Feb 3, 2012

Weighing In: Before Watchmen

Well, DC has finally done it. They decided they are bold enough to attempt to follow up one of the most treasured comic book stories ever written. Wednesday, DC announced that they are going to write prequel books to one of the greatest selling graphic novels of all time, Watchmen. The reason this is such a big move has to do with money, but there is also creator rights to discuss. Alan Moore has spoken out against how his characters are treated by DC. He was blatantly against the film adaption, and doesn't want to see his characters bastardized.

 As a creator myself, although no where near the caliber of Alan Moore, I understand where he is coming from. Creators see their work as their children, which they want to love and cherish and keep to themselves. But as a fan of his work beyond Watchmen, the guy is the very definition of hypocrite. He created The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, featuring a gaggle of characters he didn't create and that, in my opinion, he bastardized. Let's not even talk about Lost Girls, which turns the adventures of Alice from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Wendy Darling from Peter Pan and Dorthey Gale from Wizard of Oz into a giant graphic novel of sexual perversion. In fact, the only graphic novel of his I deeply enjoy, aside from Watchmen, is V for Vendetta.

Before Watchmen will be split into 7 separate mini-series, totaling 35 total issues, focusing on the main characters of the mainstay Watchmen book. Rorschach will be getting 4 issues written by Brian Azzarello and drawn by Lee Bermejo. Dr. Manhattan is getting 4 issues, written by J. Micheal Straczynski and drawn by Adam Hughes. Nite Owl's 4 issues are also written by Straczynski and drawn by Andy and Joe Kubert. Silk Spectre will receive 4 issues penned by Darwyn Cooke and drawn by Amanda Conner. Ozymandias gets 6 issues written by Len Wein and drawn by Jae Lee. Comedian is getting 6 issues penned by Brian Azzarello and drawn by J.G. Jones. The final series follows the Minutemen, the precursor to the Watchmen, in 6 issues written and drawn by Darwyn Cooke.

I personally will be reading them all at some point I am sure, but mostly in the trade paperback or hardback form, simply to match my collected Watchmen book. I might spring to get all the first issues of every mini-series, and if they are good I will continue to vote with my wallet. I for one can't wait to see how these characters are handled under these different creative teams and hope that they can grow and form into the characters we know and love from the original story.