We had been calling it “Watchmen 2″ for quite some time. Over the past several month, rumors and leaked art had been oozing out of DC Comics, hinting at the possibility that the company was preparing to launch a prequel to its classic Watchmen series. Now, we have confirmation. Today, DC Comics has announced that this project, which is titled “Before Watchmen” is very real and will consist of seven Watchmen related mini-series, all taking place before the events of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s Watchmen series from 25 years ago. With some of the best and brightest talent DC has to offer working on these books, its clear that Before Watchmen will be a primary focus for the company in 2012.
In announcing Before Watchmen, here’s what DC’s top guy, Dan Didio had to say…
“It’s our responsibility as publishers to find new ways to keep all of our characters relevant. After twenty five years, the Watchmen are classic characters whose time has come for new stories to be told. We sought out the best writers and artists in the industry to build on the complex mythology of the original.”
A total of seven titles will make up the Before Watchmen line. The timing of the books, which begin shipping this Summer, will be such that there is a new Before Watchmen title hitting each week. Additionally, there will be a two page Curse of the Crimson Corsair backup story in each of the books. As for what those books will be, and the creative teams working on each, here’s the list…
- Rorschach (4 issues) – Brian Azzarello/Lee Bermejo
- Minutemen (6 issues) – Darwyn Cook as writer and artist
- Comedian (6 issues) – Brian Azzarello/JG Jones
- Dr. Manhattan (4 issues) – J. Michael Straczynski/Adam Hughes
- Nite Owl (4 issues) – J. Michael Straczynski/Andy and Joe Kubert
- Ozymandias (6 issues) – Lee Wein/Jae Lee
- Silk Spectre (4 issues) – Darwyn Cook/Amanda Conner
- Curse of the Crimson Corsair (running backup story in each of the above books) – Lee Wein/John Higgins
And, in addition to all of that, DC will also be shipping a one-shot Before Watchmen: Epilogue book, featuring the work of a whole bunch of creators and another Crimson Corsair backup story. As you look through that list of creators, you should pay special attention to a few names. Lee Wein was the editor of the original Watchmen series (and the creator of such characters as Swamp Thing and Wolverine). John Higgins should also be a familiar Watchmen name, as he was the colorist on the original series. Dave Gibbons, co-creator (along with writer Alan Moore) of the Watchmen, although not directly involved in any of the Before Watchmen books, has also given his official endorsement of the project, saying…
“The original series of WATCHMEN is the complete story that Alan Moore and I wanted to tell. However, I appreciate DC’s reasons for this initiative and the wish of the artists and writers involved to pay tribute to our work. May these new additions have the success they desire.”
So it would seem that everyone who worked on the original Watchmen series has either been included in this new project or come out in support of it. Well, hehe, everyone except for Alan Moore. He has long been strongly opposed to any new Watchmen project, including the movie that was released a few years ago (Dave Gibbons served as a consultant on the movie). While he hasn’t released any sort of official statement on Before Watchmen (he still might), it’s a safe bet to make that if he did, it wouldn’t be any sort of glowing endorsement.
As more news regarding Before Watchmen becomes available, I’ll be sure to keep you all updated. Until then, feel free to share your thoughts on this groundbreaking, but very controversial new project in the comments below.
Filed Under: Comic Books