It’s been a spell since Grant Morrison’s talked about that MULTIVERSITY maxi-series he’s cooking up to focus on ten unexplored worlds from DC’s recently-resurrected continuum of realities. Probably the most interesting stop in this dimensional decathlon concerns a semi-sequel to WATCHMEN that'll recast the Charlton heroes in today’s realpolitik. Now, after an interview Morrison did with the British comics mag COMIC HEROES (and the Brits just love their anthology mags, don’t they? 2000AD, CLiNT…) we know that it’ll be titled PAX AMERICANA and drawn by none other than ALL-STAR SUPERMAN collaborator, Frank Quitely.
I’m not keen on seeing any follow-ups to WATCHMEN, least of all ones without Moore or Gibbons involved, but I’m actually looking forward to this because it’s an homage, not a sequel - - and there's a key difference, there. Morrison’s a creative genius and using the Charlton characters as analogs to reinterpret the classic is a sly way for fans to have their cake and eat it, too - - that is, getting the chance to read a WATCHMEN follow-up while the integrity of the book is still preserved. It’s also a bit of inspired irony for him to use these characters, since WATCHMEN was originally going to use Blue Beetle, Peacemaker, the Question, et al until Dick Giordano realized it’d be commercial death for the recently-acquired Charlton brand. I’m also looking forward to seeing Morrison and Quitely try to make another comic with the kind of densely rich visual symbolism that WATCHMEN is famous for… because I can’t think of too many mainstream comics that have attemped that kind of dense storytelling ever since.
Morrison phrases everything entertainingly. Here are his words about this… == TEASER ==
“We thought it would be appropriate to re-think and update the kind of in-your-face self-reflecting narrative techniques used by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons and to apply them to a whole new story which asks ‘what if Watchmen had been conceived now, in the contemporary political landscape and with the Charlton characters themselves, rather than analogues? So the cover has a close-up on a burning peace flag and a Delmore Schwartz quote – ‘Time is the school in which we learn, time is the fire in which we burn’ – and it all blossoms from there.”
These quotes come courtesy of Bleeding Cool, who also includes Morrison response to Alan Moore’s comments about the current state of super-heroes. Also, anybody concerned about how this is going to fit into Quitely’s schedule can probably relax. I believe he’s just doing one installment for this series of specials that will have rotating roster of artists.