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:
BEFORE WATCHMEN includes:
- RORSCHACH (4 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: Lee Bermejo
- MINUTEMEN (6 issues) – Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke
- COMEDIAN (6 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: J.G. Jones
- DR. MANHATTAN (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artist: Adam Hughes
- NITE OWL (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artists: Andy and Joe Kubert
- OZYMANDIAS (6 issues) – Writer: Len Wein. Artist: Jae Lee
- SILK SPECTRE (4 issues) – Writer: Darwyn Cooke. Artist: Amanda Conner
Each week, a new issue will be released, and will feature a two-page back-up story called CURSE OF THE CRIMSON CORSAIR, written by original series editor Len Wein and with art by original series colorist John Higgins. There will also be a single issue, BEFORE WATCHMEN: EPILOGUE, featuring the work of various writers and artists, and a CRIMSON CORSAIR story by Wein and Higgins.
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.’ ”