DC Comics announced earlier this week that it is taking the daring and potentially dangerous step of releasing a series of prequels to its iconic Watchmen property. I speak in grave terms because Watchmen is considered the greatest graphic novel ever produced as well as one of the 100 greatest novels, period (according to TIME magazine). It also has a huge fan base that’ll boycott DC if the Before Watchmen series stinks.
According to Superherohype, DC has hired a slew to top artists and writers to conjure stories featuring the Watchmen characters created by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, neither of whom are involved. The series will offer:
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
New installments will be released weekly and include a two-page back-up story called Curse of the Crimson Corsair, which sounds like the prequel equivalent of W‘s own Tales of the Black Freighter. The series also includes Before Watchmen: Epilogue by various writers and artists. Gibbons has given the project his blessing‚ perhaps in return for a fat check?‚ but Moore, who is eccentric to say the least, no doubt will remain silent.
The 2009 film adaptation of Watchmen pretty much tanked despite being fiercely loyal to the original material except for an altered ending sans the giant space squid/vagina thingie, so it will be interesting to see if these new books find success or diehard fans reject them on principle. Libraries, of course, will have to purchase. Stay tuned.
Cool covers, if nothing.
Lastly, it couldn’t be more unrelated, but happy birthday to Gertrude Stein and James Michener. Don’t know about Michener, but I’ll bet Miss Stein would have been a Watchmen fan. Do you think she’d dig the Comedian the most or is more of a Rorschach kinda gal? You decide.