First Impression: BEFORE WATCHMEN Limited Series

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Posted by comicvine (30 posts) - - Show Bio

WATCHMEN is seen by many as the comic book everyone should read. There's no questioning its importance to the genre. When it was announced that DC Entertainment had plans to do a set of prequels under the BEFORE WATCHMEN banner, there was a lot of discussion about it amongst fans. Some readers are against the idea while others couldn't be more excited. With the inclusion of some of the industry's top talent working on the titles, it started to become a little difficult to be too skeptical. But seeing will be believing.

And that's exactly what we (Tony Guerrero and Sara Lima) did.

Upon receiving an invitation to visit the Burbank office of DC Entertainment to check out BEFORE WATCHMEN, it didn't take us long to start making plans to fly down. That's right, we flew down to LA just to check out the comics. Let me tell you, it was well worth it.

After our remarkable tour of the office (more on that later), we were left alone with a giant oversized binder containing all the first issues of BEFORE WATCHMEN along with some of the second issues all in various stages of development. Some of the issues were complete while others weren't available for viewing in color, etc.

While we did read every single #1, we're not going to get into the specifics of each issue. We'll save that for the reviews when the issues begin hitting store shelves in June. For now, here's our quick first impressions on each series. If you've had mixed feelings before, perhaps this will help you decide on purchasing the titles.

== TEASER ==

MINUTEMEN

Written and drawn by Darwyn Cooke. On sale June 6.

Little did we know that the poor boy would lead to the end of us all.
  • Beautiful book. Darwyn captures the era and time period brilliantly.
  • Cooke is the perfect choice for this title.
  • Hooded Justice feels very creepy
  • Issue #1 serves as a fantastic introduction to all of these characters, and is a great origin story of the team

SILK SPECTRE

Written by Darwyn Cooke with art by Amanda Conner. On sale June 13.

Oh sweetie, you're too young to hate. Wait until you're older and the world gives you a good reason. Trust me, it won't let you down.
  • Cooke captures the relationship between mother and daughter
  • Conner's art could tell the story on its own even without text.
  • Conner delivers animated panels that give the reader insight into the mind of an adolescent Silk Spectre who doesn't get along with her Mother.
  • There's an interesting parallel in this issue between the older Silk Spectre reminiscing about her past as a crimefighter, and her young daughter who is daydreaming about the future.
  • Lot's of flashbacks in this issue.
  • This comic exudes fun.

COMEDIAN

Written by Brian Azzarello with art by J.G. Jones. On sale June 20.

I'm a funny guy...
  • Saw some colored pages, read the uncolored version
  • Comedian is friends with JFK and with Jackie Kennedy, mention of Marilyn
  • Takes place in the 1960's
  • Lot's of use of iconic cameos, people, pop culture references from the time
  • Azzarello seems to play with history by integrating the Comedian in these historical moments/playing up these historical relationships
  • The use of so many iconic figures in this book makes it feel forced and over saturated; like the writing is trying too hard to make the character seem relevant to the time -- the result is that the story felt a little flat.

NITE OWL

Written by J. Michael Straczynski with art by Andy and Joe Kubert. On sale June 27.

The hero known to the public only as Nite Owl announced his retirement today.
  • Colored pages, no text. Some lettered pages.
  • Feels like a Batman story in part because of Kubert's art, and also because the story is so tragic.
  • Looks great. Definitely a different feel from the other titles.

OZYMANDIAS

Written by Len Wein with art from Jae Lee. On sale July 4.

I have goals to achieve. Dreams to make come true.
  • This issue is like one big Norman Rockwell painting. The art is absolutely breathtaking. The visuals are amazing.
  • Read penciled and inked versions.
  • Really great layout -- very different from the other books.
  • Flashbacks to his youth.
  • Colored version not available. Wonder how the colors will affect the art.

RORSCHACH

Written by Brian Azzarello with art by Lee Bermejo. On sale August 15.

What made you this way?
  • Very graphic, more so than the other books.
  • Dark, grim, highlights the seedy, dirty underbelly os a society engulfed in pornography and drug addiction. Bermejo's usually angelic visuals capture the grit and grime of this story.
  • Is Azzarello capturing the sheer essence of Moore's Rorschach, or is he simply playing with the audience by attempting to shock them as much as possible?
  • Very adult themes.
  • Bermejo's art is phenomenal.

Dr. Manhattan

Written by J. Michael Straczynski with art by Adam Hughes. On sale August 22.

I watch as a box containing a mystery is lowered into the soil.
  • Very pretty
  • We only saw the black and white inled version of the book, no lettering
  • Feels like a Dr. Manhattan book
  • The issue really captures a sense of sadness, loneliness and complete isolation that the character exhibited in the original Watchmen series.
  • Does it feel so lonely because of the lack of text? The fact that you can tell what's happening in each panel of the book by simply looking at Hughes' pictures is proof enough that the art in this issue is breathtaking.
  • How will Hughes' interior art look when colored?

CURSE OF THE CRIMSON CORSAIR

Back up in each issue. Written by Len Wein with art by John Higgins.

  • As beautiful as John Higgins' art is in this story it, of all of these books, this story seems the strangest to read. This, more than any other, feels too much like Alan Moore and thus, felt like a violation of Moore's ideas more so than the expansion of the Watchmen Universe.
  • The CRIMSON CORSAIR is a back-up story you can find at the end of MINUTEMEN, and the story will move from one issue to another, forcing the reader to go out and buy issues they may not have wanted to pick up initially in order to continue the story.

That's our first impressions. Have you decided where you stand with BEFORE WATCHMEN? Are you planning on giving each title a try?

If our thoughts weren't enough, click here to check out what our friend Joey Esposito over at IGN thought (we ran into him at the office as well).

Staff
#1 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29499 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm actually excited about the Nite Owl one now because of the quoted line.

Also, of course I'm gonna end up getting Rorschach's.

#2 Posted by _Cain_ (23607 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm getting all of them, And this is exciting

#3 Edited by pikahyper (11480 posts) - - Show Bio

DC has offices in Burbank o.o??? hadn't heard that before.

After our remarkable tour of the office (more on that later)

More on that later as in another news article or was there supposed to be more in this article???

Moderator
#4 Posted by G-Man (30617 posts) - - Show Bio

@pikahyper: Right across the street from the Tonight Show studio.

Staff Online
#5 Posted by ssejllenrad (12847 posts) - - Show Bio

Imma get Rorschach and Nite owl... Maybe Dr. Manhattan as well...

#6 Posted by ImperiousRix (1069 posts) - - Show Bio

Nite Owl and Ozymandias seem like the two I'd most enjoy, but Darwynn Cooke on Minutemen and Silk Spectre (with Amanda Connors penciling) make those two series very attractive as well (pun intended).

However, lack of funds and how 'dirty' I feel reading these will probably ultimately determine how much I follow these. It's not Alan Moore likes any adaptation or derivation of his work, but more than others this seems a bit exploitative.

#7 Posted by pikahyper (11480 posts) - - Show Bio

@G-Man said:

@pikahyper: Right across the street from the Tonight Show studio.

And they do comic work there or is it just for the video entertainment division?

Moderator
#8 Edited by zackattack529 (1404 posts) - - Show Bio

how do you guys convince them to let you read them though? thats what i want to know.

and obviously you can already book it that Rorschachs will go to third or fourth printing...i wont be buying these but i know that azzarello is perfect for writting his character as well as comedian if he can do it right.

#9 Posted by Rixec (350 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm getting every single one, no questions asked. Rorschach's is the one I'm looking most forward to

Online
#10 Posted by G-Man (30617 posts) - - Show Bio

@pikahyper: Geoff Johns' office is there among others. But there's also the digital and collectibles division there.

@zackattack529: They invited me. We went. It was pretty rad.

Staff Online
#11 Posted by Mercy_ (92478 posts) - - Show Bio

Ehhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Moderator
#12 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio
im getting all
#13 Posted by CircularLogic (282 posts) - - Show Bio

Rorschach's and Minutemen, I will buy blindly. don't like the idea of the prequel, butI can't help myself.

#14 Posted by pikahyper (11480 posts) - - Show Bio

@G-Man: Hmm the digital department you say, I'll have to look into that :D

After our remarkable tour of the office (more on that later)

More on that later as in another news article or was there supposed to be more in this article???

Moderator
#15 Posted by zackattack529 (1404 posts) - - Show Bio

@G-Man: thats pretty cool dude.. ya ive seen the place before. i really want to intern there or even just WORK there and write comics and show them from time to time, but my friend's friend works there and he says you only get into from recommendation or from college ...sucks :/ i hate how you have to KNOW someone these days to succeed lol

#16 Posted by sora_thekey (8152 posts) - - Show Bio

@Mercy_ said:

Ehhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Moderator
#17 Posted by Saren (25273 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd buy the Rorschach and Silk Spectre books just for Bermejo and Conner's art.

Moderator
#18 Posted by RoboShark (1208 posts) - - Show Bio

@shadowknight666 said:

I'm getting all of them, And this is exciting

yesyesyes

#19 Posted by kennybaese (1094 posts) - - Show Bio

I'll be waiting on trades for all of these. I want them to sit neatly on my shelf next to my copy of Absolute Watchmen.

#20 Posted by TheHeat (450 posts) - - Show Bio

I would get Rorschach, but his buddy Deadpool won't be in any issues.

#21 Posted by bladewolf (611 posts) - - Show Bio

I will try Minutemen and Silk Spectre probably, maybe Comedian and Ozymandias as well.

#22 Posted by Darkmount1 (1269 posts) - - Show Bio

The whole of Watchmen=DULL.

#23 Posted by EpicMeltDown (64 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm not going to be getting any of these.

#24 Posted by Inverno (13057 posts) - - Show Bio

M

E

H

#25 Posted by NightFang (9862 posts) - - Show Bio

@shadowknight666 said:

I'm getting all of them, And this is exciting

#26 Edited by JamDamage (1108 posts) - - Show Bio

I'll only really be interested in the Jae Lee drawn book. I just love the guys art, and this is one I'd get JUST for the art. You guys never said if you liked or not, just that the art is great. Jae Lee is an aquired taste tho, so I see a lot of people saying they don't like the art...................................idiots.

#27 Posted by jrock85 (2874 posts) - - Show Bio

I'll pick up the Rorschach one because he's the only member of the Watchmen that I like.

#28 Posted by lifeboy (1675 posts) - - Show Bio
Any idea how much these drops of heaven are going to cost?
#29 Posted by EpicMeltDown (64 posts) - - Show Bio

@lifeboy: 3.99 an issue.

#30 Posted by KainScion (2973 posts) - - Show Bio

@Darkmount1 said:

The whole of Watchmen=DULL.

#31 Posted by longbowhunter (6729 posts) - - Show Bio

I can't help but think this whole thing would have been more appropriate if it launched 3 years ago to coincide with the movie. I'm sorry Alan Moore got screwed by DC. But in all honesty I'll probably read Dr. Manhattan and the Minutemen in trade.

#32 Posted by TDK_1997 (14456 posts) - - Show Bio

Gonna buy Sil Spectre,Nite Owl and Rorschach only because of the art.

#33 Posted by lifeboy (1675 posts) - - Show Bio
Thanks for that epic melt down:) I wish there would be a discription as to how these are being released. Afew days ago, i thought it was a total of 7 comics. One for each month. Now im reading into this article that its going to be 7 in one month followed by the #2's?

@EpicMeltDown said:

@lifeboy: 3.99 an issue.

#34 Posted by CookieVonDoom (32 posts) - - Show Bio

The cover of the Dr. Manhattan book is looking completely wrong. I mean, we know the guy is buck naked, and the way he is holding her?

#35 Posted by cbishop (7080 posts) - - Show Bio

I haven't been so excited about this project. Not because "DC is breaking their word to Alan Moore." He was doing work for hire - he should have known better. I just don't think it's a story that needs to be expaned upon. Again, not because of Moore - I just think it stands on its own, and we know enough about the characters in that story. I'd much rather see DC do something cool with their actual Charlton characters, rather than these approximations of Charlton characters.

Also, $3.99 an issue? For how many issues? And wasn't it DC that proudly proclaimed "Holding the line at $2.99?" Way to hold that line, DC!

Online
#36 Posted by davidgrantlloyd (335 posts) - - Show Bio

Despite my intrigue, I think I'll pass ... too much respect for Alan

#37 Edited by taku128 (2 posts) - - Show Bio

These shouldn't exist, screw DC.

#38 Posted by CrimsonTempest (307 posts) - - Show Bio

I'll buy these books.

#39 Posted by Baddamdog (2223 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm so jealous!

#40 Posted by Billy Batson (57751 posts) - - Show Bio

Might get the Comedian and Rorschach as trades.
BB

#41 Posted by knighthood (1693 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm not too interested in the Comedian book, but everything else looks great.

#42 Posted by knighthood (1693 posts) - - Show Bio

@davidgrantlloyd: I was thinking the same thing at first, but what is the difference between these books and all of movies that he didn't sign off on? We still watched them right?

#43 Posted by Dark_Vengeance_ (14587 posts) - - Show Bio

The Nite Owl and Rorschach series seem promising.....must investigate further.

#44 Posted by ThomasElliot (360 posts) - - Show Bio

@cbishop said:

I haven't been so excited about this project. Not because "DC is breaking their word to Alan Moore." He was doing work for hire - he should have known better. I just don't think it's a story that needs to be expaned upon. Again, not because of Moore - I just think it stands on its own, and we know enough about the characters in that story. I'd much rather see DC do something cool with their actual Charlton characters, rather than these approximations of Charlton characters.

Also, $3.99 an issue? For how many issues? And wasn't it DC that proudly proclaimed "Holding the line at $2.99?" Way to hold that line, DC!

This has been my argument the whole time as well. Alan Moore, its whatever. But to me, it would be like reading Romeo & Juliet, and then thinking, "Man, I sure wish there were more stories abut Tybalt or Lady Capulet". If that's all I come away with, then I'm sort of missing something there.

#45 Posted by Deranged Midget (17599 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm kinda interested in Nite Owl and Rorschach.

Moderator
#46 Posted by DarthShap (875 posts) - - Show Bio

I will pick up the HCs.

#47 Posted by dvorak (187 posts) - - Show Bio

I'll pick up at least the firsts of each series, looks awesome.

#48 Posted by dondasch (926 posts) - - Show Bio

Gladly passing all of these by. The original Watchmen is more than enough for me.

#49 Posted by the_fallen11 (636 posts) - - Show Bio

Cannot wait, getting all of them.

#50 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio

@Billy Batson said:

Might get the Comedian and Rorschach as trades.
BB

the two CV wasn't sure about, I guess that explains lack of Hellblazer love :P

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