You knew it was coming. You laughed and kicked and screamed at the thought of DC even considering committing blasphemy by way of doing prequels for this critically acclaimed story. This morning, DC made it a reality. Behold the ‘Before Watchmen’ plans for this summer:
BEFORE WATCHMEN includes:
– RORSCHACH (4 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: Lee Bermejo
– MINUTEMEN (6 issues) – Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke
– COMEDIAN (6 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: J.G. Jones
– DR. MANHATTAN (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artist: Adam Hughes
– NITE OWL (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artists: Andy and Joe Kubert
– OZYMANDIAS (6 issues) – Writer: Len Wein. Artist: Jae Lee
– SILK SPECTRE (4 issues) – Writer: Darwyn Cooke. Artist: Amanda Conner
Each week, a new issue will be released, and will feature a two-page back-up story called CURSE OF THE CRIMSON CORSAIR, written by original series editor Len Wein and with art by original series colorist John Higgins. There will also be a single issue, BEFORE WATCHMEN: EPILOGUE, featuring the work of various writers and artists, and a CRIMSON CORSAIR story by Wein and Higgins.
The covers have also been released, showing off the usage of the new DC logo and its interpretation of how it fits with these particular stories:
One would expect Alan Moore to comment right away upon hearing this news and sure enough io9 got the scoop:
“I tend to take this latest development as a kind of eager confirmation that they are still apparently dependent on ideas that I had 25 years ago.”
Moore’s artist and collaborator Dave Gibbons put a more positive spin on it:
“The original series of WATCHMEN is the complete story that Alan Moore and I wanted to tell. However, I appreciate DC’s reasons for this initiative and the wish of the artists and writers involved to pay tribute to our work. May these new additions have the success they desire,” said Dave Gibbons, WATCHMEN co-creator and original series artist.”
And I think Gibbons’ statement is the key thing to take from these announcements. We all get caught up in sacrilege and say that a classic story should be left on its own to stand the test of time. You may think there’s validity to that when Frank Miller decided to do “The Dark Knight Strikes Again” a few years ago, but despite it bombing critically, it has yet to put a dent on the appeal of Miller’s original tale. We don’t know yet what’s going to entail each of these series, but DC once again is doing something they did when they announced the new 52 last year – they’re getting noticed.
And let’s look at it from this perspective – look at the plethora of talent involved in these mini-series! Brian Azzarello alone fits PERFECTLY for Rohrshach and Comedian tales. The name Darwyn Cooke sells alone (that Minutemen cover is amazing). Yes, you can make a case for JMS and whether or not he’ll actually finish the books with good enough quality to them, but one would think DC will keep a close eye on things to assure that everything goes smoothly.
I know you have thoughts. Share those thoughts here.
Ever read a comic book that really tugs at your heart, especially when it’s related to one of your favorite comic book stories of all time? This is one of them. It completely came out of left field for me and it was well appreciated. It made me a bigger fan of JMS and I really can’t wait to see what he brings to Superman and Wonder Woman in July.
Click play and enjoy!