DC Comics has graciously provided BuzzFeed a sneak peek at the upcoming series “Before Watchmen.” And we’re happy to let you know that.
The new series captures prequel stories of the seminal characters created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, and has already been embroilled in controversy from purists that either believe the original series should stand alone or that are convinced the new stories won’t equal the epic storytelling of the original series. Whatever. Of course it shouldn’t and of course they won’t. However, given the creative teams involved, we’re confident the stories will stand on their own merits.
There’s a solid foundation for these prequels because Moore created such dense backstories. Effectively, Moore’s work set up the possibility of this type of series so it should be no surprise that DC would want to exploit that. It’s no different than James Cameron setting up the prequel to Titanic. Without all of the legwork he did on his “big boat” movie, there would have been no Rose’s Bawdy Adventures.
This won’t be the first time that new material has been added to a sacred cannon of original work. And if the objection is that Moore’s unique vision shouldn’t be sullied, keep in mind that he chose to publish it under the DC banner, so the stories are no longer his.
We’re feeling cavalier tonight and hope to stir up some of our own controversy. We’re pretty good at lying, so how about “The Watchmen sucked eggs out of a dirty goose!” or “Alan Moore is a plagiarist hack!” or “Dave Gibbons art is boring and Rorschach is a git!”
Frankly, we don’t care if the new series aren’t as great as Watchmen. They just have to be good. And they will be.
Anyway, buzz on over to BuzzFeed for 21 unpublished images.
And take a moment to enjoy previews of the Before Watchmen covers we posted previously.
DC Comics announced this week that it would be releasing seven separate “prequel” series highlighting the major characters of the Watchmen storyline. The total number of issues is slated to be 34. Various contributors will work on the project:
Comedian (6 issues); Writer: Brian Azzarello; Artist: J.G. Jones
Dr. Manhattan (4 issues); Writer: J. Michael Straczynski; Artist: Adam Hughes
Minutemen (6 issues); Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke
Nite Owl (4 issues); Writer: J. Michael Straczynski; Artists: Andy and Joe Kubert
Ozymandias (6 issues); Writer: Len Wein; Artist: Jae Lee
Rorschach (4 issues); Writer: Brian Azzarello; Artist: Lee Bermejo
Silk Spectre (4 issues); Writer: Darwyn Cooke; Artist: Amanda Conner
There will also be backup stories titled “Crimson Corsair” by Len Wein and John Higgins and a one issue epilogue by various contributors (details forthcoming).
You can imagine the controversy surrounding this project. Purists, critics that will offer their pre-publication pontifications, and possibly Alan Moore himself will lambaste it. For our part, we loved the original series (who didn’t for crying out loud?) and we’re eager at least to entertain the idea of additional storywork. Hey, keep an open mind and all that.
CURSE OF THE CRIMSON CORSAIR
Side note: Speaking of Alan Moore and religion (wait, what? were we not paying attention?), here’s his take. Moore apparently worships an ancient Roman, second-rate god name Glycon (who may have been made up as a hoax in ancient times) and believes that organized religion is unnatural. For our part, we believe Alan Moore wouldn’t do himself any harm in getting a shave and a haircut. Throw in some soap and water and some better fitting clothes, and he might not make babies cry anymore as he walks by. Just sayin’. Here’s more on Glycon and Moore from Wikipedia: “Following his ‘coming out’ as a magician in 1993, the English comic book writer and occultist Alan Moore has declared himself a devotee of Glycon, and has cheerfully admitted in interviews the absurdity of worshiping a probable fraud. Moore has declared he considers all ideas (including fictions) in some sense, ‘real’.“
Alandolph the Mottled