Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Big Comic News: DC Announces "Before Watchmen!"
This news is so big (in the comics world, of course) that everyone is going to want to weigh in.
DC Comics is going to release a slew of new Before Watchmen comics, featuring a ton of talented creators, but of course, no Alan Moore. Moore has repeatedly rebuffed attempts to follow-up his classic works, so this project seemed like a fantasy for a long time. Yet here we are, with DC putting together an all-star lineup to make us all sit up and take notice.
Here are the books.
Dr. Manhattan (4 issues) by JMS and Adam Hughes – JMS’ take on Superman bored the heck out of me, but if there was ever a super-powerful character given to introspection and standing around, it’s Dr. Manhattan. This has some real potential, not the least of which is seeing Hughes draw Silk Spectre!
Rorschach (4 issues) by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo – My gosh, this is going to look stunning. If Batman Noel taught us anything, it’s that Bermejo’s hyper-realistic style can do some great action, and this should be one pulpy thrill ride. Azzarello is hit or miss for me, but I can’t risk missing this.
Minutemen (6 issues) by Darwyn Cooke – More background on the silver-age glory of the Minutemen? By the guy who did New Frontier? Talk about can’t miss, this is at the top of my list.
Silk Spectre (4 issues) by Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner – This is going to be fantastically entertaining, guaranteed. Conner’s good-girl art and Cooke’s retro storytelling should make this an instant hit. Can’t wait.
Comedian (6 issues) by Brian Azzarello and JG Jones – We know that Jones draws good looking leather (see Marvel Boy or Wanted) so this should be another good-looking book. Again, I don’t see how this won’t be entertaining.
Nite Owl (4 issues) by JMS, Andy Kubert, Joe Kubert – Ugh! As I said, JMS’ recent work has been terribly bland, but how do I pass up a legacy series drawn by one of the best artistic families in comics??? If Nite Owl can keep the agonizing and thinking to a minimum, this could be great.
Ozymandias (6 issues) by Len Wein and Jae Lee – Over the years, Ozy has become more and more interesting to me. He’s a character I would love to learn more about, just because we got so little of him in the original story. I’m intrigued.
There will also be a pirate back-up and an epilogue. The format seems to be the same as Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers from a few years ago. Wow, how in the heck can old-timers like me pass this up? And if you are dipping your toe in with one or two series, how do you leave the others on the shelf?
I do respect Alan Moore’s decision to not return to the project, but at the same time, comic characters get re-imagined and presented for each generation. It’s too bad DC and Moore couldn’t come around to some sort of arrangement, I’d imagine this will be quite lucrative for the creators. Of course, it will also dilute the Watchmen brand; some day we’ll see a whole shelf of Watchmen comics on the shelf at the bookstore, and comics newbies will have to try and figure out which one is the “really good one.”