Some spoilers below.
It's hard to describe in words how beautiful the latest issue of BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN, is, but it's truly stunning. Where do I begin? If you recall in the original WATCHMEN by Alan Moore it was implied that several of the MINUTEMEN were homosexual, and you see that implication come to light in this issue. There's a brilliant moment where we see Ursula (Silhouette) look up at a figure of Jesus Christ and she asks, "Why don't you love us?...Why don't you love me?" It's at that moment that Hollis Mason rescues her from her doom. I adore Hollis Mason -- I think Cooke captures his naivety, his passion, his affection brilliantly. It's very rare that a creator is able to depict such an array of raw emotions in so few words, but Cooke does this absolutely brilliantly.
Cooke captures each Minutemen character really brilliantly. Each one is so unique and so different, and it seems he really grasps and understands each one of them. Particularly Hollis who seems to encompass the idealistic qualities of the Minutemen themselves; he's courageous and loyal -- and he is moved by his gut of what is "right." He is a character that is easy to identify with, and I think that Cooke really did a beautiful job writing him.
This issue is incredibly poetic; from the structure and layout of the panels to the poem by Robert Louis Stevenson at the very end. I absolutely loved the way that Cooke separates reality (what is really going on in the story) with the outside perception and the facade revolving around the characters and the team. For example, in a scene where the Minutemen decide to vote the Comedian off the team because he raped Sally, there is an image of him with the caption "When America needs red-blooded He Men to defend her virtue." The caption is paired with an image of the Comedian standing proudly, while Sally and Silhouette swoon over him. It's this facade that the Comedian is a brave and good defender of virtue, when he is nothing of the kind. That contrast is fantastic, and the method that Cooke uses to create this scene is something that can only be done in comics.
Nothing bad here.
Darwyn Cooke's interpretation of these characters is brilliant and completely on point. The way he captures the naivety of Hollis Mason, the conservatism of Dollar Bill and the virtuousness of Silhouette is just beautiful. Pair that with his absolutely stunning pencils and Phil Noto's perfect colors and we have a perfect comic book. I am absolutely loving this series and I feel it is one of the few BEFORE WATCHMEN titles that does a great service to the original stories.