intruder. Regardless, the owner prepares to beat Reggie, until he is dispatched by Alfred, who pleads with Reggie to help Superman by taking on the Rorschach persona once again. Reggie declines once again, claiming Rorschach is a monster and that this world is going to end, just like his own. However, Batman arrives, convincing Reggie that he can change Rorschach, and make people see something else.
As chaos is unleashed on the streets of DC, Superman begs Manhattan for help, but he declines; waiting for the point of revelation to arrive in less than four minutes. Jon recalls having a similar feeling following Ozymandias' massacre in New York.
Back in Metropolis, Lex Luthor tells Lois Lane to write an article informing the world of Manhattan's meddling with history. When Lois ask why, he states that he wants to be credited with the discovery. He leaves with a "vibrational emitter" to meet with a certain individual.
With tweleve seconds to go, Manhattan tells Superman that he is the one behind the changes in his life and the loss of certain allies. He then informs him that it is he who killed the Kents many years ago. He ponders once again; will Superman destroy him, or will he defend himself despite his past sins?
Superman charges at Manhattan only to knock back Pozhar, leaving Manhattan confused. Jon asks why he defended him, with Superman asking him a question in return; will Manhattan continue to ponder over whether he or Superman is destroyed due to seeing nothing, or will he make a different choice. Clark asks Jon about the woman in the photographs created by Manhattan, with Jon recalling his transformation. Superman wonders whether the darkness beyond comes from Manhattan using all his power to save his own world.
Manhattan embraces his judgement that everything ends, and remakes the universe.
Krypton explodes, and an infant is sent to Earth in a spacecraft. The Metaverse revolves around this one and only child. Kal-El will always land on Earth throughout all eras of history, and he will always be found by a kindly couple.
On July 16th, 1940, Manhattan moves Alan Scott's Lantern back into place.
On Clark Kent's prom night, Jonathan tells him of the Justice Society of America, and that if Clark feels ready to show himself to the world, it will be ready for him as well. Before Jonathan and Martha are killed in a car accident, they are saved by Clark dressed in his Superboy outfit; inspired by the heroes from the past. Because the Justice Society exists, not only Superboy, but the Legion of Superheroes as well exist again.
Back in the present, the Legionnaire ring and Alan Scott's Lantern flare up. Johnny Thunder is reminded that the thunderbolt was with him all along; he is the Thunderbolt. As both cells explode with power, the future and past are set free, while Ozymandias is left confused.
Just as Superman is surrounded by the rampaging meta-humans, he is greeted by his returned allies; the JSA and the Legion. With Superman leading the heroes against the attackers, Jon is inspired for the first time in his life, viewing the past once more:
On April 18, 1938, Superman reveals himself to Metropolis. Decades later a police scientist is struck by lightning, Superman's timeline shifts forward, and reality divides for the first time; creating the multiverse and creation of Earth-2. The earth is divided again following the first crisis. The Earth divides again and Earth-1 becomes Earth-1985, one yet unexplored. Jon finally understands why these earths exist; every time there is a change is the metaverse, the multiverse grows in order to preserve every era of Superman, including the one that existed after both Doctor Manhattan's interference an the Flashpoint, which preceeded the Rebirth, still remains as Earth 52.
Jon looks beyond, seeing that in the year 2020, Superman's timeline will be bombarded by the reckless energies of the Old Gods, once again warping the metaverse. On July 2nd, 2025, a crisis known as "Time Masters" will occur, but in its wake Superman will be revitalized, and his greatest allies returned. No matter how many times his existence is attacked he will survive. On January 6th, 2026, the timeline is restored and Earth 5G is born. On June 17th, 2026, Superman will embark on a quest to find Batman's long lost daughter in order to save Damian Wayne. On July 10th, 2030, the Secret Crisis will begin, where Superman will brawl across the universe with Thor and be saved by a Green Behemoth stronger than Doomsday.
On April 18th 2038, Superman will appear for the first time, having landed in 2016. The timeline will shift forward once again, and April 18th 2038 will be when Jonathan, Martha, and baby Colin find a child Kal-El. The timeline will move forward again to 2045, to 2162, to 2965. A rocket arrives, a child is loved, a hero is made. He now understands Superman's true purpose: he will guide humanity and humanity will finally embrace his ways by the end of 30th century.
Ozymandias is found by Batman and Rorschach, who have succeeded in clearing Superman's name through files left on the Owlship by Veidt himself. Veidt, Bubastis, Rorschach, Marionette, Mime and the Comedian are all summoned by Manhattan to the Washington memorial. Veidt reveals that he staged Superman and Manhattan's encounter in order to save both worlds, but is shot by the Comedian. Blake is then zapped by Luthor's vibrational emitter, sending him back to his fall. As Veidt bleeds out, Reggie uses the Rorschach mask to cover the wound, in order to preserve his life so that he may be imprisoned for his crimes. Manhattan reveals to Marionette and Mime that they will no be returning to their home universe. Marionette asks for her son, but Jon tells he that they must stay so that their son has an anchor, just as Manhattan did.
Manhattan visits his anchor in the past, Carver Colman, convincing him to not be afraid of his true feelings. This changes the actor's destiny for the better. Colman comes out to the public, preventing his own murder. He eventually becomes an advocate for gay rights and dies in 2005 with his partner of 40 years at his side.
The JSA vows to uncover more about the Supermen Theory. The news about the Supermen program lead to a national controversy, and the President is threatened with impeachment. Stein is incarcerated for his role in the program while Ronnie undergoes treatment. Superman and Lois meet up with the now living Kents, while Batman frames Rorschach' journal, Marionette and Mime prepare for the birth of their second child, and Luthor considers utilizing and improving Veidt's methods for personal gain.
Manhattan arrives in his home universe, preventing nuclear war by destroying all nuclear weaponry before fallout can occur. Reggie visits Byron Lewis' grave, thanking him. Ozymandias is imprisoned in his former headquarters. A young orphan named Cleopatra Pak stands outside Veidts prison, obsessed with his rise and fall. On her sixteenth birthday, she becomes a hero named Nostalgia, taking a fully grown Bubastis at her side.
Jon recalls not killing Marionette and Mime in the past due to their future child bringing great joy to his past lover, Laurie Jupiter. He then discovers that he is the one to take the child away. As Manhattan raises the child, he realizes that he could never be the hero that his world needed because he didn't have what Superman did. Destiny is not without a guiding hand.
Jon imbues the Earth and the child with the last of his powers. His final thought wanders to what his life could have been if he had not become Doctor Manhattan: Janey convinces him to not retrieve the clock so he is not involved in the incident that would have given him his powers; he marries Janey and they start a family together, having two daughters and a son, living a life without any worry of time. Jon smiles one last time, believing it to be a nice daydream to live in, as he fades away from existence.
The child is left at the Hollis residence, where he introduces himself to their daughter as being brought by a friend of her parents. As she invites him in for pancakes, she tells him that her name is Sally, with the child introducing himself as Clark.
Appearing in "Discouraged of Man"
- Doctor Manhattan (Watchmen) (Flashback and main story) (Dies)
- Marionette (Watchmen)
- Mime (Watchmen)
- Rorschach/Reggie Long (Watchmen)
- Superboy/Superman (Clark Kent) (Flashback and main story) (Origin)
- Alfred Pennyworth
- Carver Colman
- The Comedian (Watchmen) (Dies)
- Jonathan Kent (Flashback and main story)
- Justice Society of America (Flashback and main story)
- Atom Smasher (First appearance)
- Cyclone (First appearance)
- Damage (First appearance)
- Doctor Fate
- Doctor Midnight (First appearance)
- The Flash (Jay Garrick)
- Green Lantern (Alan Scott)
- Hourman (First appearance)
- Jade (First appearance)
- Jakeem Thunder (First appearance)
- Johnny Thunderbolt
- Liberty Belle
- Mr. Terrific
- Obsidian (First appearance)
- Power Girl (Earth 2)
- Wildcat (Ted Grant)
- Wildcat (Yolanda Montez) (First appearance)
- Legion of Super-Heroes (Post-Rebirth)
- Bouncing Boy
- Brainiac 5
- Chameleon Boy
- Colossal Boy
- Cosmic Boy
- Dream Girl
- Element Lad
- Gold Lantern
- Lightning Lad
- Lightning Lass
- Monster Boy
- Princess Projectra
- Saturn Girl
- Shadow Lass
- Shrinking Violet
- Star Boy
- Sun Boy
- Timber Wolf
- Triplicate Girl
- Ultra Boy
- White Witch
- Lex Luthor
- Lois Lane
- Martha Kent (Flashback and main story)
- The Doomed
- Black Adam
- People's Heroes
- Alternate Watchmen timeline
- Anti-Monitor (Antimatter Universe) (Flashback only)
- Aquaman Family (Cameo)
- Batman Family (Cameo)
- Big Monster Action
- Hammersuit Zero-X
- Rising Sun
- Byron Lewis (Watchmen) (Grave)
- Clark Dreiberg (Watchmen) (Single appearance)
- Cleopatra Pak/Nostalgia (Watchmen) (Single appearance)
- Dan Dreiberg (Watchmen)
- Elite Basij
- Flash Family (Cameo)
- Great Twenty (Cameo)
- Green Lantern Corps (Cameo)
- Janey Slater (Watchmen) (Flashback only)
- Josef Osterman (Watchmen) (In a vision)
- Justice League Europe
- Laurie Dreiberg (Watchmen)
- Knights Inc.
- Sleeping Soldiers
- Sally Dreiberg (Watchmen) (Single appearance)
- Supergirl (Cameo)
- Veidt's Creature (Watchmen) (Flashback only)
- Wonder Woman Family (Cameo)
- Earth-1/1985 heroes (In a vision)
- Earth-2 heroes (In a vision)
- Earth 52 heroes (In a vision)
- Batman (Single appearance)
- Superman (Single appearance)
- Wonder Woman (Single appearance)
- Unnamed 2030 timeline
- First unnamed 2038 timeline
- Second unnamed 2038 timeline
- Unnamed 2045 timeline
- Unnamed 2162 timeline
- Unnamed 2945 timeline
- Superman (Mentioned only)
- Amanda Waller (Mentioned only)
- Bruce Wayne's daughter (Mentioned only)
- Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond) (Mentioned only)
- Martin Stein (Mentioned only)
- The Flash/Barry Allen (Earth-One) (Mentioned only)
- Lana Lang (Mentioned only)
- President Donald Trump (Mentioned only)
- R.J. Brande (Post-Rebirth) (Mentioned only)
- Rorschach (Walter Kovacs) (Mentioned only)
- Thor (Marvel Universe) (Mentioned only)
- "Green Behemoth" (Mentioned only)
- Benjamin Netanyahu (Mentioned only)
- Alternate Watchmen timeline (In a vision) (Single appearance) (Cameo)
- Earth-0/Metaverse (Flashback and main story) (Also in a vision)
- Krypton (Destroyed) (In a vision)
- Saturn (In a vision)
- Mars (Mentioned only)
- Earth-1/1985 (In a vision) (Cameo)
- Earth-2 (In a vision) (Cameo)
- Earth 52 (In a vision) (Single appearance) (Cameo)
- Earth-5G (In a vision) (Single appearance) (Cameo)
- First unnamed 2038 timeline (In a vision) (Single appearance) (Cameo)
- Smallville (Cameo)
- Second unnamed 2038 timeline (In a vision) (Single appearance) (Cameo)
- Smallville (Cameo)
- Unnamed 2162 timeline (In a vision) (Single appearance) (Cameo)
- Smallville (Cameo)
- Watchmen Universe (Flashback and main story)
- Legion's Future (Mentioned only)
- Speed Force (Mentioned only)
- Unnamed 2030 timeline (Mentioned only)
- Unnamed 2045 timeline (Mentioned only)
- Unnamed 2965 timeline (Mentioned only)
- Crisis on Infinite Earths (In a vision) (Cameo)
- Flashpoint (In a vision) (Cameo)
- Rebirth (Mentioned only)
- Secret Crisis (Mentioned only)
- Time Masters Crisis (Mentioned only)
- World War II (Mentioned only)
- Dr. Manhattan's narration on all the events in Superman's life does tease some possible future events for the DC Universe like 5G (which was later changed to Future State) and some future Crises like a possible Marvel Crossover
- The revisions to DC's timeline that happen as a product of Doomsday Clock are first reflected in Wonder Woman #750, where Wonder Woman is considered the first contemporary superhero, debuting in 1939. (however that aspect was meant to be part of the original plan for Generations)