Over the holiday break the rumors of a possible prequel to The Watchmen flared up again. The ever reliable Bleeding Cool had posted some artwork from a project code named Panic Room. A Night Owl image by Joe Kubert and Andy Kubert, the Comedian by JG Jones and that Amanda Conner was working on Silk Spectre. Those pictures didn’t last long, DC had the rabid lawyers on the attack and Christmas was saved!
It has come to our attention that you have impermissibly and without authorization posted assets containing unpublished intellectual property owned by DC Entertainment. We do not need to belabor the unlawful nature of this action (which could not have taken place without the breach of a confidentiality obligation), and demand that those assets be immediately taken down and no further postings of this nature transpire. This demand is made without limitation of DC Entertainment’s rights or remedies, all of which are expressly reserved.
Now, it’s safe to say we are probably days away from the official announcement (personally I am surprised it hasn’t happened already.) A quick survey of the internet will show that vast majority of comic nerds are against this idea for various reasons, but how could this be stopped? Should it be stopped? Comic blogger Alan David Doane has an answer. Yes it must not happen, and that will be achieved by the ever effective online petition!
Writer Alan Moore co-created Watchmen and signed a contract with DC Comics that under normal industry practices of the time would have seen control of the work revert to Moore and artist Dave Gibbons after the work had gone out of print for a period of time, as was the case with every DC graphic novel created under a similar contract up until Watchmen. Because of the unprecedented quality and success of Watchmen, DC has never allowed the work to go out of print, and therefore has retained legal control of Watchmen for decades longer than anyone at the time could have imagined they would have. We recognize that DC has the legal right to act as they have, but believe that their ongoing stewardship of Watchmen has been ethically dubious at best, and morally reprehensible at worst.
The preamble continues on touting this as a fight for the rights of the creators, including artist Dave Gibbons. An interesting tactic to say the least. At the time of this writing, the list of signatures and just topped over 100, rather low numbers really if it is to get the attention of DC Comics and halt production on something that has probably been in motion for awhile and would also make them a lot of money. What do you think? Should the characters of The Watchmen never be revisited? Who should decided, the creator or the publisher? The reader maybe?
If you want to sign the petition, you can find it here, DC Comics: End plans for sequels to Watchmen.