DC Announces ‘Before Watchmen’ (UPDATE)

First, good morning. How are you?

DC Comics has announced its long-rumored prequel to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen. It’s a series of mini-series called Before Watchmen, and it’s coming at you like exploded fragments of a big ol’ squid this summer.

In a joint statement from Dan DiDio and Jim Lee, the Co-Publishers said, ” After twenty five years, the Watchmen are classic characters whose time has come for new stories to be told. We sought out the best writers and artists in the industry to build on the complex mythology of the original.”

Nite Owl and Rorschach have rested on their laurels for decades. Put ’em to work!

Note the use of DC’s new logo in the following image, a promo for the Crimson Corsair co-feature packaged with each issue:


  • 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.

UPDATE: Here’s a look at Cooke and Amanda Conner’s take on Silk Spectre from Entertainment Weekly:


JMS and the Kuberts’ Nite Owl from The Hollywood Reporter:


Len Wein and Jae Lee’s Ozymandias from Wired:

JMS and Adam Hughes’ Dr. Manhattan from CBR:

Cooke on Minutemen from LA Times:

Brian Azzarello and J.G. Jones on Comedian from The New York Times.

A very impressive list of creators. If you’re gonna produce more nihilistic Rorschach stories, Azzarello just might be the guy to do it. And you just know Cooke and Conner can spin Silk Spectre into gold.

Then again, one’s mind wanders to the words: “Dr. Manhattan. Suffused with Midi-chlorians.”

I know it’s early, but do you have any opinions about this bit of news? If you don’t that’s okay, but…oh, oh…you do?


Wondering what Watchmen writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons think about all this? They spoke to The New York Times:

To [Alan Moore] Watchmen is not a proud reminder of the role he has played in legitimizing comics as a serious storytelling vehicle. Instead it evokes memories of what he says were “draconian contracts” he signed with DC in the 1980s that give him little control over the work he created, and his gradual falling-out with the publisher over the film versions of “Watchmen” and another of his graphic novels, “V For Vendetta.”

While he was unaware of DC’s specific plans for Before Watchmen, Mr. Moore said he has over the years resisted overtures from the publisher to approve sequel or prequel projects.

Still, Mr. Moore said he was unlikely to stand in the way of Before Watchmen or to fight the project in court, where he said DC Comics would meet him with an “infinite battery of lawyers.”

“I don’t want money,” he said. “What I want is for this not to happen.”

Mr. Gibbons does not share those feelings. Though he is not participating in Before Watchmen, he said in a statement: “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.”

But Mr. Moore was unconvinced, saying that the endeavor only weakened the argument that comics were an authentic form of literature.

“As far as I know,” he said, “there weren’t that many prequels or sequels to ‘Moby-Dick.’ ”


  1. I only want to say, I can’t wait until this comes out !

  2. If you ever wondered “How DID Hamlet get that cool black outfit???”


    In a joint statement from Dan DiDio and Jim Lee, the Co-Publishers said, ”Now that our last stunt is dying down, it’s time for a new crazy stunt.”

  3. “the Watchmen”?

  4. It’s a given that they’ll never come near the interconnectedness of the original series, not to mention originality. I like some of some of the creators, but I’m just going to think of these as supplementary material, and breathe. It is a real cash-in, though, ennit?

    • Is it a given though? You’ll never have a better comic than Watchmen, there’ll never be a better band than the Beatles, there will never be a better director than Hitchcock? I hate those phrases. If Mankind has truly peaked we may as well all go home and give up.

    • I didn’t say better, I said interconnected. By that, I mean the original had so many threads interwoven through the narrative – visual motifs, themes – that has not been matched so far. It was a uniquely dense work. These creators, under this publisher, will not be writing in the same style. Nothing against the creators, it’s just a unique voice.

      And I think it’s fair to call this effort less original than Watchmen.

    • Because Alan Moore created all those characters from scratch.

    • While I see what you’re saying, I’m not sure interconnectedness is really a must given that its Before watchmen. That could mean any number of things. It kind of depends on the direction they take.

    • No, no… forget Moore, and forget ‘originality’. These arguments are distractions to the REAL issue which is… WHY?

      Who, in the past 20 years or so, has been writing letters to DC Comics saying, “Man, that Watchmen is a really good comic, please make more Watchmen comics”. I think its fair to say that anyone who’s read Watchmen closes the last page fulfilled and complete. You know enough about all the characters, who they are, and their motivations. The moral of the story has been given, and the mystery has been solved.

      Making more Watchmen comics would be the equivalent of making a sequel or prequel to the movie The Sixth Sense.

      The original series did not create a universe, it created a single story that was masterfully crafted. The prequel is the thing that no one really asked for. Its not like Star Trek, or Harry Potter, or The Gunslinger… where the creators made a new world where, even after they told the story they wanted to tell, you keep thinking back to the universe they created and wanted to know more about it. If someboyd reads Watchmen and then finishes the book and thinks, “man, I sure wish I could read about the Adventures of Dr Manhattan”, then I’d almost have to suggest that the whole point of Watchmen just went way over their head.

      Nevermind Moore and arguing about what’s creative or original is nonsensical and takes away from what the real criticisms are.

  5. Interested in some of this based on creators. Now waiting for the epic shit storm of complaining to hit the Internet. This was always going to happen.

    • @mistershaw NO, Moore did not create those from scratch at all! Those were revisions of old Charleston comics characters. Characters he wanted to use originally but culdn’t get the rights, so he had to tweak them. You can still see the prototype seed in each character, Now, yes, that is creating but not from scratch as he owes their true lineage to Charleston comics who in turn had those characters bought by DC before he used them as a sringboard. so DC does have some claim to it. Comedian=Peacemaker; Dr. Manhattan=Captain Atom; Rorschach=The Question;Niteowl=Blue Beetle; i forget the others but yeah,

    • @ nightwalker. I’m sorry they are Moore’s original characters. it doesn’t matter that it was based on the Charlton character, he did a little more than tweak them. batman was based on Zorro and the Shadow but he is not a slightly tweaked character. You might as well just say that all heroic characters are basically Perseus.

    • @nightwalker… I think that was shaw’s point, You just missed the sarcasm.

  6. Darwyn Cooke + Amanda Conner. That’s all there’s to say. Thank you. Good night!

  7. As the Internet crashes after the news, Didio and Lee look at each other, smile and yell, raising their hands: “We did it!”

  8. I’m gonna check some of it out. Just because Alan Moore gets on my nerves with his statements. And because of the creators, who – judging by their names – might be able to make this a worthwhile read. If DC has the the rights for these stories they are entitled to do something like this.

  9. I’m sure some Watchmen purists will dislike DC for this move, but I’m all for it.

    Let’s face it Alan Moore is the last person to be saying he disagrees with using other peoples characters, Stoker, Doyle and Haggard certainly never expected their characters to team-up.

    If this gets people to buy comics, good for DC, good for everyone.

    • Exactly. I don’t buy the argument that the Watchmen characters are too sacred to explore. Let the project stand or fall on its own.

    • Besides, the Watchmen cast is pretty much all made of mimics of Charlton Comics characters, since originally the story was going to be about them rather than new characters: Captain Atom became Dr. Manhattan, Blue Beetle became Nite Owl, and so on.

      Not that Moore isn’t great, but some of his best work is building on existing characters and mythologies.

    • Lets face it, a lot of comics best work is building on existign characters and mythologies. What is Spider-man had ended when Lee left? Would people be up in arms because Marvel decided to bring him back using stop talent.

      I can see where people are coming from when they say “DC is afraid to try new ideas”, I’d rather read Runaways than an other Avengers book, but I don’t get the “sacred cow” that is Alan Moore’s “characters”.

    • Zeppo, Watchmen was a finite story with a beginning and end. Spider-Man and other superhero comics were always meant to be enduring serialized adventures that would keep going until people stopped buying them. Moore and Gibbons had a single story to tell, so they told it. Biiiig difference.

      And to those who consider Moore a hypocrite for having a problem with people writing his characters while he does things like League and Lost Girls; The stories Alan Moore told using existing public domain characters were new and different takes on those characters. He used their existing context as a setting in order to inform the reader’s perception, and give us a frame of reference for the characters. He used our preconceived notions as a setting for his story, not the elaborate on or change the originals. This is just adding to a story that was completed. He has every right to be upset.

    • He didnt exactly turn down his gig on Swamp thing though because it was Len Weins, though did he?

    • People always seem to bring up the League when making that argument. I’d think Lost Girls would probably make the original creators far more upset than say, having the Invisible Man teaming up with Mr Hyde to take on the Martians. 😉

    • Hyde did brutally rape the Invisible Man.

    • He had it coming.

      @Chris Hargett, I’m not saying that everything he’s written stands apart from the original creations. And anyway, Len Wein’s Swamp Thing as it existed before Moore got his hands on it wasn’t anything spectacular. Moore turned it completely on its head and created the Swamp Thing mythology as we know it today. Without him, it would just be DC’s version of Man-Thing or a shlocky horror book. I would venture to say that he’s done more to create Swamp Thing than Len Wein.

    • @Chris Hargett, I thnk it was Len Wein whom recommended hi for the series. @Zeppo I think he was given those characters to work with and he came up with the mythos with what he was given, I don’t think he had a choice and it would have been a huge law suit.

    • @actualbutt is right this is not the same as Moore using Peter Pan or Dracula. he did not make sequels or prequels who used them as a point of departure.

  10. I would buy Darwyn Cooke drawing WalMart planograms. I’m interested, it could be good. When has a prequel ever let me down?…

    • Surely no Star Wars prequel could ever do that! Too bad they only made three movies. THERE ARE ONLY THREE MOVIES.

      That said, I’d absolutely buy Darwyn Cooke Walmart planograms.

    • Darwyn Cooke on “Minutemen”. I’m all over that. As for the rest, we’ll see.

    • Oh yeah, that’s right… someone did make Star Wars prequels. I was thinking more of Dumb & Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd. Total cash grab.

  11. I was very skeptical like everyone else when this was first announced years ago, but after seeing the talent attached to it I am really excited!

    What’s the over/under on how many issues JMS will last before moving onto something else? I know it’s only 4 issues, but still….

  12. Wow. I knew they were making a prequel, but I wasn’t prepared for such a thorough round of milking.

  13. Why like for real why. Count me off.

  14. There are some really great creators on this project. I’m interested in what they come up with.

    Is this whole thing necessary? No. Is there a chance they’ll be really good and interesting? It sure seems like it.

  15. We shouldn’t be surprised by this move, it’s been rumored for ages. But, for me, it’s yet another reminder of how th aging readership appears more interested in rehashing former high water marks than it does experience new ideas. Inevitable though in an era defined by a readership that’s digested the same characters, over and over, for literally decades.

    • All I know if I’m way more excited for Saga, than I am for this, but I missed Watchmen the first time around. It was the book everyone said I “must” read when I started getting into comics. Maybe because I didn’t live through the real-events in the book, but it does nothing for me (story wise).

    • Is this any different than the current state of film or television? We are in the era of rehashing established properties. I’m more concerned with the constant events and static status quo of the Marvel and DC Universes. Before Watchman is only a handful of mini-series but the New 52 was a line wide relaunch of more of the same.

    • @Zeppo That’s partially because it sounds like you’ve been reading books since after Watchmen hit. The changes and innovations, as well as the subversion of common tropes wouldn’t hit you as hard as it did people who’d been reading comics for years before.

    • @pyynk – That’s true. I don’t have the pre/post watchmen line in the sand that other readers do. I concede the point, sir

    • @Zeppo If it makes you feel any better, I had a similar reaction to Kirby. I just couldn’t appreciate his work because his work had influenced EVERYTHING I read. It wasn’t until the last five years or so that I fully grasped exactly how revolutionary he and his work were.

  16. I’m interested, but in a 1.99 digital or trade kinda way.

  17. Alan has spent most of the last decade writing some very, very good stories about characters created by other writers, including Alice (from Wonderland), Dorothy (from Oz), Wendy (from Peter Pan), as well as Captain Nemo, the Invisible Man, Jekyll and Hyde and Professor Moriarty. I think one loses a little of the moral high ground to say, “I can write characters created by Jules Verne, HG Wells, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle and Frank Baum, but it’s wrong for anyone else to write my characters.” -JMS

    • While that is a fair point I think the fact that he did his work with the characters decades and in some cases over a century after they were created changes things. They had a life of their own in the public discourse. I don’t think you could say the same thing about these characters, at least not for a number of years.

    • You don’t think 25 years is enough time for the characters to have had a life of their own in the public discourse, Spoons? The characters that were adapted from old Charlton characters? Is there really some kind of time limit?

      I like Moore’s work a lot, but we all need to accept that much of his famous work has been done using other people’s characters. We can leave Lost Girls and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen aside. He brought back Marvelman/Miracleman. He did a great run on Swamp Thing. He did some nice Green Lantern stuff. He wrote some of the most famous Superman and Batman stories. He did runs of WildCATS and Supreme. He did some issues of Spawn.

      Yes, he’s done some good original stuff too, but he’s been a comic creator like all other comic creators. He needs to suck it up, accept his royalty cheques, and realize that no matter what happens with these books, people will still revere the original Watchmen story he wrote.

      All that said, I’m really excited for the Darwyn Cooke, Amanda Conner and Adam Hughes work.

    • Excuse me, these are clearly prequels and sequels. What Moore does is what Pasolini called “free indirect discourse”. he writes in a way that creates a diagonal trajectory between Verne and Moore but which is not reducible to either. Moore’s Nemo is both entirely consistent with but also alien to Verne’s. Deleuze described such a work as a bastard child – monstrous but recognizable.
      These hacks are writing prequels.

  18. Dear DC Comics,

    I understood the reasons for your reboot. Though I did not fully approve I accepted it as a sensible step forward.

    Your new logo is corporate and unoriginal and like the reboot ignores the one thing that defines DC Comics. Legacy.

    I will continue to support DC Comics.

    You still have the greatest talent in the industry producing masterpieces with every issue.

    But it does not matter how well crafted a ‘new’ Watchmen story is. And the sales figures matter even less to me.

    There are so many fantastic new and original stories to tell.

    I see your need to revisit Watchmen as a failure to embrace those new stories.

    Justify and excuse it however you like, it is a safe bet to get publicity for other titles and to raise sales.

    I fully support the creative team and trust they will honour Watchmen.

    But in the end this was not a creative decision. Call it ‘editorial’ or ‘collaborative’ if it helps you sleep well.

    As crazy as he is we all know what the author of Watchmen would say about this.

    And unfortunately he was crazy up until you now justified everything he has been saying.

    The creator would not approve. Many current creators do not approve. I as one of many fans do not approve.

    Who did approve? Some businessMEN WATCHing the sales figures and direction of the industry no doubt.

    I have only one question left.

    Who watches the WATCHMEN?

    A loyal DC Comics fan.

    • No disrespect meant, but seriously, DC hardly ever produces good books, they have been below the Home -Run average of the other 3 big companies for like ten years.

  19. Will the purple lady be photoshopped into all of the issues?

  20. I don’t know. I’ll wait and see. I admit a round of minis is something that hadn’t occurred to me, and is preferable, I think, to trying to do a singular prequel or sequel series. There’s definitely stories to be told in this world, even if they don’t NEED to be told. So I don’t begrudge that. I’m not sure I’d call it milking anything since they haven’t exactly done much with the property (besides continue to publish it indefinitely).

    I suppose I wish WATCHMEN could just stand on its own, but if this is going to happen, I’ll at least cross my fingers and hope it turns out good. And with some of the names attached to it, I have every reason to believe it might.

  21. I mean really this just seems not great. I really want to be positive but what jumps out the most for me is that it is a collection of stories by various teams and I just feel that won’t gel with the voice of the Watchmen: a coherent singular narrative. I just think its one of those things that didn’t require expansion and to spin out of it further franchise building work seems someone to earth it and sully something that was so defined in and of itself.

    • As for the idea of Moore himself building on myth I agree that is essentially to story telling. Its the only way things are passed on. But that’s a tad different (imo) at least to taking one person’s narrative and continuing it. Not that it shouldn’t be done I just wonder how well it’ll be done. I think if you can’t have something measure up to the original in its own right or at least say new and interesting stuff about it then is it worth doing? Even if its good it just feels a little like…couldn’t you have done something amazingly fresh and new that didn’t have an awkward notion hanging in the air above it.

      That said I’d love it to be great.

    • That’s one of the cool things about this project: if you think these stories are unnecessary and not interesting, let DC know but not reading them and by not buying them, and just re-read the original 12 issues again. And if you’re someone who wanted to read more stories set in the Watchmen-verse, then pick up the titles that look good to you. It’s not like DC comics is going to Moore’s house and shooting his dog, or forcing everyone who ever read Watchmen to buy or read ANY of these books. I don’t understand all of the stress and consternation over this commercial decision. It’s just another product and set of stories that you can choose to read, or not. What’s the big deal?

  22. I feel like someone just told me Dan Brown is writing the third testament

  23. I learned my lesson with the Star Wars prequels. Sometimes you should just let the original stand on its own and leave the rest be. I’ll pass.

  24. Go to YouTube. Type in David After Dentist. That is the most accurate way to describe what I’m feeling right now.

  25. There are kids out there now who only know Star Wars because of the Clone Wars cartoon. Nite Owl #1 might be some kids first comic that starts him off on an adventure into further comics. One day’s the same kids will read the original and think “what’s the fuss”.

    • Yes, because if there’s one comic you want children to read, It’s the Watchmen.

    • Those kids that only know Star Wars because of prequels or the Clone Wars don’t actually know Star Wars though. I know this because I’ve talked to some of them. They don’t even know who Luke Skywalker is. They don’t give a damn about Han Solo or Death Stars, or anything that makes Star Wars cool.

    • They DO now “Star Wars” though. Just because its not the elements of Star Wars that you grew up with doesn’t make it invalid. Star Wars is bigger than Han Solo and the Death Star and even Luke Skywalker. (For the record Luke was NEVER cool) For them “Star Wars” is Anakin and Kenobi fighting robots with clone troopers.

    • @mutielover. Thank you! Couldnt have said that better. The Star WarsUniverse spans thousands of years of in-canon continuity. episodes 1-6 are just 6 chapters. 6 pretty short chapters to be honest (spanning 35-40 years?). 1 chapter, or even the first 3, do not define Star Wars.

    • @muddi900 But Watchmen can teach kids about family dynamics, maintaining a healthy body weight, and kids who feel alienated can relate to Dr. Manhattan. Plus, it has puppies!

  26. I’m absolutely fine with this. I’ll wait until they come out and get reviewed by the fine gentlemen* on this site. If they inform me that these are an abomination (highly unlikely given the creative teams), then I will ignore these books. If they tell me that there is some quality work being done in these titles, then I’ll give them a read. Kinda like I do with many other books.

    *or Ali.

  27. “Watchmen vs Justice League”

    coming 2015!


  28. Everything that needed to be said about what happened “Before Watchmen” was said in flashbacks in Watchmen.

    This is an obvious cash grab, and I’m sure it will sell, even to those who are against it. When you attach a name like Darwyn Cooke, you’re gonna get some sales. However, if you as a reader are truly against this series being done, I urge you to say that with your dollar and pass this up. I will seriously read anything done by Darwyn Cooke, but I also have principles. I’m not opposed to unnecessary prequel stories being told, but I am opposed to creatively stagnated cash-ins.

    Also, “Before Watchmen: Epilogue”? Really? At least Marvel’s long ridiculous titles with too many colons make some sense. Oh, and they have a better logo too.

  29. 9 times out of 10 I will take Darwyn Cooke drawing Watchmen. That would be awesome

    This is not one of those 9 times.

    Not like thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis!

  30. A Minutemen book I can get behind. The rest I can care less for.

    And Jae Lee’s covers always look great, but they’re all so damn similar it’s getting boring already.

  31. I’ve never had a particularly strong connection to Watchmen — good or bad. I read it, I liked it, I own it, but it’s far from my favorite story. It’s not even my favorite Alan Moore story (V for Vendetta and Promethea are more enjoyable for me).

    That said, this is an impressive roster of top creators, so that’s cool.

    But to everyone wailing “Blasphemy!” and such, and pining for DC to tell new stories with new characters instead of rehashing a beloved story, I think you might not be seeing the forest for the trees. Marvel and DC haven’t truly been innovators for a very long time. They’ve both put out some really, really great books, and I love many of those books, but most of the product is designed to appeal to our collective sense of nostalgia.

    Understanding that, I find absolutely nothing to get upset about with this particular announcement. This is the business DC and Marvel are in these days because that’s what they know how to sell. Until the readership as a whole communicates that they want something different (by not buying things they don’t like) the publishers have no incentive to change.

    • good point.
      even though some will pass on this just out of principle, i bet most of the naysayers bitchn’ about this will buy most if not all of these titles. if nothing else, just to build a case as to why DC should not have made this endeavor.
      people love to hate things and go on pointless internet crusades that actually just build the hype and intrigue surrounding what they disdain, which, is great for me cuz i’m going to love the debates inspired by this smart move by DC.
      so anyway you slice it and no matter which side of the ball your on, this is going to sell like hot cakes. TOUCHDOWN DC

    • Very good points. I agree that DC is just reacting to what people buy, and Marvel does the same, but that’s not how we grow an industry people. A lot of the responsibility for this kind of marketing rests on the readers, but a good portion of it rests on the publishers too. True, neither publisher have truly been innovators in a long time. An innovator is not reactionary. That doesn’t mean that this is a good idea though.

    • You have got to be the straight up- don’t rock the boat- chill dude it’s fine – agreeable guy on this site.

      This is personal to a lot of people- yes personal.
      That’s what treasured works of art become to individuals sometimes- Personally I am not a giant watchmen fan
      but you really can’t see why this would upset some people?
      You seem to read a lot of fiction surely you can imagine why.
      Every time this is a big broohah here you come on and say- hey everybody – everything is fine
      But on this one- I have to call you out.

    • @TomSwift No, you do not have to call him out. I would’ve been just fine with Watchmen staying on the shelf and never touched again, but this is exciting news due to the writing/art. I’m interested to see their take on the characters. Ken, it would appear, is the ‘voice in the wilderness’ for us. Everything will be OK. If the ‘everything is all right’ spiel works for him, then who are you to criticize him for it?

    • @TomSwift, dude it’s best not to take anything produced by a entertainment company personally. They are in the business of making money, not making high art to connect with individuals on a personal level. Granted, that can happen when true masters of the craft are hired by these companies and it makes the industry better overall. At the end of the day, this is a sound business decision. Surely you know the expression, “it’s nothing personal, just business”.

    • I did say this wasn’t personal to me. But I can see how it could mean something special to others.
      See that was my whole point – empathy and well a degree of imagination.
      It’s not difficult to imagine why a fair number or people would take exception to it is it?
      If all this was – just business.
      None of us and I mean none of us would be here talking about it with over a hundred comments.
      Beyond the ifanboy staff- I am certainly not making money off this are you?

    • TomSwift is right. People do get incredibly personal about pieces of work that they cherish. See Annie Wilkes in Misery, or Mark David Chapman, or Robert DeNiro in The Fan.

      Naturally, people are going to get miffed that DC is reviving something from long in the past to aid a slumping market. And they’d be right…in a perfect world where comic sales are booming, DC probably wouldn’t have to touch a one-off story to make a dent. But to get upset over DC touching some “untouchable holy piece of work” is just plain daffy.

    • i’m going to definitely agree that art is personal in so many ways, so good point and very true. i get pretty wary when band’s get back to together after a while (i’m looking at you, at the drive-in)….

      that said, i appreciate ken’s voice of reason here. i completely agree with you ken. it is a work of fiction. not politics. not legislation. not medicine. fiction. these books — good or bad if/when they come out — take nothing away (or add very little to) the original. i like that ken has a realistic and not condescending view of this. keep doing what you’re doing, ken. i like it.

      i seriously was just originally going to post “hey! i have an opinion about this!” and nothing else because as of this writing we have 185 comments based on 7 images and 7 one-sentence paragraphs. let’s take a deep breath here, people.

    • It surely is a trap for some bands to reunite and become mere cover versions of their former selves. But for every At The Drive In, there’s a Mission Of Burma.

      I think the same thing applies to this group of minis. Under certain circumstances, it is possible that this could have been a simple retread into the past. However, considering the track record of some of the creators here, it’s possible that we can get new great stories featuring these older characters. The talent is just way to high here.

    • @Tom: I think it’s great when people derive a lot of personal meaning from their entertainment/art/media (I’ll use those terms interchangeably because it’s all subjective), and there are many works of literature, film, music and comics that I’ve found personally meaningful.

      So I do understand that people who’ve found great personal meaning in Watchmen might not like the idea of other creators telling more stories with those characters. However, I still don’t think there’s any reason for any of them to go on a tirade or let it affect their emotional well-being.

      Because, to paraphrase an Alan Moore quote, the Watchmen collected edition on my bookshelf isn’t changing at all. It’s all still there, untouched. As an adult in full control of what I buy and read, I can (and probably will) choose to ignore these prequels. The original Watchmen is still there, the same as it ever was.

      And as for “You have got to be the straight up- don’t rock the boat- chill dude it’s fine – agreeable guy on this site.” Thanks for the compliment! I read comics because I think they’re fun (even the serious ones). Why would I want to spend time feeling upset or angry about something I do for fun?

  32. C’mon, guys?!?…What’s the worst that could happen? You might enjoy it?

  33. Conversation, me vs myself:
    “Before Watchmen, forget that!”
    “But there’s 6 issues of Cooke doing something retro”
    “Well of course I’ll check that out, but otherwise, I don’t need this”
    “And Cooke’s writing another 4 issue story”
    “OK! I like Darwin Cooke, and I will buy all his stuff, fine, WHATEVER!”
    “You’ve been digging the new Wonder Woman, too, right?”
    “Yeah, so?”
    “That writer is doing 10 issues.”
    “Dammit, I’ll probably get those.”
    “Ozymandias always intrigued you.”
    “Crap, is that another 6 issues?”
    “Yes. But we haven’t talked about the JMS stuff yet.”
    “That is right out.”
    “But you’ve never even given him a shot, just heard other people complain.”
    “You’re right, I will probably buy those too, at 4 issues each, he’ll likely finish them too. (Not that I get that joke)”
    “Then don’t make it. Anyway, this is better news that you thought, right?”
    “But now I’m dropping $100 on new Watchmen comics!…”

  34. My skepticism has been checked at the door. With those artists and writers, I’m in.

    • Isn’t this the important news? DC could have easily thrown low cost creators on these titles if cashing in with the bookstore was DC’s only goal. Instead, DC brought in an A-list cast of creators that few comic fans can easily dismiss.

    • Yeah. To me, they look fantastic. Isn’t that the most important thing – that we get comic with stories and art that we enjoy?

      Alan Moore is a crab who hates everything anyway.

    • I cna dismiss it pretty easily.
      JMS is off the reservation
      Len Wein: i read his DC legacies book and it was awful
      Darwyn cooke: yeah a good writer sometimes ….
      Azzarello: a good writer too but he has his hits and misses

      as for artists. Yeah they are great artists. but the art is a distant second in importance to me

  35. Let’s just hope nothing important is supposed to happen in the last couple issues of the Doc Manhattan book. #obligatoryJMSzing

  36. i think its a good idea and the creative teams sound very cool.

    almost every major character in DC’s catalog was created before World War II…like when my grandfather was an infant. Its a major problem with big 2 comics. I like the idea of expanding these characters and building them. I like that they were created when i was alive. I like that there is potential to expand the universe a bit.

    From a business perspective, the Watchmen trades and hardcovers still kick ass with bringing in trucks full of money, so its a no brainer to try and expand upon that brand. Maybe it will get some new readers in?

  37. I look at this like the Star Wars novels/comics/TV show/Video games. It’s ancillery, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a whole lot of fun. I enjoy some of that ‘extra’ Star Wars material, I ignore the stuff I don’t like or aren’t interested in, and none of it could ever affect my enjoyment of the films.

  38. Wow there’s a lot of bunched panties and clichéd bitching on this thread.

    Personally I think they all sound great and I’m ready for these characters to be explored further.

  39. AH GREAT, the internet broke in half again.

    PS: That comedian cover scares the shit out of me

  40. Continuing to present J.G. Jones and Adam Hughes as “comic book artists” is a little much, isn’t it? While both are superlative craftsmen, neither has been able to work on a schedule for quite some time. I would have rather they enlisted some pencilers who can make a deadline, so I wouldn’t already be dreading the countless fill-ins we’re going to get within the short span of four issues.

    • They’re giving them a 6 month headstart. I’m not concerned.

    • How long a lead did J.G. have on Final Crisis?

    • If being able to work on a schedule is what is necessary to be counted among the “comic book artists” then we would have to discount almost the entire list of guys above. And then we would have to hunt down the likes of Paul Pope, Frank Quitely and J.H. Williams III, and have them turn in their memberships too. Good art is always worth the wait. I also think they will have given these guys a ton of lead time on these books. And to blame J.G. for FC is a bit tuff also. Morrison is not known for his fast writing and there is still a fair amount of talk about editorial bungling. They didn’t exactly give a conclusion to the New Gods. I think there is a bit too much that is unseen that goes into the making of a comic to blame just one guy when a book has problems.

  41. Several years ago, I was reading an interview with Bruce Timm, discussing the genesis of Batman Beyond. He admitted that he wasn’t keen on the idea himself initially, then he mentioned that the studio was going to go ahead with the project with or without his involvement. So his choice was to either do the project himself and do it right or let someone else do it. Obviously, he ended up doing the project and made what could’ve been an easy cash in into an interesting coda on the career of Bruce Wayne’s Batman.

    While there’s a part of me that would like to turn up my nose at a Watchmen sequel, you may as well count those issues of The Minutemen, Silk Specter, and Rorschach as bought for the same reason. Good creators who will do their best to not make it a cash in and instead make something interesting.

    • I really agree with this. i’m going into it with an open mind. If it ends up being something that I didn’t enjoy, it doesn’t effect the story that was already told. That story will still be there no matter what.

      I am excited now just to see what can/will be done with these characters that I’ve only learned about through one story.

    • And honestly the title I’m most excited for had the least fleshed out characters, so there is room to expand.

    • Frank Miller has said this about the Spirit movie. That didn’t turn out well. I know it didn’t effect the original, but it sure was a bummer that some people were introduced to the Spirit as that.

    • @shemko I can believe it. And honestly, if it were the Frank Miller of twenty years ago, I think it would’ve been interesting. That Frank Miller, while bold, still understood restraint.

    • That’s a good point. I still think you would get people to check out the original even if the prequel is not the best. If they’re interested enough to try this, I would think they would want to explore what everyone else considers a classic.

  42. Wow, I did not expect there to be so many books/stories. I’ll probably end up getting all of them, but I’m most looking forward to seeing Amanda Conner and Darwyn Cooke’s Silk Spectre book…as well as Cooke’s Minutemen book.

  43. the vast majority of supherhero comics we all read and enjoy are being written and drawn at a high level by people who did not create the characters. Its a shared mythology. Yes the first series these Watchmen characters appeared in was legendary, but it doesn’t mean that other creators can’t do amazing work with the characters. We see it happen every week in superhero comics.

  44. Damn why is this winning me over???

    • Because you’re weak?

    • @blustreak, I can respect the fact that you’re passionate about the topic and your opinions are not mindless “this sucks”-type replies, but I think mocking someone else’s interest in it is crossing a line and lends itself to a stereotypical Comic Book Guy attitude that does nothing but paint you in a worse light. If others are excited for this, let them be and feel free to express your own opinions.

    • @Bluestreak: What MaxPower said. You’re walking dangerously close to comment deletion here. It’s fine to not like something, it’s not fine to insult those who do.

    • Ok fair call. That sounded snarkier than I meant. Let’s face it though as a community we are weak. I bought fear itself even though it sucked, people are ways talking about getting sucked in to something they may be ambivalent. My weak comment was meant in that context but I accept it was poorly phrased.
      I NEVER bitch about this stuff. I was sceptic about the reboot from the perspective of whether they could pull it off ( still am). I don’ complain about double shipping, renumberings, cancelations, even price. I am not comic book guy. But this really really sticks in my craw

  45. So, everybody knows what’s going on in the Dr. Manhattan cover right?

  46. There’s a lot of talk about this being a ‘cash-in’. I think what a lot of people forget is that, like movie studios, comic book publishers like Marvel and DC are in the business of making money. They’re not some kind of benevolent, humanitarian organisation creating art for the sake of posterity. These will sell in their thousands. They will make DC a lot of money. If we’re lucky it will mean that some less popular, though excellent books will continue (at least until the next cull). On the plus side they seem to have put together a relatively strong team on some of the books.

    People need to be a little less ‘precious’ about things. If you don’t want to acknowledge these books exist… Don’t read ’em!

    Oh and I like Watchmen. I like Alan Moore’s work. I live in the same town as him. I even buy my books in the same comic store as him.

    … Though if I buy these I may have to time it right!

    • yeah i agree. i don’t see how this is a cash grab any more than publishing Batman, Superman, Aquanman, the Flash, Green Lantern etc is? I mean you take characters that are popular and have done well in the past and you build the brand by creating new stories to sell. Thats 95% of what the comic books industry is right now.

    • i have an image in my head of a bunch of Gollums holding tight to their copies of watchmen screaming “MY PRECIOUS!”

    • on a side note it was just announced that moore is writing a book that stars luke skywalker, gollum, popa smerf, captain crunch and mother goose. expect plenty of rape scenes.

    • Thank you for bringing up this point. I love hearing people complain about a corporation doing something/anything just to make money. The entire purpose of a business is TO MAKE MONEY, anyone mad at DC for this “cash grab” is kidding themselves. Just to clarify for anyone who hasn’t figured it out yet, everything DC did, is doing, and will do in the future will be an attempt to get money from you and everyone else; that’s how business works.

    • I’m sorry but that is a lame excuse. A company is allowed to make money but that doesn’t mean that anything they do (even within the law) is justified or right. I’ve never disputed they can do it, i am questioning whether they should do it.

    • @bluestreak, well by that logic, do you think that retailers who sell these books are doing the wrong thing as well? I think most folks agree that it would be better If DC created something new and innovative instead of milking a something we’ve seen before, but I don’t think they shouldn’t be publishing these works on either a legal or moral standpoint. If these books turn out to be great, and none of us can say that they are or aren’t yet based off of one sentence desciptions, then are these creators not deserving of any credit?

    • @MaxPower no I don’t think retailers are doing something wrong. they are small business owners trying to make there way. DC doesn’t need to do this to keep the doors open (if it came to that point they would deserve to go out of business). A LCBS is there to service their clinetele, DC are the custodians of something that belongs to everyone.

      Remember that South park Episode where they go after Lucas and Spielberg for their special editions? Same argument here. They may own it legally but it belongs to all of us. So there is a moral responsibility to protect the legacy of Watchmen. They even admit that in their half arsed attempts to justify it by getting ‘A’ talent.

  47. Anyone else glad Morrison isn’t writing Dr Manhattan? That would of been a nightmare of transic fields of reality and Moore homages.

    • I’d actually be 1000x more likely to read that. Manhattan (to me) is not that interesting of a character, but Morrison writing him would definitely make it strange enough to be worthwhile.

    • Ohmygod, that would have been horrific — one long mini of pseudo-mystical/scientific dialogue & a confusing plot that maybe, just maybe, made sense on the last page. I’m getting flashbacks to the Superman Final Crisis mini already. I like some of Morrison’s work alot (when oh when do we get the last Seaguy story?), but, yeah, glad they kept him away from this one . . .

    • Morrison has actually written about how he was very much against Watchmen when it came out. I think the gist was that it was too structured, not enough soul. He talks about it in Supergods.

    • Now im disappointed… That is SUCH AN AMAZING IDEA! 😀

    • would love to see morrison do dr. manhatten

  48. I like how they gave a 6-issue miniseries to a group that was disbanded after the first meeting.

  49. I first saw this news, in all places, when I was flipping through the Arts section of today’s New York Times (bottom, front page). My reaction was: “hmmm, could have potential, I’ll wait til I hear more about creators.” Now that I’ve seen the creators, I must admit that I’ll probably be reading a lot of these minis. Yeah, the whole project is a stunt from DC, but at least they put their A-list talent on it, giving us the sign that they want a quality product to go along with their profits. I am still hesitent, as I never felt that I needed more backstory from Watchmen, that the flashbacks told me all I needed. Still, if well told, I’m not going to complian about a new Night Owl story . . .

    While I have plenty of admiration for Moore as a writer, I’ve never bought his “my characters are sacred” argument. As others have pointed out he’s felt plenty free to borrow from the work of others in the past and do things with it never intended by their creators. There was a quote from him in the Times story saying “well, nobody ever wrote a sequel to Moby Dick.” Maybe, Alan, but somebody wrote a follow up to Peter Pan about Wendy’s other sorts of adventures. Oh, and there are plenty of books on the shelves which are prequels, sequels, side-tales to great works of literature. How many times has someone revisited Shakespeare’s characters, for example? Sorry, Alan, you’re a great writer, but your self-regard can be a little high at times . . .

    Here’s hoping the new stories are good, add something to the characters, without taking away from the original. We’ll find out soon enough . . .

  50. Diehard Watchen fan here. I even have a tattoo to prove it. And this excites me. To the naysayers I reply, Get Over It. This was bound to happen. No great literary work is untouchable from reimagining, reinventing, sequels, and prequels.

    Cooke and Connor! If you’re gonna do it, that’s how you do it.

  51. I wish I could be more excited for this than I am. It just feels like a pretty crass use of the Watchmen “brand” to attract more readers, & even some of the talent involved doesn’t dispel that feeling. Mind you, being a dutiful little lemming, I will give them a look.

  52. I feel disappointed here I thought that the comedian could really benefit from one of those new snazzy jim lee collars.

    So all kidding aside I think this will be ok. in fact i’d go so far as to say that minute men series has me kind excited

  53. My first thought upon seeing the announcement, “Oh no. It’s finally happened.”

    My second thought upon reading the line-up, “I would consider reading work from these creative teams regardless of who the lead character is. That they’ve agreed to take on these particular characters takes a lot of guts. I admire that.”

    My third thought upon reading the comments, “The fact that we have a ‘before Watchmen’ line coming out 25 years after their initial and only story is a testament to what Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons created. These new comics will probably have more people (re)reading Watchmen than not.”

  54. BEFORE Watchmen is a concept I can live with. And I am quite attracted by some of the creators (esp. Cooke, Conner, Hughes).

  55. I just hope this finally paves the way for the Saturday Morning Cartoon….


  56. Well, it should make for an interesting podcast when these come out.

  57. I’m more then OK with Watchmen prequels. If it’s great, awesome. If it’s trash, ignore it. Move along.

  58. Naysayers prepare to spend your money and be silenced. As cool as you act on the Internet we all know your money will be spent. You probably won’t be silenced though. Screw it, just continue to complain……I can’t stop doing it about Hawkman.

  59. watchmen meant something. comic book fans must love tribute bands

    • Considering that, for the most part, they only buy concepts rehashed over a span of 80 years, I’d say yeah, they probably do.

    • You’ve never heard a great cover? And realistically everything that came after Watchmen is nothing more than a riff from Moore’s work.

  60. I’m quite torn over this.

    There are many times when a series – like some movies – are exactly what they need to be… and a sequel inevitably just waters things down or destroys them utterly. Moore and Gibbons told the story they wanted to tell and ended it. I have a tremendous amount of respect for that. It’s what I like about a lot of BBC produced works; they don’t feel the need to try and make eveything into an ongoing series. They tell a story and if they feel they have another story, they’ll do that one next.

    BUT… this is a PREQUEL. Which leaves a lot of room for interpretation. The creative teams look pretty awesome. It’s still not an ongoing series. From a business standpoint, DC would be insane tnot o at least try this. And from a fan standpoint, yes, I can admit I would like to see more of the Watchmen world.

    Should a work be untouchable? Maybe this will actually help provide an answer of sorts.

  61. The obvious criticism for this book, or at least from the comics community, is that it’s ‘just a stunt’ and ‘nothing new’. But the truth here is, DC is doing things we didn’t think they would or could do just a few years ago. They relaunched all of their heavy hitting titles and even a few more, they announced a new price point, a digital initiative, a rating system, a new logo, and even brought over some cool characters from VERTIGO. Maybe this is just a stunt, but DC is showing they’re good at it.

    • What a sad world we live in where a new logo equals a creative act

    • @Bluestreak: You’ve never tried to design a logo, have you?

    • Wow. @Bluestreak. Way to insult an entire industry. An industry that includes, by the way, @Wallythegreenmonster, Sonia Harris, Myself and probably a number of less vocal members of the site whose careers I’m not aware of.

    • I designed logos professionally for 3 years (7 if you include Uni) … which is why i work as a teacher now

    • Ok sorry. Again my mood was foul when I wrote that. Of course there is creativity in graphic design. There is creativity in advertising too but David rose talks about that among other things as soon something new in the industry. I don’t think a new logo is something ‘new’ or ‘creative’ for the COMIC industry. It may be creative within graphic design but it has nothing to do with creativity within the comic industry. But you are not psychics so you can. It be expected to know that. I work in government I’m used to people not respecting my work.

    • What they’re doing may not be considered ‘new’ in terms of business or marketing, but what they’re doing is very new to an industry ran down by the mentality of same old, same old. We’ve been plagued with ‘events’ that rehash the same old concepts and retellings of stories we haven’t forgotten. And with that in mind, I applaud DC for swimming away from the red ocean of competition and into the blue ocean of untapped opportunity.

      @Bluestreak Don’t be so sensitive. Your criticism was valid, but not shared.

    • @bluestreak–The Museum of Modern art (MOMA) has an rather vast design collection that includes important logos among other things. You should tell them how much time and resources they are wasting…quick before its too late!

  62. All the fanboys will scream ‘Save us’

    And DC will look down and whisper ‘3.99’

  63. Who watched

  64. Nothing is untouchable and I personal like this idea, It’s just expanding on the world of Alan Moore’s Watchmen not rewriting it. With the great talent involved I will be checking these out and hold my bitching until I actual read the fucken thing.

  65. Who watches the Watchmen before the Watchmen needed to be watched?

  66. I’m so down for this, although I’m a bit supriesed Grant Morrison isn’t doing anything. To much respect for Moore maybe?

  67. I have doubts but with this impressive list of creators it is impossible to not be interested.

  68. I’m confused as to why this surprises us from an industry (and company) that’s been doing Batman stories for 70+ years. A property is created then, if it’s successful the character remains and is passed on through different artist/writer teams. Right or wrong, it’s how things work in the comic world. Trying to hold up Alan Moore’s work as some sort of holy untouchable is really demeaning to the work of amazing creatives currently working in the company.

    All the choices tickle my fancy to an extent, but I’m excited in particular for the Darwyn Cooke work (because of Darwyn Cooke) and Rorschach (because of the character.)

    • It is a myth that Moore’s work is held up as untouchable. I don’t see anyone criticizing Scott Snyder for Swamp Thing. I is not Moore. It is about certain singular works. Also now this is insulting other creative teams? How do you figure that? Because their work isn’t ‘untouchable’? Well as many good creative teams are they aren’t Allen moore. Art isn’t a democracy, we don’t have to be fair and affirm everyone. There is a hierarchy and there should be.

    • I’m certainly not saying you have to like and affirm everyone, but Alan Moore (and Watchmen in particular) as God is getting a little tiresome. It’s amazing and lovely and I will read it over and over again in my lifetime. He’s obviously one of the top writers. But the gap between him and everyone else is not the chasm you make it out to be and, yes, I think it’s insulting to some of the mind-blowing people who have worked, and are working, in comics to proclaim it to be so.

      And why the hell would anyone criticize Scott Snyder for touching Alan Moore’s work on Swamp Thing when Swamp Thing was not created by him? That’s clearly not analogous. And let’s not go down the “But Alan Moore made it was it is, it was totally his world” because there are many other people who have done as much with other properties only to have it pass on when they’re done, *because that’s how comics work.* If you don’t want it touched, you have to do creator owned.

  69. PS – I think a lot of fans have difficulty differentiating between a “stunt” and a sound business decision.

    • Agreed-too much nerd rage

    • What I look for in all art first and foremost is a sound business model.

    • @ResurrectionFlan = lol exactly …

    • @ResurrectionFlan Not the point. A stunt is a move whose only motivation is money or attention. A sound business decision will be profitable, but takes everything into account. If this were a money grab, they wouldn’t have bothered putting together sound creative teams, doing an interesting variety etc. etc. As Marvel has been getting smarter and smarter with business (in order to stay in business. I assume you’re in the up and up that this is a very real issue) I’ve felt like DC has sort of lagged in that area. It’s good to see them start fighting for themselves in a way that that doesn’t, in my opinion, lose the integrity of the art.

      @Bluestreak sorry your replies are null and void to me. I have no problem with different opinions and debate, but rude comments and condescension get us nowhere.

    • They put sound creative teams together for all the people on here who say , I think this is TERRIBLE… bbbbbut I love Darwyn Cooke so I’ll check it out. They picked artists who have such a mighty dearth of regular interior comics work that completists and their fans will gravitate towards it.

      This is a cash grab. They threw money at these teams to buffer themselves and to try to dress it up like it’s not.

      None of these creators if left to their own devices would probably ever think of working on this project. Maybe JMS as (based on the interviews given today) his delusion is grand and profoundly absurd.

      The integrity of the art is lost already. Watchmen is a complete hermetic world that you can delve into and find fresh ideas and details every time. I’m sorry Dan DiDio and Jim Lee are running on empty with it. I still find it fascinating.

      As I change and grow so does my experience reading it.

      This is like adding cake frosting and glitter to a swiss watch. Maybe it will draw more people in but it’s at best unnecessary, and at worse crass and deeply tacky.

    • Here’s the thing though. It’s not just Dan Didio and Jim Lee. For it to be a meaningless, vapid cash grab ever creator involved would have to be treating it as such. It doesn’t matter what Dan Didio’s actual intent is (which, lets be honest, it’s a little ridiculous to assume we know), if, for example, Darwyn Cooke is excited to write his story and has great ideas, then he’ll write a good story. According to his standards at least, clearly it’s subjective. It’s ridiculous to assume they didn’t weigh all the things we’re thinking now in their heads before agreeing to his assignment.

    • PS – I chose Cooke as an example not just because he’s well liked (and has generally awesome work), but also because he’s not DC exclusive. So the likelihood of him being coerced into this project by those darn money grubbers is significantly lower.

    • I don’t see how agreeing with resurrection flan makes me condescending since u responded to him. I apologized for my intemperate comments earlier. I thought his response to u was witty and succinct hence he lol. But suit itself. I disagree on one point though – you said a money grab wouldn’t use good creative teams. Why not? Most creative industries still believe that a good product will be more profitable than a bad one (except Michael bay)

    • Here’s my line of reasoning. If money was the only object the name and characters of Watchmen alone are going to pull in consumers. Fan loved creators (or big name JMS) could be busy elsewhere pulling people to buy books they might not otherwise.

      But even if we disagree on that point, I’m still incredibly confused by your point. A good product is a good product. Why get upset that it’s a good product that *also* makes a business money that will keep it afloat in a struggling industry? By “Money Grab” I mean their only motivation is money. The problem would be making a bad product for money. Like the movie industry pumping out formulaic and terrible romcoms because while it won’t do great, it’s a guarantee to return their investment. They give the bare minimum of effort; it happens. However, it’s wholly possible to be an ethical business that makes a good product and also stays out of the red. I’d argue that applies here.

  70. I’m looking at this from the perspective of we’re hopefully getting more great content from really great creators (jury’s inconclusive on JMS though). I don’t get the logic of how this taints the original story. Did Dark Knight Strikes Again make the original Miller story look terrible? Absolutely not. I’m on board with this.

  71. JMS? Seriously? Fuck you DC. Fuck you hard.

  72. I won’t be reading the Straczynski ones, everything else I’ll try. Well, atleast the cooke ones and then go from there.

    Of course I’ve never understood why Watchmen is some sacred holy text that can never be touched… it’s great and all but I don’t understand why it’s the only thing apparently that can never be messed with and capitalized on…???

    But yeah, Straczynski, blah!

    • I don’t know why it is so objectionable for a couple of things not to be exploited and ground into the dirt. At best these works will be good like a POTW. Watchmen isn’t a POTW or a Book of the Month.

      Like a handful of other works like DKR, and maybe a few others in the superhero genre, Watchmen actually transcends its source material. the best this can hope to do is approach its source material.

  73. Darwyn Cooke on Minutemen should look gorgeous. Still, for once, Alan Moore has a reason for his consternation. Northampton is currently being shaken down to its roots by a vengeful snake god.

  74. Just woke up to the news. Here’s my comment:
    I’d read anything by Darwyn Cooke, even if he did the graphic novel of the phone book. Am I going to read his Watchmen books? Hell yeah

  75. LoL – No lie, I was reading this and had a gag reflex and had to run to the toliet, my comic related 1st time. I am definitely not into this though.

  76. I’ve been wondering how they got these creators to work on this all morning. Here’s the way I see it.

    Cooke is doing it because he like’s a challenge.

    Azarello because they let him do the interviews.

    JMS because they have to throw him something once in a while.

    • JMS-probably because he had a huge success with Superman:Earth One last year and people will recognize the name. Now, you and I know that he isn’t the strongest comic book writer, but the people who bought that don’t care because they only read that trade in record numbers. Now they get to say to people in Barnes & Nobles, ” hey, remember the Superman book you bought last year? Ever heard of Watchmen? Well, the guy who wrote the former is writing the latter. Thanks for your money”

    • The answer is money.

  77. Impressive list of creators. I think they hit home runs on each of these, except for maybe Adam Hughes on Dr. Manhattan.

    That seems like a square peg/round hole type of deal.

    But hey…when Adam Hughes is your weakest link, I think you’re going to do o.k.

    • Unless he puts Silk Spectre in every panel, then it will be very pretty! Seriously though I’ve wanted Adam to do interiors since he ended his justice league run so I’m quite happy with this.

  78. I think this is a great idea if only because it serves as something of a gateway drug to some of today’s best talent to those mythical new readers. I’ve found more than any other title, if someone has read a comic, it’s Watchmen. (Note: this anecdotal evidence must be true for everyone, ever.) This event could provide a safe followup to those readers who might’ve stopped after finishing off the book and introduce them to creators like Azzarello and Cooke. Maybe I’m overly optimistic, but if these prequels can get a few more people to check out Parker or 100 Bullets, why the hell not do it?

  79. someone was talking about watchmen being introduced into the new, relaunched DCU. just talking. which i thought was a horrible idea. i would hate the idea of nite owl running into batman. LAME.
    however, prequels that involve none of the rest of the DCU sounds fuckn’ awesome to me. Azzarello, bermejo, cooke and the kuberts sounds like one hell of a ride to me.

    ps. the star wars prequels are awesome. i’m only sad that lucas wont make anymore star wars films because of all the negative criticism from all the old people who hold the original trilogy in such high regard. seems like a weak character flaw on the behalf lucas to take such idiocy so personally and make the rest of us who love star wars whole heartedly suffer. at least we still have awesome cartoons

  80. But, still, what is there left to say about these characters that wasn’t implicit within the Moore original which was, in itself, a full narrative with a beginning, middle and end? Nothing, in truth.

  81. JAWS is my favorite movie by one of my favorite directors, Steven Spielberg.

    And even though Universal made the sequels JAWS 2, JAWS 3, and JAWS 4 which all suck and Spielberg had nothing to do with, the first JAWS is STILL my favorite movie. And I still love it every time I watch it.


    WATCHMAN is my favorite comic book by one of my favorite comic book writers, Alan Moore.

    And even though DC is making these prequels, which could suck or not, and Alan Moore has nothing to do with, the first WATCHMAN is still my favorite comic book. And I will still love it every time I read it.

  82. Just noticed the DC logo doesn’t have the blood drip on the C. I know I saw it somewhere, wonder why it’s not on these covers.

    • Probably because its just art used for the press release blitz. I assume it will be on there in the final copy.

    • from what we’ve seen so far of the logo application on actual comic mockups, i don’t think they will be using the illustrated ones on the actual books. I think they are just doing matchy matchy color stuff on the covers. We haven’t really seen the character specific illustration ones used on any applications yet.

  83. Holy shit!!!! I’m really glad to see that DC put really great creators on these books.

  84. Azz and Bermejo tackling Rorschach is a match made in heaven. So I’m sold on that one.

    Hughes, Lee, Kubert, and Jones doing interiors is enough to make me plop down cash for their four books.

    I must read and own everything Cooke does so that covers the remaining two books.

    Yeah, I’m going to be buying all of them.

    The comic book industry was born from the idea of making a quick buck (stapling existing funny pages together) and it continued to grow by employing cheap tactics to sell books. DC and Marvel have never been about anything else. That said, waiting TWENTY-FIVE years to do this prequel and hiring the BEST talent to do it…well, that doesn’t strike me as a “quick buck.”

  85. Too soon?


  86. I’m probably going to check some of these miniseries out. That said, let’s reflect on the irony that DC’s idea of a “new,” “relevant” story is a new, relevant take on the Charlton characters from 25 years ago. Pop will eat itself.

  87. J.G. Jones and Darwyn Cooke are great, so those two books have some appeal to me. That said, if I was to make a list of all the writers I’d LEAST like to see write “Watchmen” fan fiction, JMS is definitely at the top or near the top of that list. I understand that it’s been over 20 years since the original mini-series and honestly, Alan Moore made a career out of telling stories with other peoples characters (or analogues, in the case of “Watchmen,” which owes almost as much to Steve Ditko as is does to Moore or Gibbons), but this is seems dumb and unnecessary and demonstrates a complete lack of respect for both the original work and the target audience. DC just nuked the fridge.

  88. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. That is the only way to communicate with a large corporation. Bitching on the Internet generally has little to no effect, whereas the dollar is much louder. Of course they were going to make this, the Watchmen trade has been consistently big seller for the past twenty five years. There was a movie out not long ago. They just had a a big reboot that brought attention to their line and they need to hold on to it by using a well known name to people who haven’t been reading comics for the past few decades. Look, the original series is a masterpiece. That will never change. But these series might be good, you have no idea yet. If you’re so against the very idea of a publisher trying to make money, then don’t give them that money and I promise you they won’t do it again. Also, if you’re complaining about this and then going to buy every damn Avengers vs X-Men book…….sigh.

    • I won’t buy them.
      I assume you are sighing at AvX because it implies hypocrisy to criticise the Watchmen thing for having no new ideas when AvX reflects the same mentality?
      Again AvX is serial fiction. it has always been. Watchmen was a complete narrative.

    • Yes, the sigh was meant to higlight that type of hypocrisy and it does not apply to you, since you will not be purchasing them. And you are also correct that due to the intended serial nature of those books, perhaps it is not the most apt example to use in this instance. Just to clarify here, I don’t disagree with you on the level that leaving Watchmen alone results in an artistic win for all involved. I do disagree with the idea that having these creators write new works based off a truly wonderful work is akin to taking a shit on the Mona Lisa. I think it’s fine to judge the publisher as exploitative (even though, to a degree that’s kind of how their whole usiness works), but I think it is unfair to judge the individual creators work before it has seen the light of day. Feel free to disagree or correct and misrepresentations of your points.

    • Well I don’t think it is akin to shitting on the Mona Lisa. I think it is exploitative to a degree that goes beyond good taste. That’s it. I find it depressing. I’m not even judging the individual works except to say they won’t be as good as watchmen (ok maybe the word hack and dreck appeared which may be unfair but in my defense I was mainly thinking of JMS). I will admit that my assessment of the creators has dropped a few notches.

  89. Hm, the art in these books are gonna be so good, give someone an art woody.

  90. I’m buying this…with the creators attached to this, there’s no way that I wouldn’t want to read this. Watchmen is still going to be Watchmen to me, as that was a self contained story that will still stand for what it stood for. What do I care if there are more stories about these characters that, in the end, don’t affect the original story?

  91. The thing that makes me laugh is that the collective outrage about this on Twitter (rather than the informed debate here) is that the majority of it is surely from people who haven’t read a comic book since they read Watchmen however many years ago.

    “I don’t care enough about comics to buy them every week or know the significance of the creative teams attached to this project but God be damned if that doesn’t give me the right to be sanctimonious about the only comic book I’ve ever read… in 140 characters or fewer.”

  92. My only gripe with this whole thing? The Crimson Corsair as back-up in every issue, rather than it’s own mini. That has to be DC’s “You will buy them ALL!” card.

  93. I’m actually excited!!! All these creators are amazing!!

  94. I’ll read them. I mean, why not? There are some great creators involved so what’s to really lose? If they’re bad then I can easily stop buying them and continue on with life just as it was before these were released. If they’re good, even better! I’ll have some great new comics to read instead of reboot #1000 of character I still don’t care about. That copy of Watchmen on my bookshelf isn’t going anywhere and it’s not gonna suddenly morph into something different because these came out. I’m surprised it took this long honestly.

  95. When are they going to announce how many Watchmen books Liefeld is doing?

  96. As a business, DC would be mad not to exploit the potential sales Watchmen spin-offs could net. The Watchmen collection is a still huge seller for DC, attracting new readers every year. For DC to have half a dozen Watchmen titles in bookshops and in digital outlets, it’s going to make them money.

    Do I think it it’s a good artistic decision? No. Do I think the creators involved are top notch? Yes. Do I want to read the prequels? Not really. Will I read them? Probably.

    • The only story I rememer off the top of my head being revisited after tyhe inital impact was Dark Knight by Frank Miller, can anyone remember other big impact stories being revisited and sucessful?

    • @OliverTwist, well Crisis on Infinite Earths had been mined pretty heavily by the time Infinite Crisis was over.

  97. I think that we can all agree on one thing: let’s NOT ask Alan Moore what he thinks about this. We already know.

  98. I’m SHOCKED that Alan Moore doesn’t like this and that Dave Gibbons is cool with it. SHOCKED!

    • I know, it’s like the bizarro world.

      Fortunately all the writers who he’s continuing the work of can’t rise up and complain about him ruining their legitimacy.

  99. I’ll shush this and go buy ALL THOSE ISSUES like a geek and enjoy it this summer! *gleeeeeeeeeee*

  100. So how long until “Before Squadron Supreme?”

  101. Yikes whats Dr M doing to Silk? On the cover even…..nasty

  102. This won’t affect me one way or the other until it comes out.

    I’ll try Rorshach, Minutemen, and Nite Owl.
    If I like them, wonderful. If I don’t, I’ll always have Watchmen.

    If there’s one thing the New 52 has taught me, it’s that the stories we know and love are never going anywhere.

  103. Do we need another Watchmen comic? No. I agree with Moore’s comment about there not being any sequels to Moby Dick. Some things are better left on their own. As well, I agree with his daughter’s tweet a little while ago about using those creators to create new stories instead of doing the prequels. The problem is, would a new character by Azz and Beremejo or Darwyn Cooke sell as well as a Watchhmen prequel, even if say they were stories about the actual Charlton characters? No. So while story wise we don’t need more Watchmen, in terms of sales, DC knows that will make the most money. And last time I checked, that’s what they’re job is. Sadly in these times, they need any economic boost they can get, so they’re probably more desperate to do this now than if things were back like the 90’s. I am glad they’ve got some serious talent on this. I’m quite interested in the Azz and Cooke minis. Wein seems like an odd choice, and JMS I assume is simply for name power, although do you really need it when it’s Watchmen? They could have used some other top talent, maybe someone who finishes projects. Anyway, it’s finally here, we can come from out of our bomb shelters now and worry about the next property to be pecked at by the money-grubbing vultures. 😉

  104. I believe Mr. Moore should direct his attention to the Moby-Dick Sequel, “The Wind Whales of Ishmael.”

  105. i like how Moore inserts himself (and his work) into the conversation of “greatest piece of western literature ever written”….when it will be our great grandchildren that will be the ones who will decide whether or not his story is still relevant for future generations and worth of such a title.

    • in fairness, he does have about 25 years of accolades, a bunch of awards, and the very words of this site and its readers to back that claim up.

    • On the other hand is Watchmen simply the best or is it the best because it was (one of) the first genre-breaking superhero stories?

      Would Watchmen be what it is today if it was published by Eclipse and not DC? I’d argue not.

    • not sure about that. i would argue it would probably be still pretty notable. the structure in chapters like fearful symmetry and watchmaker (or whatever the dr. manhattan chapter is called) are still evident today. hell, fearful symmetry was homage and expanded upon just 2 years ago in g.i. joe cobra. moore style of using the dialogue from one scene to comment on the action you’re current looking at is pretty rarely used. so, from a formal perspective at least i think you can argue it’d garner a lot of attention were it published now.

    • ugh…. *given homage* and *moore’s style*

      sorry about the typos. my command of grammar and typing clearly is pretty lacking.

    • i’m not denying his achievements and praise, but my point is that he’s putting himself into the same conversation as timeless pieces of literature that have stayed relevant through dozens of generations and cultural shifts. Shakespeare, Moby Dick, Don Quixote…those stories are classics because they have endured and continually speak to the human condition. Will the Watchmen endure? Who knows…really, a very large amount of time determines that more than anything. How many titles on the NYT best seller’s list (or POTW’s) do you think will be remembered 25, 50, 100, 200 years from now?

      I get that Moore’s act is being fully aware of himself and making crazy statements, but i still roll my eyes each time.

    • it is simply the best.

    • argh, that was @ Smasher.

      Kidding aside, nothing else has come close in its complexity of storytelling, if that’s what you’re using as a measure of superlativity.

    • @ shemko

      Yeah, I threw “best” out there rather flippantly. You got my point though.

      The second question about whether would be as well received under a different publisher, I feel, is much more compelling.

      Would Watchmen be what it is today if it was published by Eclipse and not DC?

      For all of Moore’s moaning and groaning about DC’s draconian contracts I think Watchmen would not have been what it is today if it was published by any one other than DC. From its connections to its parent company to simply having the DC bullet on its covers (in issues) I’m not convinced Watchmen would have the notoriety it received when it was published or today if it wasn’t for being a DC publication.

      Then again if it was published by someone else, maybe Moore and Gibbons would have more control over their creation.

      It’s an interesting quandary (to me).

    • @ wally

      I took Moore’s comments in the context of his many past interviews and his belief that comics should be considered a valid art form same as literature. Not so much inserting himself but attempting to correlate all comics with literature (with a shorthand phrase)

      If you spent your life going around trying to tell everyone how comics are an equal art form and then DC announces this…well its possible to see why one might get upset or at least dissapointed.

  106. This whole announcement makes me conflicted internally. I thought they were getting away from the past, although I should have known that this was a moneymaker they would never let pass by entirely. The creators involved are, for the most part, top notch, but this somehow still feels like a bunch of fan fiction. It’s just not necessary. I’m sure I’ll end up reading some of these (particularly the Darwyn Cooke stuff and maybe the Azzarello/Jones Comedian series), but it still does make me feel a little dirty.

  107. I think that Hughes cover would be much better if Dr. Manhattan was cupping…

  108. By the way Mr Moore, there is a sequel to Moby Dick, called The Wind Whales of Ishmael written by Philip Jose Farmer.

    If we want to class Watchmen as a novel, it falls into a category where prequels and sequels are not unheard of, and in some cases very well received. Jane Eyre spawned the prequel Wide Sargasso Sea, itself looked on as a modern classic. There are countless other classic literary sequels and prequels out there Granted, many of them of questionable quality.

    • Ah you almost had us there. Wind Whales is exactly the same as what Moore does. It is not a sequel or prequel in the way Empire Strikes BAck is a sequel to Star Wars or this is a prequel to Watchmen. ,Moby Dick was the point of departure for Wind Whales, not an attempt to trade on its success.

  109. I didn’t realize how much I wanted a Minutemen book by Darwyn Cooke until I read this story. I can’t decide if I want to take the risk and read all of these in issues or wait until they come out in trade and skip the ones that aren’t all that great (if there are any). Knowing DC the softcovers of the trades won’t come out until 2014 or so, so I might just order all of these from DCBS as they come out.

    I can understand that a lot of people are concerned about this, the Watchmen is very important to a lot of people and I have nothing but respect for Alan Moore, who I think was already a legend a decade into his career.

    In my opinion, everyone who accuses DC of a “cash grab” is right in that they are a for-profit enterprise looking to make money. The reassuring thing is that they clearly took the decision making process seriously when it came to the talent they selected.

    I hope it works out, it would be nice to have some really great stories from some really great creators, but reaslistically I’ll probably like some of the minis and not like some others, that’s the way it usually works. Ultimately, if I don’t like the new stories, I can just never re-read them and keep my copy of Watchmen by Moore and Gibbons.

  110. Eh, this not that big of a deal. Everyone needs to calm it down. The Watchmen story will remain intact, these mini-series won’t change that story. You can choose to ignore these mini series or you can choose to read them and judge them on their own merit. No one is holding a gun to anyones head and forcing them to accept these books.

  111. I’m not against this exactly. I’m not of the mindset that Watchmen is off limits. But I do feel it’s a bit cheap. It’s not sacrilegious. But it is kind of lazy and uninspired.

    I know it might be naive of me. But living in the era of remakes, reboots, sequels, and prequels, it gets old after a while. I wish publishers and creators would strive to create the next Watchmen, not another Watchmen. But whatever. The big 2 seem to be sticking to their guns of giving their diminishing audience more of the same. More of the stuff they are proven to have liked in the past. Your business isn’t doing as good as it used to? Don’t bother trying to reinvent it or take it to the next level. No, instead go back a couple steps and desperately clutch on to past glory. DC, bring back the 90’s and make everything extreme again. Marvel, continue to try and recreate Civil War. Sure, whatever.

    As for the creative teams. I will buy anything Darwyn Cooke writes and illustrates. As for him just writing, Amanda Conner is one of the few artists that would keep me from potentially skipping out. Minutemen and Silk Spectre, I’m in. Minutemen especially. The rest, however……I dunno. I guess it’s cool to see Adam Hughes, J.G. Jones, and Jae Lee doing interior art. But none of the other books are sure things for me. JMS? Ugh.

    • Well, as has been said before, people simply don’t buy new ideas from the Big 2. Ergo, they keep going to the well because that’s what the market can support. It looks like comic buyers treat the Big 2 like comfort food and go to independent publishers for new ideas. I’d like to see DC put out something new and give us the next Watchmen as well, but until the general comic buying audience decides they can finally stop buying the same old comforting stories, it’s not going to happen.

  112. None of it might be able to match the complexity and delicate interweaving of the original series but there are a few valid points being made here.
    Even the original roster of Watchmen was not entirely original but rather analogues of Charlton Comics characters, which in turn were composites of previous iterations of pulp and comics characters. Moore’s comment about there being no prequels and sequels in legitimate literature is a bit laughable. Not only has there been numerous prequels and sequels in the history of literature, writers going back and revisiting their characters and worlds, but Moore himself has made a career out of mining the literary past. Most recently with his Neonomicon series he turned the Cuthulu Mythos into a sex orgy (yes another one of those).
    I am very interested in the fact that this whole venture has attracted artists such as Bermejo, J.G.Jones, Adam Hughes and Jae Lee who have increasingly become illustrators and cover artists, back into the storytelling mode. And yes it all does smack of the next DC stunt after the New 52, but then again the New 52 worked on me too, I am reading more DC than I ever have in the past.

  113. hahahaha I won’t comment on whether Watchmen is the “Moby Dick of comics”, but I think it’s hilarious that Alan Moore would compare his work to a literature classic

  114. There’s just gotta be a bulletin board competition at DC HQ with “if you find the greatest nerd rage comment you get a free lunch” going on right now.

  115. Cool characters, great writers and great artists. I’m going to let the stories themselves prove to me whether this is a good or bad idea. Just like anything else.

    The original Watchmen was/is great, I personally don’t think that should preclude more stories being told about those characters.

    Now if the new stuff is awful….then we can complain, but not before. But that talent they have on board is pretty awesome…

  116. Disrespecting, downplaying or dismissing the monumental works of Alan Moore is about as foolish as someone doing the same to Shakespeare’s plays based on some of the same criticisms.

    It is laughable and just about eliminates your authority as a literary critic.

  117. I didn’t read Alan Moore’s reaction, because that’d be like checking to see which direction the sun rose this morning.

  118. Wow, never thought this would happen. If I were making the decision, I would have kept Watchmen as it is: One of, if not the best, comic books ever created. I will not know my true opinion until I read these books. They have some good writers on them, so I have high hopes.

  119. So wait, Alan, Watchmen is both ” not a proud reminder of the role he has played in legitimizing comics as a serious storytelling vehicle” and comparable to Moby Dick?

    My head hurts.

    • If you wrote Moby Dick, then realized you had signed over the rights to a big corporation, you might be bitter about it too. Hence, “not a proud reminder.”

  120. The Comedian #6 will be released March 2014.

  121. I don’t give a shit about Watchmen. But if you have Adam Hughes and Darwyn Cooke attached to it, well then, looks like I’m buying it…

  122. I haven’t read Watchmen yet so I still need to pick it up. That said I’m pretty excited about this with all the creators involved in this project. They really are some of the best in the field.

    I don’t really get all the emotion. What’s wrong with wanting to expand a universe? I’ve read up on the whole history between Moore and DC, but as a reader I don’t really care about all that nonsense. I just want to read a good story. I think creators like Azz and Cooke can and will deliver that, without disrespecting the work Moore did in creating the characters and the Watchmen universe.

    Is it just about the $$$ for DC? Maybe, but I also think they respect the characters and want to tell good stories with them. If they’ll make $$$ out of that, that’s fine. If they’re smart they release good products that can sell for years to come, so it’s not just about making a quick buck imo like others have suggested. These characters have been sitting on a shelf for 25 years.

    So when I’ve read the original Watchmen and like it, I’ll definitely be getting most if not all of these mini series.

  123. I have a question: Why is Ozymandias flying?

  124. Stan Lee’s take : Alan Moore never intended “watchmen” to have prequels. But the creator of snow white never intended her to eat out cinderella, either.

  125. I think the best way to approach this is choose your own level of involvement. I loved Angel the tv series, didn’t care for the comic, so for me Angel stops at season five.

    if you like watchmen how it is, it will always be on yourself, a self contained story. If you want to know more, you have the option.

    Make your own continuity, I think thats the only way to survive comics these days without pulling your hair out…is this a bad time to bring up I think the ending to the movie is more logical.

    • “make your own continuity”
      i’ve practiced that for years. if you dont like something, simply discount it in your mind and focus on what you do like.
      i have to admitt though, sometimes it can be difficult.
      i also liked the ending in the movie more

    • sure, and that’s what i’ll do. But that doesn’t stop this from being a cheap money grab

    • i dont care about that. i just want some awesome, new watchmen books. thank you dc.

  126. Sounds like an interesting enough concept to me, I’d like to see what they can do with it. It’s too bad Moore had such a falling out with DC, but I guess it is what it is. Doesn’t that artwork for Crimson Corsair look somewhat like Mr. Moore?

  127. This wouid of sold like ice water in hell if it came out round the time of the movie

  128. Excited about this, after seeing those creators I’ll definitely be picking up a few issues from some of those mini series.

  129. Bahaha did Allan Moore just compare Watchmen to Moby Dick?!
    Jesus Christ… One is a novel known world over as one of the greatest works of fiction defining modern storytelling and prose which is recognized by most of the world’s populace… The other (albeit a brilliant work) is known by comic nerds like us and generally ignored by most people not involved in the niche market that is the comics industry. So you’re right Mr. Moore, they haven’t made a prequel to Moby Dick. How that in any way compares to the wonderful funny book you made a few years ago escapes me however.
    Watchmen is one of my favorite comics as the depth, structure, existential themes and delivery are dare i say it, perfect. However the existence of the movie or comic prequels do not in any way trivialize, cheapen or act as a detriment to the original source material. I hated the Watchmen movie, but it didn’t alter my opinion one iota in regards to the book. They’re both completely separate entities and should be judged as such.
    In regards to the argument that DC is dependent on ideas he conceived years ago, he is absolutely correct. However… DC is also pretty dependent on ideas by Joe Schuster and Jerry Siegel don’t you think? Bob Kane would agree. Does that make current Superman and Batman stories superfluous and innane?! Also what was that character Allan Moore developed into his own? Oh yeah… Swamp Thing. Also EVERY CHARACTER IN THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN….
    Frankly the only surprise about this whole thing is that DC didn’t do this sooner.
    The whole “it just seemed like the right time” thing should simply say “hey, now that we have your attention because of the New 52 here is another thing you should buy!” Its 100% a money grab but in no way does that nullify it’s merit as a story. Also DC is a major corporation… so OF COURSE its a money grab! Thats what corporations do!
    Im just saying no one should be upset or shocked about this. Great writers telling great stories with great characters is why we all read comics. Right?

  130. This seems like a worse idea then the new logo (seriously that new logo is awful!)

  131. An Open Letter to Alan Moore.

    With greatest respect to you and to your work, and also with a great understanding of why you would be upset about the now inevitable prequels to your landmark work of Watchmen, you did this to yourself. You took yourself out of the game, out of pride and a desire for freedom and respect, but in doing so you also made yourself irrelevant. You’ve made it quite well known by now that there will be no approval on your end of anything that anyone else tries to do with any of your works. You’ve taken a stand, but you’ve done so with no cards in your hand, so all the big corporate creators need to do is ignore you to make money. As we all know corporations exist to make money, so be assured you will be ignored. I’ve no doubt in my mind that you hate this, but there is a way that you can beat this problem.
    I gather from your comment that you see this work, and maybe all your cannon of work, as akin to the works of Herman Melville or some other master. Most would agree with you in that assessment, and this affront to your work, by being lumped in with other creators who had no more involvement in the work than being fanboys could seem to cheapen what you’ve done. There is nothing you can do to stop this, it will happen and it will make a lot of noise and money. What you can do is out shine their efforts. Create something better than they will, tell those same stories, but do it the way you would envision it. In the annals of history where all great works rest, they are not the property of their publishers, but of their authors, and the words of the author have final stay on the work as it is viewed in the sitting rooms and lecture halls of the future. If others want to tell those tales then let them do it, but if you tell a better tale, one that fits, one that is resonant, then you will be the one who is remembered. I’m not saying they will see publication in your lifetime, but if those things exist they will at least be your voice on the subject.

    Best wishes.


  132. I’m a little disappointed there is no Art & Franco Watchmen Babies.

  133. I’m pretty comfortable in saying I’m not going to be reading these. I just don’t feel like I need to go back to that world.

    Wonderful Nite Owl cover, though.

  134. I read this on tumblr and think it is a pretty good way of putting my thoughts.

    “‘Unnecessary’ is not the same as ‘lacking in merit’.”

    I’m sick of people saying these will ruin Watchmen. I don’t see how that is at all possible. For as terrible as the Star Wars prequels were, the original trilogy is still a beautiful set of movies. It’s all about what you let these stories do. If you don’t like them, then don’t consider them canon. If you love them, then enjoy! You now have an even wider universe with the characters you love.

    • I don’t think this will ruin watchmen I think that it is unnecessary because all it will do is approach the source material and never surpass it. it is simply not possible. These talented creators should spend their time creating something singular i.e. something that repeats the force and power of the original work as opposed to aping the original. League is singular even though it uses established characters. the Watchmen and V movies failed because they were venal repetitions. As talented as these creators are (for the most part) I would bet my right hand that ultimately the success of these works in the minds of those who enjoy them will trade on the degree to which they evoke the original.

  135. I choose to react… locigally!

    I was never in favour of a prequel, so I never even thought about who would write or draw it. With this creative talent on board, I’m sold. If, somehow, all of these minis are awful, the quality of Watchmen will not decline, and nobody is coming to take my copy from me. If you’re not interested, then don’t buy them. That’ll have a greater impact on DC than complaining online will.

  136. Based on what Alan Moore said, and considering Darwyn Cooke should have been doing art and not just writing, I will take a pass on this. I am not going to support any blatant money making by DC. 36 issues of it is way too much. They are so greedy. They should have just made it a mini series with no tie-ins and be done with it.

  137. Wow. This is what happens when I sleep in.

  138. These comics will probably be okay, but I don’t really have any interest in the premise of any of these projects.

    There are some good creators on this, but I’d rather they were doing other things.

    On some level, it does speak to greed and lack of ambition, that this project is even happening. DC held off on it so long because they KNEW that on a creative level it just seems wrong. There’s no reason for it. It’s pointless and is kind of like an admission that, on some level, they’re desperate for ideas.

    That said, I won’t fault anyone for reading any of this. But I just don’t see the point. The “universe” of Watchmen was so interesting precisely because we only got a little glimpse of it, only saw little hints of the superhero history that we had to USE OUR IMAGINATIONS to fill-in while we were reading the story. The characters are great characters, but I don’t need to know everything about them.

    This whole thing seems like more nostalgia porn or something. I’m not “mad” at it, but it’s puzzling to me that it’s even such a big draw.

    Lastly, I think it’s interesting that Grant Morrison is not participating in this. Obviously he could have if he wanted to, and “re-writing” Moore has been something Morrison has engaged in on a thematic level for two decades now. But I guess Morrison himself didn’t really want to connect himself to Moore’s work on such a literal, desperate level.

    • Great post, I especially agree with this:

      “That said, I won’t fault anyone for reading any of this. But I just don’t see the point. The “universe” of Watchmen was so interesting precisely because we only got a little glimpse of it, only saw little hints of the superhero history that we had to USE OUR IMAGINATIONS to fill-in while we were reading the story. The characters are great characters, but I don’t need to know everything about them.”

      I would rather see Watchmen left alone, the fact that it is so polarizing and revered to this day shows just how significant Watchmen was and still is. I don’t see the point of further exploring that world. It’s happening, though. Not much else can be said.

      I just hope these new stories do justice to the characters and the story that so many people love.

    • Nostalgia porn. great phrase

  139. 7 mini’s 30+ issues big name creators is just a money grab. Why can’t they get these creators that everyone loves, do ORIGINAL work (creator owned? maybe?) or elseworld tales of THEIR choosing.
    I agree with Moore in that originality is somewhat dead. Why can’t they label, market and Title the books Minutemen, why the need for the whole thing to be related to Watchmen?($$ i know, I know)
    The Wizard of Oz, Goodfellas, Gladiator, Gone with the Wind, the Departed, Scarface, Platoon, all GREAT movies that didn’t need a prequel OR sequel and just stand out great on their own.

  140. Without Alan Moore, I kind of just see this as really well done fan-fiction

  141. Let’s just hope it’ll be good, can we ask for anything more?

    No reason to get all butt-hurt over it.

  142. Okay after 328 comments I don’t see how much I can contribute. But for my quick two cents:

    I haven’t been more excited for anything until this came out. This could go in so many different ways from a spectrum of ‘amazing’ to ‘pure shit’. But then again can it really be bad? Haters are gonna hate but the creative team announced is something special. They are using top quality talent instead of taking the old stand-bys like Johns and Morrison. I really want to read all of these at least an issue. (Cause quite frankly adding $20+ to my monthly pullbin is out of the question financially in my life right now) From JMS doing Dr. Manhattan/Nite Owl, to a fucking Silk Spectre series with an amazing creative team of Cooke and Conner.

    Alan Moore should be upset because, whether it is truly his characters or not, the story is HIS and I totally get why he is pissed. But technically it is DC’s character not his so they can do whatever the hell they want. All I know is this: If DC hasn’t taken over dominance of sales before with the new 52 then they certainly took it today.

  143. So, let me get this straight, Mr.Moore. It’s OK for you to do Swamp Thing, Miracle Man, Batman, Superman, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Lost Girls, and riff on Charlton’s characters. It’s OK for you to take someone else’s characters and do what ever you want to do with them. But, it’s NOT OK for other people to do the same thing to your characters? I love you Alan, but sometimes you can be a real jerk.

    It’s also pretty clear that DC was very careful about picking the teams to work on these books and that they have an enormous respect for the source material. Worst case scenario is a person doesn’t like it. It’s not the end of the world. Who knows, maybe it’ll be good?

    • There are hundreds of comments here and dozens respond to this “accusation” … stay with the program

    • Yes, but as you say these are all from other people. Your rationalizing is not the same as Moore’s explanations.

      When Moore comes out and gives an explanation as to what the difference is between his work on League or Lost Girls and what modern comics (which he bitches about) are doing, then the “accusation’ will be answered. This is the problem, not whatever idealistic whining justification comes from Moore’s supporters.

      And for the record, I do believe that he is the greatest comic writer ever, and that he is a cranky old coot.

  144. I’ll wait until it’s collected into an omnibus or something. Maybe put it on the bookshelf with the Watchmen trade.

  145. I think no one has more respective for the material than the writers themselves and I can’t believe that they would do anything to alter the original story or change anything beyond it. This is an opportunity to have fun with the characters and explore the world that Alan Moore created, not to alter it, but to add to it; not improve it, just add to it. Ultimately, DC is trying to get some extra money out of this, but they got the right people to do it and hopefully make it worth it. It would have been really terrible if they put no effort in the creative teams, so you have to give them that at least.

  146. mr. gibbons, i think you mean, “I appreciate DC’s rea$on$ for this initiative…” that said, a large part of a publisher’s job is to make money. i hope they make a gillion gazillion dollars and use it to bankroll projects by lesser known artists like travel foreman.

  147. Don’t want to be left out of this comment thread. Don’t have anything new to add though.

  148. Have to admit; in THEORY, I’m dreading this. But in FACT? Conner, Cooke, Azzarello, and Jones? Sign me up, and I’ll try to ignore the horrible violation.

    OTOH, I’m surprised that DC thinks that Straczynski can handle a whopping FOUR issues of Dr. Manhattan. He’ll probably write two, then leave notes for the cleanup writer, while he moves on to the DC cash cow du jour.

  149. My response to this is a great big meh. Watchmen is a completed story. There are no burning questions I need answered. I feel no need to read about just why exactly did Dr. Manhattan climb inside the machine and get zapped. If I wanted to read that, there’s probably fifty different versions on Fanfiction.net and Livejournal and Tmblr. The only thing about this project that even remotely peaks my interest is Darwyn Cooke being involved. As for JMS, he needs to stick to writing TV shows, I have no interest in reading his latest hack-y comic work.

    At this point, I think DC is rapidly beginning to out-Lucas George Lucas.

    • +1
      EXACTLY!! Everything I wanted to know about the Minutemen and the relationship dynamic with the main characters was expertly done in the various flashbacks!! I liked better piecing together the history with the glimpses given to us by Moore abd Gibbons.

      BTW, I heard Lucas is working a a 3-D film on JarJar as Gungan president answering all those questions of just how good a ruler he was.

  150. As I was scrolling down the page, looking at the covers to the new series, my eyes caught the top half of Dr. Manhatten. I thought I was looking at a different kind of comic book for a second.

  151. I really have no idea what the fuss is about in regards to whether DC should be doing this or not. Two points that have been made before resonate. Firstly, did Grant Morrison invent Superman? No. Did Mark Waid come up with the idea for Daredevil? No. Are the X-Men a Jason Aaron creation? No. Hell, did Alan Moore come up with the idea for Swamp Thing? No. Comic books are all about writers and artist working with other peoples ideas and being creative and coming up with something new. In a way that’s what makes comics different to other forms of written media. DC is doing with Watchmen what it has been doing for decades with Batman and Superman.
    The second point is Alan Moore bring in the argument that there were no prequels/sequels to ‘Moby Dick’. That’s correct Alan. Though there are sequels (kind of) to Dracula and Jekyll and Hyde though because you used someone else’s characters in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. How is this any different in an artistic sense to what DC are doing? Some might argue that copy write comes into the argument somewhere but all of Alan’s arguments seem to be coming from an artistic stand point.

    As we say over here… Storm in a teacup. Speaking of which, who takes sugar?

  152. Azzarello and Barmejo? Yes please! That Jae Lee cover is great also.

  153. I am TOTALLY down. I see Alan Moore’s POV but at the same time I can’t wait for more!!

  154. Any chance of a V For Vendetta prequel?

    Best issue will be when he reads the dictionary and memorizes all those v words.

  155. I just noticed the new DC logo! Hmm…not as bothered by it’s appearance as I thought I would be. It kind of blends it. In fact I didn’t notice it until now, or is that the problem?

  156. I stepped out for a minute, any one compare this to the holocaust yet?

  157. Comparing Watchmen to ‘Moby Dick’…hmmmm…someone has a very inflated opinion of himself. I’m surprised Mr. Moore didn’t compare Watchmen to the Bible. Anyone remember when the Beatles compared themselves to Jesus Christ? Wonder how Oscar Wilde, Jules Verne, Bram Stoker, H.G. Wells, and Robert Louis Stevenson feel about The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen?

    Watchmen is an excellent story and complete in it’s own right but let’s not forget that it was also based on and was a reinvention of the old Charlton characters that DC already owned. A brilliant reinvention, I agree, but not entirely original. The characters are compelling and clearly have a rich history outside of the main story and I, for one, look forward to reading more about them.

    Watchmen will always exist and will always be brilliant but it’s not sacred (I can feel the death threats!). If the prequels suck they will soon be forgotten but Watchmen will still be brilliant. The fact that Sherlock Holmes has recently had two really really bad sequels doesn’t make me love ‘A Study in Scarlet’ any less. On the other hand if the prequels are good we will have a whole new world of compelling stories to read.

    Yes, DC is out to make money (that’s their job, they’re a company with stockholders). This should come as no surprise to anyone including Alan Moore. That doesn’t mean that they can’t also love the characters and want to do right by them. I hope that the books succeed. After all they’ve waited 25 years, I think that’s long enough. If you’re not interested, don’t read them but take off the black veils people.

    • @Bigblue, my impression was he was trying to pick as identifiable a book as possible to illustrate his point, not try to prove how humble he is.
      Watchmen isn’t sacred, I agree, but it truly is DC trying to get some fans to buy more book based on their nostalgia. Like they have done with thier other trademarks. I agree these characters are great, but the greatness for me came from the sprinkling of info and actions through out the individual issues. My imagination did the rest based on the ground work Alan Moore provided.
      I don’t see how this can hurt in any way, but these would have served better probably if they were released at the time of the film, these characters are already archetypes of their flag ship trademark characters, it just dress up a pig and calling it a dog now.
      I think they would be better served in trying to connect with more real issues in the world and writing stories which evolve around what the current generation faces.It seems to really be missing in alot of today’s main stream comics.

    • What Oliver said… the whole point of using derivative characters was to drive the story. The focus was the story, not the characters, although they were very well developed. Theres no need to read about the “Amazing Adventures of Niteowl” because he was, essentially, the Blue Beetle Ted Kord. Go read some old Blue Beetle if you want ‘prequel’ material then.

      Watchmen, more or less, is the Kingdom Come of Charleston characters.

      I agree though… I just hate that people are choosing to argue about ‘original’ and argue over Moore’s involvement because it makes those who aren’t buying this look like foolish fanboys. DC can print this, its alright. And its alright that Moore has nothing to do with it. But I won’t buy because I just don’t see the point and have no interest, not because I’m so mad about Alan Moore.

  158. I have read Watchmen close to a 1/2 dozen times in the past decade. Every time I read it, I end up wanting more. Specifically, the old Minutemen and that early era of crime fighting. Even when watching the film, the fantastic intro credits they did showing that history. I think I loved those few minutes of the film the best. This news of Cooke bringing his touch to the Watchmen universe has me so excited. DC New Frontier meets Watchmen? Hell yes!!!

    • You are the first and only person I have read or heard say that. To me, you’re saying that Watchmen is nothing more than just another superhero comic and that you only saw it as such. How can you read Watchmen and think , “Boy, I sure would like to read a comic about Dr Manhattan in Vietnam”? It seems like that what trying to be told to you is being ignored then.

      It would be like watching Close Encounters and thinking, “I sure would like to watch a movie about the aliens”. Or like when literal-only thinking people complain that zombie movies don’t explain where the zombies came from. By focusing on these non-things that aren’t presented to you, it seems as if you’re ignoring what has been presented. Or like being presented a birthday gift and then asking what other wrapping paper options may have existed. Its seems pointless.

    • Whoa, dude! Call off your dogs a little. The guy obviously loves watchmen. All he wants to know is more about the Minutemen. I don’t really see what is the problem. I understand that sometimes people don’t appreciate something on the same level as you, but that’s okay too. I remember reading watchmen and being fascinated by the wealth of ideas and themes being presented to me, yet i couldn’t help but wanting more rorshach.
      Does that mean that i didn’t appreciate the work. It’s just that Rorshach was the part of the book that drew me in the most and i wanted a little more. Now I’m not scolding you, but i just wanted to offer my two cents.

      To be honest I would love to watch a movie about the aliens, but i already know where the zombie virus came from. Either A.) extraterrestrial in nature, B.) Created by Man, C.) Occurs in nature, D.) Supernatural origins.

  159. Based on his recent output, and the boring mess that was LXG:1969, we can all be glad that Moore isn’t writing these.

  160. The Jae Lee “Ozy” cover…. I feel like Lee draws that similar cover a lot. (Cp. Namor (2010) #1 and Wolverine (2010) #1)

  161. After sitting on this news for a bit, I’m pretty excited to read these. I like Watchmen just fine. It’s far from my favorite story but I certainly appreciate its precision and technical quality. The characters served the story and I have no particular desire to read more about them. But man, that is a killer line up of artists. I will probably pick up all of these.

    Riffing off old stories and characters has been a staple of comics for a very long time. Really, it’s a staple of storytelling in general. I see no reason why Watchmen should be any different. Also, I think these will sell very well and have a wider appeal. Watchmen is the only property ever where friends asked me for the comic after hearing about the movie.

  162. stasibal said: “The characters served the story and I have no particular desire to read more about them”

    This is my feeling. I don’t care that Moore is not involved and don’t care about that debate, I just don’t see the point of anything Watchmen-related at all. Its not a franchise, but DC is trying to turn it into one and that’s too bad.

    OVerall, I’m not saying DC should burn and die or that they should stop the press right now. I’m just not buying it. I love the original, its all I needed. I have no desire to read anything else about these characters. Watchmen never presented itself in that way to me.

    Last time I paid money for a prequel to an original piece that came 20 years or so prior, I got Jar Jar Binks and midichlorians. I know with a good lineup of writers and artist, the Watchmen prequels won’t be quite that bad… but again, not interested in seeing Niteowl cruising in his Owlship fighting crime, or Rorshach solving mysteries. These characters were a vehicle to drive the original Watchmen story… outside of that specific story, they are derivative (which was the WHOLE POINT TO BEGIN WITH).

    • The point of anything Watchmen-related is that they have good reason to believe they can sell it. If I get interesting stories drawn by great artists, some of whom don’t do much interior work otherwise, that’s a good enough starting point for me.

      The Star Wars prequels may be similar in some ways but it’s a largely different situation. Star Wars had a large EU before those prequels ever came out. Overall Star Wars was already bigger than the original movies. There are Star Wars stories ranging from 4000 years before to 250 years after the movies. My favorite video games are Star Wars games. That’s all because Lucas let people use it. It’s arguably become our greatest modern mythology and it’s as large or small as you want it to be.

      And people say only Moore should write Watchmen stories. But clearly Lucas wasn’t the man to direct the prequels. I know he wouldn’t do it anyway but I imagine if he did, maybe Moore has evolved to a point where if he did more Watchmen people probably wouldn’t even like it (I understand Moore is more technically skilled than Lucas). If Star Wars has taught us anything I’d says it’s that many minds can make something much greater than one ever could.

      That Star Wars analogy really got me thinking. Maybe it’s because I’m playing too much The Old Republic right now. I’m sure all this has been brought up on this thread already. There are A LOT of comments. 🙂

  163. Those are Moore and Gibbon’s characters and they should both have control over them. To me that is the bottom line here. Sure DC owns the rights and can therefore legally do whatever they want with the property, but that’s only because comics creators didn’t have the power 30 years ago that they do now. If Watchman had come out in the last 10 years Moore would own everything about those characters. It’s just sad that in the 80’s publishers had all the power and they used that to leverage contracts in their favor so they owned everything and the creators had no control. I know Moore will still get paid, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about pouring your energy and creativity into creating a deep and interesting world populated by believable and interesting characters only to have to sign it over to a corporate entity. I’m willing to give these books a chance but they will be measured against the original and based on that standard it will be hard for them to live up to my expectations.

    • OK. This is a no-brainer. Either you are for or against this move. If you are against this move..stay away from the books. If you are for the move…buy all of the books. Let’s be happy comic book consumers!!!

    • I’m not against the books, I said as much in my comment. It’s just a shame DC treated Moore so poorly over the years and therefore the two parties couldn’t come to an agreement. From what I’ve read of Moore he was interested in going a follow up to Watchmen, he just wasn’t interested in ever working with DC again. It’s the age old battle of art as business, the desire of the artist to make money in a creatively satisfying way, balanced against the company’s desire to make as much money as possible from that creation. I know Moore is a little crazy and therefore partially to blame but in this situation it seems the company won.