PDA

View Full Version : DC Announces 'Before Watchmen'



Ian Jane
02-01-2012, 10:27 AM
From the DC press release here:

This summer, DC Entertainment will publish all-new stories expanding on the acclaimed WATCHMEN universe. As highly anticipated as they are controversial, the seven inter-connected prequel mini-series will build on the foundation of the original WATCHMEN, the bestselling graphic novel of all time. BEFORE WATCHMEN will be the collective banner for all seven titles, from DC Comics.

“It’s our responsibility as publishers to find new ways to keep all of our characters relevant,” said DC Entertainment Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee. “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.”

Stepping up to the challenge is a group of the comic book industry’s most iconoclastic writers and artists – including Brian Azzarello (100 BULLETS), Lee Bermejo (JOKER), Amanda Conner (POWER GIRL), Darwyn Cooke (JUSTICE LEAGUE: NEW FRONTIER), John Higgins (WATCHMEN), Adam Hughes (CATWOMAN), J.G. Jones (FINAL CRISIS), Andy Kubert (FLASHPOINT), Joe Kubert (SGT. ROCK), Jae Lee (BATMAN: JEKYLL AND HYDE), J. Michael Straczynski (SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE) and Len Wein (SWAMP THING).
BEFORE WATCHMEN includes:

RORSCHACH (4 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: Lee Bermejo


MINUTEMEN (6 issues) – Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke


COMEDIAN (6 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: J.G. Jones


DR. MANHATTAN (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artist: Adam Hughes


NITE OWL (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artists: Andy and Joe Kubert


OZYMANDIAS (6 issues) – Writer: Len Wein. Artist: Jae Lee


SILK SPECTRE (4 issues) – Writer: Darwyn Cooke. Artist: Amanda Conner
Each week, a new issue will be released, and will feature a two-page back-up story called CURSE OF THE CRIMSON CORSAIR, written by original series editor Len Wein and with art by original series colorist John Higgins. There will also be a single issue, BEFORE WATCHMEN: EPILOGUE, featuring the work of various writers and artists, and a CRIMSON CORSAIR story by Wein and Higgins.

“The original series of WATCHMEN is the complete story that Alan Moore and I wanted to tell. However, I appreciate DC’s reasons for this initiative and the wish of the artists and writers involved to pay tribute to our work. May these new additions have the success they desire,” said Dave Gibbons, WATCHMEN co-creator and original series artist.

“Comic books are perhaps the largest and longest running form of collaborative fiction,” said DiDio and Lee. “Collaborative storytelling is what keeps these fictional universes current and relevant.”

Ian Jane
02-01-2012, 10:29 AM
2520

Ian Jane
02-01-2012, 10:30 AM
There's some good people attached to this project and I can completely understand why DC would want to keep this alive in this way, but man I really hope they don't fuck this up. I'm sure somewhere Alan Moore is casting an evil spell on Jim Lee over this.

Toyboy
02-06-2012, 01:50 AM
Just be glad Jim Lee's not going to be drawing any of these.

Alan Moore says:

“I tend to take this latest development as a kind of eager confirmation that (DC is) still apparently dependent on ideas that I had 25 years ago.”

I'm not the first person to point this out but Alan Moore's career has been built on tweaking other creators' works starting with MARVELMAN (which was already based on Fawcett/DC's Captain Marvel), CAPTAIN BRITAIN, and SWAMP THING - even WATCHMEN is based on Charlton characters. His last major books have each used concepts and characters taken from various sources; LOST GIRLS, NEONOMICON, and the ongoing LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN series are each "dependent on ideas" from other authors dating back to the 19th century.

So, yeah...anyway, I'll wait and get these from the library in a few years after all the hub bub has died down.

Ian Jane
02-06-2012, 10:03 AM
Ha, that's a pretty valid arguement to put Moore in his place. I guess the clincher though is that Moore does what he does very well - a lot of other people do not. If you're good at what you do then you can get away with more. Or Moore. ha!

I still like the idea of him casting an evil spell on Jim Lee.

2527

Ian Jane
02-07-2012, 06:58 PM
Alan Moore responds to some of those criticisms here (http://click.email.newburycomics.com/?ju=fe3a15747567057f771478&ls=fdf710787066077d7310707d&m=fef917707d6201&l=fe8d15767d610d7974&s=fe2c11767564027e701076&jb=ffcf14&t=)!

Sadly, he does not cast magical spells.

Andrew Monroe
06-08-2012, 08:10 AM
I picked up the first issue of Minutemen this week. I adore Darwyn Cooke's art so I had to give this a shot even though I am pretty skeptical about this whole concept. I thought his story was pretty good for a sort of introductory issue, but I have no idea where this is going.The art is Cooke's typical rad retro look.

Barry M
06-08-2012, 08:56 AM
http://i247.photobucket.com/albums/gg138/barrymba56/sip_hal_09_owl_xl.jpg

Baby Watchmen r cute.

Andrew Monroe
06-22-2012, 02:43 PM
Comedian is the first one of these that has me looking forward to the next issue. Brian Azzarello is writing it, so that shouldn't be a big surprise. The first issue was very good, takes place just before JFK's assassination and The Comedian is heavily involved with the Kennedys, to say anymore would spoil it but it's pretty ballsy. This is the first of the three number ones I've read that seems to have captured some of the elements of the original.

Randy G
06-23-2012, 03:16 AM
I picked up the first issue of Minutemen this week. I adore Darwyn Cooke's art so I had to give this a shot even though I am pretty skeptical about this whole concept. I thought his story was pretty good for a sort of introductory issue, but I have no idea where this is going.The art is Cooke's typical rad retro look.

Cooke's name is the most exciting for me connected to this, I'll check some of them out.

Ian Jane
12-12-2012, 12:18 PM
Umm... so evidently Travis Bickle has been driving Rorschach (http://www.bleedingcool.com/2012/12/12/robert-de-niros-taxi-driver-picks-up-rorschach-in-before-watchmen/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter) around town.

Huh.

5181

Andrew Monroe
12-12-2012, 01:02 PM
That first panel looks like Sly to me.

Minutemen is the only title I've stuck with, it's been good and Cooke's art and writing are top notch. Comedian started out with a great first issue but I lost interest not long after.

Toyboy
12-12-2012, 08:19 PM
Umm... so evidently Travis Bickle has been driving Rorschach (http://www.bleedingcool.com/2012/12/12/robert-de-niros-taxi-driver-picks-up-rorschach-in-before-watchmen/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter) around town.

Huh.

5181

Fuck that shit. There's a comic called Luther Strode that has great artwork but the story reads like a TV show and they drew this thug kid to look like Jesse from Breaking Bad. Even gave him the last name of Pinkman. Dumb.

Ian Jane
07-12-2013, 09:43 AM
Hardcover collections are coming, and once they do, I'll probably bite. As it is, I held off on the single issues.

DC is gonna show this ad on the Times Square jumbotron around Comic Con time to promote.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OuU2-J4QPw&feature=player_embedded

Andrew Monroe
07-12-2013, 10:25 AM
Ian, if I were you I'd seriously consider at least waiting for the trades. Looking back on this now, I think it was a bomb. I got several issues of most series and they all were lame with the exception of Minutemen. The odd one or two others had decent moments but as a whole this was a bad idea that never rose above its dubious origins. The Dollar Bill one-shot, with art by Steve Rude, is at least worth checking out too.

Bleeding Cool had a funny article not too long ago on how it appeared the review blurbs chosen for the collection covers seemed hilariously lukewarm.

Ian Jane
07-12-2013, 10:34 AM
I may do just that then, Andrew. Rude's stuff is always worth checking out.

He should have a Rad Artist thread!

Andrew Monroe
07-12-2013, 12:04 PM
Here (http://www.bleedingcool.com/2013/06/24/the-very-quotable-before-watchmen/) is that Bleeding Cool piece, pretty funny.

The Rude/Len Wein Dollar Bill issue will be in one of the books, I'm sure.

scottsanderson
07-13-2013, 09:47 PM
My local comic shop had a bunch of these and I quickly flipped through... I don't know, to me they just seemed like a blatant cash in without much heart. I wasn't that impressed.

Scott
07-13-2013, 11:07 PM
I haven't read these but they strike me as the STAR WARS PREQUELS of the comic world. In that they're a story that doesn't need to be told, and nobody asked for it and all the fine craftsman working on could be put to better, more inspired, use.

It's funny when I read people say stuff like "I always wanted to read about where the characters came from." Because WATCHMEN has such a definitive beginning and ending. There isn't more story to tell. These aren't serial characters, just inspired by that type. To continue on before or after is just watering it down and feels pointless. I don't want to see a story about how Fred C. Dobbs ended up in Mexico, or how Darth Vader became evil. There's enough implied in both stories to let the viewer paint the picture. Again, less is more. STOP EXPLAINING EVERYTHING! YOU'RE STEALING THE MAGIC! And stop putting speedos on Dr Manhattan! It's stuff like that, the little stuff (lol), that takes the edge off and makes it feel less than and watered down.

I didn't see the movie, like these comics it feels like a novelty. I like WATCHMEN but why can't that be good enough? The comic industry needs to get off it's nuts. Like in that video above, "THE BEST SELLING GRAPHIC NOVEL OF ALL TIME!", good as it may be, and it is very good, sales aren't indicative of quality. It might be good deconstructive superhero comics but I don't think it can touch stuff like DAVID BORING, FRANK, or ACME NOVELTY LIBRARY.

In the LONE RANGER thread Robin Bougie brought up how fans support stuff they hate, and I think this is a perfect example. Stop supporting derivative crap and maybe they'll stop making it. I was in the comic store a week ago and a group of guys were talking. One guy said he doesn't like the Nu DC but buys the Batman titles anyway cuz it's Batman, even though it's awful. IMO, that's less a collector mentality and more a crazy cat lady hoarder mentality. Just because your house isn't filled with cats doesn't mean it isn't filled with shit.

I don't know how often the kid I used to work with would talk about how awful such and such video game was going to be then in the same breath said he was gonna preorder it. Gluttons for punishment maybe? A so called right to say it's crap? If I see a turd on the sidewalk I don't have to step in it make sure, "Yep, that was shit alright. At least now I can say for sure." I just go out of my way to avoid it. I don't care how shiny they make it.

It's so cynical the way they went about it, making 8 miniseries and a 2 one-shots. It's like Marvel with their 20 Avenger titles, 10 Spider-Man titles, 80 X-men titles. Even if you like something they shove so much of it down your throat it becomes resentful. Why can't one be good enough? Why can't they let something stay special?

Andrew Monroe
07-15-2013, 09:14 AM
All great points, Scott and I agree on most counts. I can't tell you how many times I've thought the same thing about the endless X-Men, Avengers, Spidey, Batman, GL etc. books. If a particular book is successful they will invariably come out with spinoffs and sister titles and water down what was good about the thing in the first place. Just like I mentioned the other day, Earth 2 is one of the better selling New 52 titles so naturally another, related Earth 2 comic is coming. I've learned to vote with my money though and I don't but any of that crap. The one superhero book from the big 2 I get is Waid's Daredevil, a well written and drawn comic that sticks almost exclusively to its own little corner and rarely involves other characters. The one that really turned me off on DC was the one-after-another BIG EVENT things that were being done with Green Lantern, man, for a while there they had a seemingly never ending string of them...Blackest Night, Sinestro Corps War, blah blah blah...

I was initially intrigued by Before Watchmen - although I had reservations about the idea - by the group of talent they had involved. But now, looking back I see it for a deeply cynical cash-in even if the talent had good intentions.

Alex K.
07-15-2013, 09:36 AM
Hardcover collections are coming, and once they do, I'll probably bite. As it is, I held off on the single issues.

DC is gonna show this ad on the Times Square jumbotron around Comic Con time to promote.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OuU2-J4QPw&feature=player_embedded

Still not hype.

Scott
07-15-2013, 08:52 PM
All great points, Scott and I agree on most counts. I can't tell you how many times I've thought the same thing about the endless X-Men, Avengers, Spidey, Batman, GL etc. books. If a particular book is successful they will invariably come out with spinoffs and sister titles and water down what was good about the thing in the first place. Just like I mentioned the other day, Earth 2 is one of the better selling New 52 titles so naturally another, related Earth 2 comic is coming. I've learned to vote with my money though and I don't but any of that crap. The one superhero book from the big 2 I get is Waid's Daredevil, a well written and drawn comic that sticks almost exclusively to its own little corner and rarely involves other characters. The one that really turned me off on DC was the one-after-another BIG EVENT things that were being done with Green Lantern, man, for a while there they had a seemingly never ending string of them...Blackest Night, Sinestro Corps War, blah blah blah...

I was initially intrigued by Before Watchmen - although I had reservations about the idea - by the group of talent they had involved. But now, looking back I see it for a deeply cynical cash-in even if the talent had good intentions.

After rereading what I wrote I gotta say I didn't mean to sound so dickish.

I buy a lot of questionable stuff too. I'm as guilty as anyone in fandom I suppose. But it's something I'm always trying to fight, the completist mentality. I saw PHANTOM MENANCE, then 2 then 3. It's a sickness. Stepped right into both turds face first.

sukebanboy
07-22-2013, 08:39 AM
I saw PHANTOM MENANCE, then 2 then 3. It's a sickness. Stepped right into both turds face first.

You are not alone.....I guess we all suffer from GEEKY FANDOMITIS a few times even though we fight against it....and we always hold out that hope that the questionable / crapped on stuff my JUST be awesome...and the\at the reviewers just didnt GET IT.......Disappointment is inevitable....

Toyboy
07-26-2013, 12:13 AM
The hardcovers have started to show up at my library so I grabbed and read the OZYMANDIAS book last night (it also contains the CRIMSON CORSAIR story but I have no interest in that one. The DOLLAR BILL one-shot is included as well but that was the only one of these comics I bought off the shelf. The less said about that one the better).

So, given the challenge of wringing something new from the Moore/Gibbons original Len Wein chose a somewhat simplistic route: retell WATCHMEN strictly from Adrian Veidt's point of view in excerpts from his autobiography. In spite of the BEFORE WATCHMEN title this particular book is not so much a "what happened before" tale as it is chronologically laid out vignettes that fill in gaps that were never meant to be filled. And what does Wein use as filler? Why, the most tired cliches in superhero comics of course. As a child Veidt is bullied at school by an older boy - a lanky red-head who takes his lunch and calls him a freak*. After his parents die the story becomes a standard hunk of pulp with a voyage of discovery in the Far East, complete with martial arts training and drug trips. Upon returning to the US, Veidt becomes Batman...I mean, Ozymandias - a costumed vigilante, bent on avenging his girlfriend's death by drug overdose. He fights thugs in alleys and warehouses and....




.....excuse me. I just fell asleep typing that.

Once this lame origin is out of the way the remainder of the book focuses on showing the character getting to the various points we see him at in the original. It's all like taking a different route to work - the scenery is a little different but you still end up at the same place. If you ever wondered how Ozymandias looked making his way up to Edward "Comedian" Blake's apartment in WATCHMEN, this is the story for you. If you want to read what Veidt was thinking when he met the other members of his team, have at it. Big shocker here - the whole thing felt like such a waste of time and energy, although I hesitate to add creativity. Again, there's not much new here other than a slightly different perspective on familiar scenes. There are no real twists or revelations. At least none that stood out to me.

On the art side I must admit that Jae Lee's style is not a favorite of mine so I wasn't really taken with the visuals. I'm not sure if this is something he does a lot but for this series he used symmetrical page layouts that are broken by circular panels at the tops and bottoms. It did make for a super quick read, mercifully.

*I know I harp on this but I swear it must be corporately mandated at Marvel and DC that one in every three issues of their comics has to feature one character calling another one a freak. I mean, in the grand scheme of things I read relatively few mainstream comics but I see this a lot. It just happened in the preview I read of the new BATMAN/SUPERMAN comic, also drawn by Jae Lee, that came out a few weeks ago as a matter of fact.

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a376/matthewallison/fight_zps6977079c.jpg (http://s15.photobucket.com/user/matthewallison/media/fight_zps6977079c.jpg.html)

One costumed superhuman calling a similarly dressed individual a freak is like one drag queen telling another one that she's being a little showy.

Ian Jane
07-26-2013, 09:14 AM
So I still haven't read any of these and my initial enthusiasm is more or less gone.

I think I'll keep reading old Creepy and Eerie reprints instead.

sukebanboy
08-07-2013, 07:57 AM
I think I'll keep reading old Creepy and Eerie reprints instead.

It would be much safer and much more rewarding!