Wow, the internet is not going to be happy today. They did it, those damn maniacs did it. They blew it… I mean they officially announced the Watchmen prequels. They being DC Comics and Watchmen prequels being a soul shattering money grab. Officially called Before Watchmen, seven inter-connected prequel mini-series will build on the foundation of the original and have a 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.
“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.”
It’s also going to polarize the comic book community into those that think its a bad idea and those that think its a terrible idea. Wait, maybe I am being to harsh… Maybe this will lead to some great story telling by some fantastic creative teams that expands on the already classic book. DC Comics is betting one pretty damn big maybe here because the nerdrage is already flaming up various parts of the internet.
Seven comics that will follow the same pattern as Seven Soldiers did with new issue out every week of its run. Here’s the rundown:
Rorschach by writer Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo
Comedian by Azzarello and artist J.G. Jones
Minutemen by writer/artist Darwyn Cooke
Silk Spectre by Cooke and artist Amanda Conner
Nite Owl by writer J. Michael Straczynski and artists Joe and Andy Kubert
Dr. Manhattan by Straczynski and artist J.G. Jones
Ozymandias by writer and original Watchmen editor Len Wein with art by Jae Lee
You have to admit, that is a rather impressive line-up DC has set up to pull this off. Clearly they know they are in an uphill battle so they brought out some big guns and I do wish nothing but good luck for them, they are going to need it.
The artist from the original classic Dave Gibbons gave a rather diplomatic response, “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.”
Alan Moore is yet to comment on this announcement, but he has previously said that it is “completely shameless” and “I tend to take this latest development as a kind of eager confirmation that they are still apparently dependent on ideas that I had 25 years ago”, (oooh BURN!) that the series is a reminder of “draconian contracts” he signed with DC and that “I don’t want money. What I want is for this not to happen… As far as I know, there weren’t that many prequels or sequels to ‘Moby-Dick.’” Ouch, caps with a literary classic burn, Well done Mr. Moore.
You can hit the jump to see the released images for Before Watchmen and sound off/vent/rage in the comments.