Before I talk about Before Watchmen –
Congrats to my friends who just delivered a new baby girl last night! Yay!
Am I interested? Yes. But only because of the talent. Brian Azzarello, Darwyn Cooke, JMS and Len Wein writing. Darwyn Cooke, J.G. Jones, Amanda Conner, the Kubert brothers, Adam Hughes, Lee Bermejo and Jae Lee on art. Many of these creators are on my ‘always buy’ list anyway. That is just a solid list of creators. Some are brilliant.
Will it be any good? Trickier. Moore and Gibbons didn’t really leave a lot of room for prequels in the story. The individual characters all had their origins and early histories told in the original story. Can you tell different plots, use different themes with the same characters? Sure and they might be good. I’m not sure if it will really be Watchmen though.
Will it be as good as Watchmen? Who knows. Not likely. 25 years later and I think there have been several comics better than Watchmen. Watchmen isn’t my favorite book. Often a new distillation of previous ideas can result in something better. More often you just get something watered down and wanting. It can’t help but be compared to the original, but I’ll be happy if it is good on its own terms.
Should DC publish it? Sure. It will probably make them money. And it might be good.
The Interwebs are abuzz. Twitter is twitterpated. Most of the talk I’ve seen, including the PR announcement, takes a different view than my quick analysis above. The questions asked are: Does DC have an ethical responsibility to follow Alan Moore’s wishes and just leave the property alone? Are the creators crazy to get involved in such a project? Will an updated project make Watchmen relevant to people today?
Bah. Either it is good or it isn’t. Look at those creators!
Or you can skip buying it.