All of the Before Watchmen series' seem to have some stunning covers, and it's amazing to me that Risso is behind this cover, it just seems so much more detailed than his usual style, at least in the art itself. The design is magnificently simplistic, and actually represents the storyline in a clever way.
I didn't remember anything about Moloch being particularly ugly in Watchmen. It's been a few years since I read it though. And I'm not saying he was attractive, but at the same time he was pretty old and yes, his ears were kind of funky but he never seemed horribly deformed. So when that was the driving focus of his backstory, it really caught me off guard.
What follows is a pretty generic origin for a villain with that kind of backstory; but this is probably one of the best tellings of that kind of story. There are a lot of moments where you get on the edge of your seat because you think it's going to take a different twist, and then it finally does in such a way that cements it with such intense Watchmen themes, not just Watchmen characters.
Eduardo Risso's art is pretty much exactly what I've come to expect from him and I wouldn't change a thing. Risso crafts dark beauty without a ton of excess lines. Though there is a minor slip up, where I'm pretty sure he's jumping from a helicopter, but it really looks like one of the Minutemen is flying by himself; which defeats a major purpose of Watchmen. But I'm pretty sure it's just a bad depiction of him jumping down.
I can really see the Moloch of Watchmen in this story, a character who's constantly riding the line between good and evil. His actions tend to be genuinely surprising, because you don't always know what side he's going to act on. Yet he's not a stereotypical 'tragic anti-hero.'
The flow for this is aboslutely perfect, still bothering me just a tad because I thought Before Watchmen would be more 'prequel storeis' and not just 'origin stories.' The only real thing that left me baffled was the ending. Everything is wrapped up in a nice neat bow, narrative and all; plus we already know what happens next from reading Watchmen. What's going to happen in the second part?
In Conclusion: 4/5
Not the most original thing in the world, but so well told it's hard to care too much. Mostly I'm wondering why this isn't just a one-shot. But it explores some of the fringe themes of Watchmen, and expands upon a vital character who never before got much development beyond being a plot device.