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.
Tim and I wrap up (no not rapping, we just talk) our decade in review starting at 2005. We hope you had a great year (and decade) and we’re looking forward to better and more podcasts, comics, movie reviews, videos and giving you our unique (some say odd, very very odd) take on comics.
Happy New Year everyone!
We all know how much Alan Moore takes pride in his works and how much he loathes what the Hollywood industry does to his works (though we beg to differ on Watchmen – listen to our first podcast for our review). Overall, no one can dispute what he did in bringing unique takes on the comic book medium as a whole.
And that’s why it’s all the more interesting when you read about colleagues of his come in and play the game “You Know What Really Grinds My Gears?” Check out this link to see what Rob Liefeld, the big time artist of books like X-Force, had to say of his experience with Moore. It’s an old article, but still intriguing to read. I don’t think the things Liefeld says is anything new, but take it for what it is – another in-depth insight into the world of Moore.
Thanks to my friend Mr. Gary Cooke for the link – now send me some Invincible books already
Re-boots seems to be all the craze nowadays in movies. Batman was brought back to audiences four years ago and showed what the character and his universe was really made of (Heath Ledger would have something to do with that in the sequel). I also recently saw Star Trek, which refreshed a franchise in dire need of new direction and yet still honored the spirit of the franchise.
It’s only fitting then that I start off my blog series about relevant comic books with a re-boot that brought the Batman of the comic books out of the campy terrain:
Before this book hit the stands, Batman was all about Adam West and the Bat-Tusi in the 60′s. The campy nature of the show became a hit, but at the same time, it made the character one not to be taken too seriously in the books. Rotating writers in the 70′s and early 80′s made efforts to bring the character back to his dark roots, but it was 1986 that saw Frank Miller put Batman back on top of the food chain.
Comic book enthusiasts know Miller well from bringing a similar darker edge back to Daredevil and Wolverine around the same time frame. His independent work on Sin City and 300 would become feature films as well. This dark, edgy style was the kind of boost Batman needed and would help remind us who he is and why he is the way he is.
Dark Knight Returns gives us a 55-year-old Bruce Wayne long retired from the crime-fighting business, but seeing his city still crumbling under the might of old and new villains. Not one able to enjoy retirement for too long, he dons the cowl once more and revamps his tactics to take on this new, violent society. The book is renowned for helping to bring more adult-oriented storytelling to the books and put characters in new lights (a female Robin, a government puppet in Superman, Joker just an unfunny psycho, etc.). It also (like Watchmen) spoke of a society in the Cold War going to actual war and what its characters’ values spoke of those events.
I also take personal satisfaction in the last issue when Batman must confront a Superman that has to bring him in. Say what you want about all the help he needed; the sight of Batman kicking the Man of Steel to the floor is a sight that won’t leave me.
What’s interesting about this book is that it speaks volumes as to what Mike and I spoke about in our last podcast regarding Neil Gaiman’s ‘Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?‘. Batman is a character that is relentless in his quest to put fear into the criminal element. The only way he can ever see himself out of the game is if he was dead. No amount of golf or emptying the family wine coolers would bring satisfaction. It’s a sad story to see, but it brings the kind of depth to a character that can be difficult to replicate at times.
This darker edge has resulted in many superb stories from The Killing Joke to Knightfall. It transferred over into the animated and movie realms and the rest is history. Read Dark Knight Returns and tell us what you think.
Show runs 49 minutes.
Tim and I talk about how we got into comics, some favorite story lines, authors, and artists. We then review Watchmen, no spoilers, and a little bit about what Neil Gaiman is doing with Batman.