How Doctor Manhattan, the supreme being from Alan Moore’s Watchmen, crossed into the DC Universe is still a mystery. But the connections between the universes will be even stronger in DC Universe: Rebirth No. 1 Deluxe Edition, a hardcover reissue of Rebirth #1 from June. In the collection, an iconic page from Watchmen will be presented with the two pages of Rebirth it directly inspired.
One of the many hallmarks of Watchmen, illustrated by Dave Gibbons and released in 1986, were its clean nine-grid panels that evoked the rigid structure of time (and more literally, clocks). In the final pages of Rebirth #1, illustrated by Gary Frank, the grids appeared depicting a watch being assembled in space, an obvious foreshadow to Doctor Manhattan, or possibly Ozymandias.
The Watchmen page that inspired Rebirth was a flashback to the childhood of Doctor Manhattan, then just Jonathan, the son of a watchmaker. Disappointing his father with shoddy craftsmanship, Jonathan is punished with his watch tossed out of a fire escape. The falling pieces fill the last panel of the grid, a powerful image that expands two whole pages of Rebirth.
The deluxe reissue of Rebirth will not yet explain or explore the full involvement of the Watchmen in DC. Only time will tell when that day comes.
DC Universe: Rebirth No. 1 Deluxe Edition will be released on November 29.