Comic Vine Review

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Before Watchmen: Nite Owl #1 - No Such Thing as a Free Lunch; Curse of the Crimson Corsair: The Devil in the Deep, Part Four Review

4

The legacy of Nite Owl is revealed. How did Daniel Dreiberg become the second Nite Owl and team up with Rorschach?

The Good

Out of all the Before Watchmen books offered, this was the one I was least interested in, but so far, it's the one I've enjoyed the most. This book blew away my expectations. The story follows Daniel Dreiberg as he transforms from a boy genius with a love for the original Nite Owl (Hollis Mason) into the character we know from the original Watchmen graphic novel. He had a rough childhood with a father who beat Daniel's mother in a world where he wants to make a change and work with the man he admires. J Michael Straczynski does a great job at adding to this world.

The transition from a genius of a kid into the new Nite Owl is brief buy enjoyable, and the best part of this issue is Daniel finding the positive father figure in Mason. It is a great moment to see this character find a glimmer of hope in the dark world around him as a man teaches him to be what he idolizes.

We also witness the birth of the relationship between Nite Owl and Rorschach, which is again brief, but it works very well, and I hope it's a dynamic we continue to see through this mini-series, since it's a wonderful part of this book.

Aside from a few small problems, Andy (pencils) and Joe Kubert (inks) give this book a great sense of style. It's a mixture of contemporary art, splash pages, and panels without borders with moments of silver age and bronze age art styles like inking and page set-ups. It's an interesting blend of styles that works well on the page and it fits the story and tone very well.

The Bad

At times, these big moments in Daniel's life feel a tad rushed, like his training by Hollis and his first time working with Rorschach and building on that relationship. These are moments I'd like to see fleshed out over a whole issue rather than a couple of pages.

There were a few times in the issue I felt the inking was a bit much, especially with the cross-hatching.

The Verdict

This is what Before Watchmen should be. JMS is great at building upon Moore's world here and adding more to this iconic character. I loved seeing this issue play out and Daniel grow into the character, even though I felt major moments were cut a bit short. The art, aside from a couple of inking issues, really works well here and is a great mixture of classic and contemporary styles.

Overall, I highly recommend this issue because it is by far the best of the Before Watchmen books so far. This book really does add to the Watchmen world.

13 Comments
Posted by Mumbles

This book was a real zZzZzzz-fest.

Posted by microwave25

Yeah a really lifeless book. There was no real tone or theme to the issue. It felt way too rushed and forced that the dynamic was lost.

Posted by Ganthetsward20

I'm looking at this book wondering what theme it should have had? It really just played out as a kid who was able to get out of a future he didnt want and got what he did want. That is the origin of this Nite Owl we saw it panned the thing we all want to know is how it was being Rorschach's partner and Dan's love life. He didn't have a long hero career. That's probably why its a 4 issue series.

Posted by the_fallen11

Im suprised this got such a high rating...Every other review site I go to tore this book apart. All of them had the same Problems with it..this review give me hope.

Posted by Bull_iod

enjoyed the book but it felt shallow and lacked any real direction. I do question if this is going to be a story arc or just a four issue odyssey in which we just find out more about the character. Whilst the latter is fine, if it is to be done well, but I was really hoping that this book would provide insight as well as some real tension and action.

I will get the next issue to see where this goes but it has got to throw some punches to keep me hooked

Posted by ultimatepunchrod

I liked this one. It's the only BW that I've picked up because Nite Owl was my favorite character. I really liked the art. Not sure why everyone seemed to dislike this one.

Posted by Suprman

@ultimatepunchrod: Nite Owl is my favorite character too. I loved this book but it was sort of rushed. I would have held back him meeting Rorshach until the next issue and spent this issue focusing on his relationship with Hollis Mason. I liked that and really enjoyed it.

Posted by Katie24

This comic was a big-nothing-burger.

Posted by PRECOCIOUSnefarious

I enjoyed it. Showing him as a kid in his room made me smile. There was so much more detail to go into but it's just the first issue and I didn't have any major problems with it.

Posted by Snail

This whole series reads like fan-fiction.

Posted by bloggerboy

I'm surprised so many people disliked this book. Found it a great read.

Posted by sethysquare

Great read. Only if I have the jim lee variant. It looks close to perfection.

Posted by feargalr

I didn't read this, but I was listening to the IGN comic book podcast and wow they hated this so much, it's funny that comic vines opinion is so different