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Off My Mind: Should There Be a Sequel to WATCHMEN?

There have been rumors and lots of protest. Should there be another trip to the Watchmen Universe through a sequel or prequels?

WATCHMEN is the book all comic fans should have read. Long seen as a true classic, even many non-comic book readers have checked it out way before a movie adaptation was attempted. Since it's debut in 1986, the series has received praise and acclaim as one of the best stories written. The collected book has seen numerous printed editions and has been used in several college and university courses. WATCHMEN has been elevated to a near-untouchable level. It stands on its own and that's all that we need.

Yet since before the twelve-issue series went on sale, there has been talk of prequels involving other characters and exploring the time before the story took place. The idea of revisiting the Watchmen Universe soon became an idea that many felt should never be allowed to happen. There has been a bit of recent rumblings and rumors that DC Comics has plans in the work, under a secret title, to revisit the world of the Watchmen.

Before any official confirmations or denials could be issued, people are arguing over whether this should happen. Should the beloved WATCHMEN characters be used once again or is the story too much of a classic now and should remain as it is?

== TEASER ==

As the story goes, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons originally had the idea to do a twelve-issue series on the Minutemen if WATCHMEN was a success. DC apparently also talked about the possibility of other writers doing prequels with Rorschach and the Comedian. Obviously these projects never happened and soon an ugly mess developed between Moore and DC. Rumors would pop up every now and then but it appeared that nothing would ever come of them.


In early 2010, there was a report that the possibility of the Watchmen Universe being revisited was now more possible than ever. With DC's creation of the Countdown multiverse, one world almost was set aside for the Watchmen Universe. That also meant the door could be open for insane crossovers with DC characters and Watchmen ones.

Things heated up once again as Bleeding Cool's Rich Johnston mentioned he was given information about the project being in the works. He posted that a fake working title was being used (Panic Room) for a set of prequels and as well as an image of the Comedian drawn by J.G. Jones and Nite Owl by Andy Kubert. There was also mention of the possibility of Amanda Conner doing a Silk Spectre project. Johnston was then apparently asked to remove the artwork by DC's legal department.

Whether there's any truth to those bits or not isn't really the point right now. The fact that the art had to be removed would lead you to believe that there could be some truth in the rumor or it could just be for other legal reasons and in trying to control the rumors flying around. The real question is, should there be any prequels or sequels?

Hardcore Watchmen fans will scream, "NO!" but there are plenty that would be willing to give more Watchmen content a chance. If DC still owns the rights, they are fully entitled to do whatever they want to with the characters and universe.

Let's think about it, with WATCHMEN held in such high regard, would anyone attempt to do a subpar tie-in? DC has access to many of the industry's top talent. If there were any plans on prequels or sequels, you would think (or hope or assume) they would put as much care and thought into it as possible.

Revisiting the Watchmen Universe is something that you could only really try once. If a poor attempt was made, readers wouldn't be too forgiving or willing to give a third visit a chance. It simply means too much to too many people.

For those that are strongly opposed regardless of who DC could get to work on any related projects, the biggest statement they could make is to simply not purchase and support it. They can just look the other way. They can act as if it doesn't exist and never happened.

Does it make sense to see more Watchmen project? Sure. The characters and world of Watchmen is ripe with potential. Besides the Minutemen set in the 1940s, there could easily be prequels on other characters. What was the Comedian's full story and exploits? When did Hollis Mason pass the Nite Owl torch over to Dan Dreiberg? There are also the exploits of Doctor Manhattan, Ozymandias or the original Silk Spectre.

What about a sequel? The idea is bound to make many cringe in fear and disgust. Prequels could possibly be acceptable but is there any room to visit the characters after the original series ended?

Because we're talking about comic books, we all know anything is possible. What happened to Nite Owl and Silk Spectre? (Although perhaps Sally changes her name since she felt Silk Spectre was too 'girly'). Rorschach's journals were left behind, could we see someone follow in his footsteps? Did Dr. Manhattan ever return to Earth? He did say, "Nothing ever ends." In comic books, that is often the case. WATCHMEN took place in 1985. What is that world like now, in the 21st Century?

We could draw some comparisons to other things that have resulted in sequels that many didn't care for. One example would be the Star Wars movies. Many feel that the prequels should never have been made and George Lucas should not be allowed to make any tweaks or updates to the films. Because they are his and he holds the rights, he can do whatever he pleases. Again, people can choose not to watch or support them if they feel offended by them.

Frank Miller's THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS is another comic seen as a classic (although not on quite the same level as WATCHMEN). It was released when I first started reading comics and, like many, I was blown away by what it was and represented. When THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN came out, I was hesitant to read it. I started and will admit, I still haven't finished reading it. It didn't feel right to me so I decided to set it aside and perhaps some day I will complete it.

It's all about choices. We may love something so much that we feel we have the right to voice our opinions. And we do have that right. We can say all we want. What it comes down to is whoever owns the rights can what they want. We can only hope they will do it properly with the care and respect we would want and demand. If not, we move on and act as if it doesn't exist. Getting in a tirade over something won't accomplish anything.

For now, we can just wait and see. There hasn't been any official word. If DC does plan on more Watchmen, I will be there to check it out and make my decision based on the actual material. Making a decision before or even worrying about it before anything happens isn't worth the time. There are plenty of other existing comics we can be reading and talking about instead.

168 Comments Refresh
Posted by Theodore

please no

Posted by Queso6p4

Nice article! I, for one, tend to err on the side of no sequels if possible for things like Watchmen. As others have said, sequels and prequels tend to draw things out and make them unpalatable for a lot of people and Watchmen definitely had a sense of self-containment and finality. That being said, however, in the right hands and with good marketing to boot, I'd definitely be willing to see a sequel. It's good stuff, good stuff indeed.

Posted by MarcusVWario

What they hell are you talking about, of course there could be a subpar tie-in; especially, if it is written by someone other then Alan Moore. You can't make a sequel that lives up to the original after a certain amount of time, you want precedent: DUKE FUCKING NUKEM. The game was shitty and they waited only 12 years plus they had access to better graphics, engines, publicity and the game was still absolute shit, this is 30 YEARS!!! How can this possibly live up to expectations.

Oh and if you think its okay to allow a company to make a sequel just because they have the paperwork then you are not a true comicbook fan. Even if DC has the legal rights, the story and the characters are Alan Moore's and handing them over to anyone else would be a huge slap in the face not to mention the fact that they would not be the Watchmen, they would just be some generic knock offs produced to get a quick buck off nostalgia. Oh, and if any writer had the gall to takeover Watchmen from Alan Moore then they should be immediately exiled from the comic community, black listed by every publisher, and comic fans should make a pact to never purchase anything they write for the rest of time.

You can't let the fans pressure you into a sequel, because in the immortal words of Ben "Yahtzee" Corshaw, "the fans are fucking idiots!" You cannot let people obsessed with something dictate its direction because they will run it into the ground. Fans never stop wanting more and will pester you until you kill the story for them and they blame YOU for fucking up the story when you were only accommodating their desires.

Posted by Godlovesusall

Since Watchmen was so good,the characters were great and it made such an appeal,why not more?

I'm not saying "You're all wrong!" and such. Just asking.

Posted by The Mast

No, and anyone saying anything another than "No" is fundamentally disrespecting the source.

It's not over-reaction or knee-jerking, it's logic. No Watchmen sequel. A prequel would be better, but no to everything. Stop it. Is this D.C. just being asses because Moore won't let them rape V for Vendetta any further?

Posted by Casshern

HOLY SH** Nite Owl!!


I don't know who owns the rights to Watchmen...suck that Alan Moore doesn't anymore, BUT even if you own the rights and DIDN'T WRITE IT why make a sequel or prequel.

With respect, WHICH MANY IN THE HUNGER FOR MONEY DON'T, if Alan Moore says NO to Co-writing THEN HANDS OFF!!

You got a better chance with a V for Vendetta prequel and I HATE THAT IDEA TOO!

This is the problem when Creativity meets big business. MONEY TALKS AND Quality starts to disappear.

MILKING ever dollar out of an idea doesn't always work...even for the Original creator. The problem is the Creative OPEN SPACE that few stories give you (the reader) the chance to imagine the what ifs on your own. Watchmen left you with SUCH a BIG what if, that its grown into something that everyone has an idea of what the world pass the story could be, that to see drawn or movie vision of it would be weak in comparison to the imagination of MILLIONS that have held that creative Open Space to themselves.

DESTROYING IT by visualizing it NOW would only weaken the World of Watchmen and these continuing ideas.

But no stopping the Money if it happens I'm not reading. If they want to go for a hopeful read, LEAVE THE WATCHMEN ALONE! Write about other character before the events in ALan Moore's story..o and one more thing...

KEEP THEM AWAY FOR DC Universes. They should be in their own. A Cross over sounds STUPID. Batman in that world...What doing and besting everyone again, Green Arrow not killed yet, a half naked heroine not being sexually touched. Watchmen world has bite A LOT OF BITE, and the it never happens like this in DC, would only weaken it to its level.

EXAMPLE: DC vs Mortal Kombat. Not as violent as people thought...that's because its DC Universe in the Violent world of Mortal got toned down.

Posted by PulledaBrad

Nope. I think DC should let the book go out of print for a month and let the rights revert back to Moore.

Edited by ferpuerto17

I say do it, and bring some of the characters into the DC Universe... All you screaming that it should not be done are taking it waaaaaaay too seriously. How many times has Elektra been brought back in Marvel? You don't see fans rioting, do you?

Posted by Assassin_Elektra

I don't think a sequel would be entirely bad, as long as it's done right and not interfere with the story that should pertain to the characters. Prequel? No, enough of the prequels. Everyone knows the basics already, let's see things built past the beaten bush of starting points of stories and characters. I think there's been far too many 'Prequels' and 'Reboots' in games, movies etc.

Can't anything new and original be thought up anymore? If not, Watchmen should be left alone as is.

Posted by MoonKnight91

No, but i would perhaps like a bigger crossover with in the other universes of DC, perhaps a time travel inter-dimensional plot, kind of like the Star Trek(2009) film.

Posted by DoomDoomDoom

@RedheadedAtrocitus said:

I just cannot see any success behind a reported prequel/sequel unless Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons actually do it themselves.

Posted by Mutant God
 I rather see
Posted by SilverHammerMan

This is certainly a hot button issue among the comics community right now, and that's why I've decided to weigh in with MY baseless opinion:

I understand that because Alan Moore isn't involved, a lot of people immediately will immediately think that this is a terrible idea, but here me out. Alan Moore is not the ONLY good comic book writer out there, yes he's talented, but so is Brian K. Vaughn, Darwin Cook, Warren Ellis, etc, etc, etc. The point is that while those three might not be ideal for a Watchmen story, you'd have to be kidding yourself to say that NO ONE else could write a Watchmen story. And to be frank, Alan Moore is kind of pretentious, kind of REALLY pretentious, I like the man and admire him, but he's very pretentious. Alan Moore has gotten a lot of money and prestige thanks to Watchmen, and if he doesn't want to come back to it, it's no great loss. After all, where would we be now if Superman had stopped being published after his creators left the title? Admittedly that's not the greatest comparison, but you get the basic idea.

And besides that, Watchmen is RIFE for expansion, I mean Doc Manhattan said it himself; "Nothing ever ends." And that includes Watchmen. So why don't I just list some of the plot threads that could be picked up from the original Watchmen:

The world has been pulled out of a suicidal nuclear standoff by the thread of alien invasion, one that we know will never come. So that means that the entire planet has been on high alert for an indeterminate amount of time, and maybe, just maybe, they might start to get suspicious after a while.

Culture has become centered on sci-fi, as seen at the end of Watchmen, that's not a story point, but a nice bit of cosmetic flair.

Since Doc Manhattan is gone, he's no longer around to synthesize the raw materials that allowed electric cars and such to become widespread. This would certainly have an economic effect on the world. Not to mention that humanity has lost its only only superhuman.

Rorschach's journal is still out in the world, and while it might not be believed by everyone, there are still probably a few fringe nuts who buy into it.

Tell me you don't see the elements of a story in there.

Posted by dr.x

Two Questoins I got about that. 1. Who is going to be in the line up Rorschach is deader then fry chicken and Ozymandias truns out to be vilian . 2. There is world Peace because of Ozymandias lie . So how can there be one now a prequels I'm all for that.

Posted by franklinrichards86

when i first saw watchmen i thought it was a great movie.... then i watched it a second time, and besides the nude scenes, i couldnt figure out why i liked it.

Posted by AMP - Seeker of Lost Knowledge

I kinda thought about it...

I'd imagine 20 years after the events of the fictional 1987, where Nite Owl and Silk Spectre have kids and start a superhero family/team, Dr. Manhatten returns in the wake of 9/11 ....

Posted by PhoenixoftheTides

I wouldn't like to see prequels or new stories with The Watchmen. I know it's an established franchise that makes it easier for companies to profit off of new content, but the ending really felt like a proper conclusion to me. There really doesn't seem to be a need for sequelitis or prequelitis to afflict this story/universe. If it was a prequel, for example, the characters would just be doing typical street level heroic things and that would either undermine the setting of the original story or just be boring. There is nothing wrong with a good story being wrapped up with a good conclusion, IMHO.


I've always felt they should have only loosly used the Watchmen movie to make a series of films, using the same cast, but turning them back into their Charlton forms & try & make a series of Avenger/JL type films with them. Maybe add in Max Mercury as a flash type.

Edited by TharosTheDragon

@catman9: In my sequel idea, Seymour has become Rorschach II. And as a result of the psychic shock wave, he's become arguably even crazier than the original Rorschach. Not only that, but he's enlisted an entire cult of crazies who all wear Rorschach masks, kind of like V for Vendetta. Does that sound cool?

Posted by TharosTheDragon

I most see everyone here seems pretty against the idea of a sequel. That's understandable, given the state of the industry and the trends of pandering to the lowest common denominator for profit. But would anyone reconsider if the sequel was done right? I've spent many hours compiling ideas for a sequel, and I've done extensive research by carefully taking notes on the original and reading Alan Moore's other works and his interviews where he reveals much about his inspirations and his process.

It would be set in 2015. Because of the Keene Act, no new heroes have sprung up to replace the old in the USA which has been following Veidt's leadership, but the superhero fad has reached other countries who now have their own masked vigilantes.

After studying Rorschach's journal, Seymour has an incomplete version of the truth about Veidt and wants to discover more. Hector Godfrey publishes a story about how the alien monster might be a huge conspiracy, but as usual his ravings aren't taken seriously by the mainstream media. Eventually Seymour reaches a crisis in his life where he learns to stand up for himself, and finally he decides to continue Rorschach's legacy. In the comic, Dan doesn't see Rorschach get killed so as far as he knows, Rorschach is still alive. On Seymour's first masked outing, Dan sees him in an alleyway and chases after him, but Seymour disappears. Eventually, Seymour manages to kill Adrian Veidt by throwing him out of a window, possibly from an airship.

Interspersed in the story will be a side-story about Dr. Manhattan creating life after arriving in another galaxy millions of years in the future. The reader will think that means Jon can have no effect on the main events on Earth. But Jon has left a part of himself on Mars which then returns to Earth to tell everyone about what will become of their species after Jon's return to Earth in many millions of years.

That's just a small part of the ideas I've compiled. What do you guys think?