The beginnings of the legend
“If something works, don’t fix it” goes the age-old saying. The legendary Watchmen series of comic books, written by the revered Alan Moore in 1986, is considered by many to be a masterpiece.
A skillfully written, genuinely intriguing plot, deep and relatable characters, and an art style that blended traditional comic panels with hidden motifs were more than enough to blows the minds of readers everywhere.
Earlier today, some 26 years after the Watchmen books made waves in the comic world, DC comics has announced that they will be releasing a set of comics that will serve as prequels to the main series. These seven comics, each focusing on one of the main characters in the series, delve deeper into the minds of each individual, explaining how and why they ended up the way they were when readers first saw them in Watchmen.
The mini-series, aptly titled “Before Watchmen”, has already garnered its fair share of supporters and haters. Some are already highly anticipating the books, thanks to some big names behind the reins, like Brian Azzarello of Superman and Batman fame, but some are already crying out against it, claiming that Watchmen was already perfect as it was, and a prequel was unnecessary.
Here are the titles in Before Watchmen, as well as the creative forces behind them:
• 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 of the six original characters, as well as the Minutemen, will be featured in their own mini series.
After Zack Snyder’s film adaptation of Watchmen, which received mixed reviews by critics and fans alike, the question is whether an expansion of the storyline is really necessary at all.
However, with the promise of a deeper look into the psyche of the characters, as well as a set of books featuring the Minutemen, a team of vigilantes that were heavily teased in the Watchmen series but were never more than a piece in the background of the story, Before Watchmen may just have the potential to be the defining comic series this year.
Decide for yourself when the first issue of the mini-series goes on sale in the third quarter of this year.