Thursday, February 2, 2012

Reader Question - Before Watchmen

It's been a bit of a while since our last Reader Question posting here at the Weekly Crisis (we're sneaking it in at just under a year at this point), but yesterday's news was simply so ground shaking that we saw no other sane response but to canvas you, our faithful readers, for your thoughts.

Unless you spent all of yesterday hiding under a rock (and considering the announcement, who could blame you?), you've probably heard the crazy (yet somewhat telegraphed) news that DC has finally officially announced those wacky Watchmen prequels they've been pseudo-teasing for what seems like ages.  Let me repeat that: DC is making prequels to The Watchmen.

Let's let that sink in for a moment.

No matter what your thoughts on whether or not this is a wise decision, the fact remains that it is kind of a huge deal (to understate things a bit).  But this being the Reader Question feature, we do want to know what you think.  Is this the ultimate sacrilege?  Is it an exciting opportunity to revisit fondly remembered characters?  Do the creative teams impact your feelings on the matter?

Let us know in the comments section below.

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Anonymous said...

In response to the comments that continuing to write Watchmen is blasphemous, JMS replied that it's is like continuing to write a recurring character like Superman. Writers should be allowed to continue the works of Siegel and Shuster, right? I see his logic, except that Watchmen was never meant to be recurring characters or a continuing story. It was supposed to be a stand alone graphic novel. Period. As much as I love the writers involved I doubt they have something to contribute to an otherwise complete story. Why not make an original interweaving deconstructive superhero story in the vein of Watchmen? Them maybe we can get an interesting story. I don't need to see Rorschach being beaten growing up or Silk Specter being pushed to follow the steps of her mom. I'll still check out the first issues and hope it's decent, but this is REALLY UNNECESSARY.

Anonymous said...

Wish they took it forward, after the events of the original.

Prequels always underwhelm. These prequels will lead into events that we all know very well. Its why Caprica failed - no way to emotionally invest in story tension if you know the outcome.

They might as well as go with Watchmen Babies.

If they are going to do it, they should go forward.

Brandon said...

@Anon1 - your premise is flawed. The Watchmen characters were supposed to be the Question and Captain Atom. The are in essence recurring characters with continuing stories. The only reason they wouldn't be is because Alan Moore said so. Similarly, if Siegel and Shuster would have said that Superman was a done in one story, or Stan Lee had said that Amazing Fantasy #15 was all he wanted to say about Spiderman, once the sold well you can bet DC and Marvel respectively would have continued the stories. That is what the comic book industry is about.

Simon DelMonte said...

Are these necessary? No, not really. At some level, this is just another way to make money. But isn't that DC's mandate? I suppose it would be nice to see DC try to do something new more often, but the simple fact is no one wants to sell their superhero ideas to DC, and DC doesn't want to publish creator-owned books without the Vertigo label. Tapping into the vast audience that knows Watchmen is as good a way as any to expand the business.

Is this sacrilege? No. Watchmen was a great, great comic, but given its roots, I wouldn't call it sacred. It was derivative on nearly every level. It was, in its own way, a continuation of every superhero comic from the previous 50 years. A better complaint might be that after Watchmen, the superhero comic has been exploded, torn to bits, and left for dead, and that it's time to move on completely. I don't think this is true, but I just don't see Watchmen prequels as treading on holy ground.

Will they be good? That is the big question. And with these creative teams, it would be hard for all of them to be bad. I trust Cooke. I appreciate JMS and Azz. There isn't a bad artist in the bunch. And if I had to pick three writers who don't seem swayed by commercial considerations (and who won't kowtow to overbearing editors), it's these men. (No slight to Wein, but he's not in the same league these days.)

And do I care about how mad Alan Moore is? Not one bit. He's spent the last decade undoing any goodwill I had to him with his endless complaints about everything. Also, he is deluding himself if he ever really believed DC would surrender the copyright. These characters were never his. Sad but true.

Klep said...

I have really big reservations about the entire project, which really doesn't seem necessary to me in any way (even aside from the disrespect for Moore's and Gibbons' wishes). However, some of the creative teams are extremely high quality and well-suited for their assigned projects, assuming there are actual stories for them to tell that aren't just redundant. Perhaps if they don't make the stories about the characters, but instead about their context there might be stories to tell. I don't know.

For now, I'm very tentatively on board for a couple of the minis, but I'm not hugely optimistic. After all, we're expected to believe that JMS will finish not one, but two projects!

Space Jawa said...

I for one do not care. I don't have any interest in Watchmen, have never actually read the original Watchmen, and have no interest in purchasing any Watchmen prequels.

Jon said...

I am cautiously optimistic, and I frankly don't understand what all the rage over this is. While I thoroughly love Watchmen in all it's itirations, I don't really get why a carbon copy of older characters have become this sacred cow that no one is allowed to touch. Frankly, more and more in the last few years, more people have been complaining about Wathmen not being as good as people said it was, yet now, it is once again the Holy Grail.

If it's bad, nothing is stopping anyone from not reading it. It is forgotten and we move on.

If it's good, awesome, then we have something new to add to it.

In the end, I think, as a fanbase, we should judge it by its merits, and not simply by the nerd-rage we are reading about on the internet.

Like Simon mentionned, this is by no means necessary, but few comic stories really are. It's the end result that counts, but if we don't give it a fair chance, we might miss out on something decent.

I for one will not be sulking in my corner clutching at the past. If it's terrible, I will also not blindly give DC my money, either (looking at you, Blackest Night/Brighest Day/Flashpoint!)

Brandon said...

@Klep - Gibbons gave his blessing. It is just Moore being a whiny ass like usual.

In one breath he states how he doesn't read mainstream comics and doesn't care what they do. Then in the next he rants about how terrible they are and all that we wishes they wouldn't do.

He is an arrogant hypocrite that would be driven to depression if people actually stopped listening to his drivel.

brandon said...

(a different brandon)

I'm excited. I wanted to see this about 20 years ago. I'm even more excited seeing the creator list. (Though as least two of the books seem like they will never see completion based on the attached names).

I hope these are excellent content-wise and sales-wise and then, hopefully, we will get more in the future.

A sequel where Dr Manhattan hunts down a descendant of Moby Dick would be awesome.

Mark said...

Not interested at all, and though I don't think it's sacrilege it certainly shows a sort of cluelessness on the part of DC to pick this particular project to squeeze more dollars out of.

Watchmen already did a fine job of showing backstory, and moreover — as noted above — the point of Watchmen was to tear down the mythos of superhero comics, not create a new platform to sell Rorshach lunchboxes and underoos.

Not real excited about the creative team, either — JMS has had way more misses than hits lately. What, will we see Dr. Manhattan walking across Mars and being a jerk to people?

Bill said...

Does it make good artistic sense? No, but hardly any of DC's output does (I'd rather see all these talented writers and artists doing creating and exciting things, rather than making the billionth Batman and Superman stories)/.

Is it a little bit of a dick move to Alan Moore? Yes.

Does it make good business sense? Absolutely. The Minutemen series could be Darwyn Cooke drawing stickfigures and it'll sell 100,000 copies. I think it's a generally half-baked idea and expect it to suck, but I'll still be checking them out.

Ivan said...

I think the argument "Watchmen as never meant to be further explored" is bullshit. Moore himself considered the possibility of writing sequels back before he got screwed over and became understandably bitter.

Another property meant to be a one-off thing? Spider-Man. Filler for a soon to be cancelled Amazing Fantasy. We know how that went.

Yeah, I know, Spider-Man was still being develop further by its own creators. True. My point is that Watchmen always had potential to be further explored and was not considered to be an one-off thing not even by its own creator before he became bitter about the entire experience.

Wether it's gonna duck or not is another matter entirely. If it sucks I'll probably wish it was never done, but I'm confident about most of the creative things. Very cautious about JMS, though. Grounded sucked.

Ivan said...


"Whether it's gonna suck or not..."

"...but I'm confident about most of the creative teams"

Anonymous said...

What's Watchmen?

Esenem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Esenem said...

It would be nice to see how they explore the characters Alan Moore created, I just hope they dont do something silly that would ruin it, however if they do, watchmen will always be watchmen, no matter what happens in this prequel

MisterSmith said...

I'm REALLY excited for Darwyn Cooke on Minutemen. That's the only thing I know in all of this. Everything other thought is speculation and gut reactions.

numberthirty said...

I'm interested in this on paper.

As for Moore's complaint, can it be any worse than Kingdom Come being lifted in large part from the Twilight Of The Superheroes proposal?

btownlegend said...

Rorshach. This guy is a story. The Minutemen...more...I need more. The others may work out, but in all honesty the comedian breathes terror. That can easily carry a comic book.

The Green Death said...

Where has Moore complained about the series? He didn't give his blessing, but that's no surprise as he doesn't want anyone to do with DC after all the hassles he's had with them. I am somewhat blown away as to how aggro people are about Moore. He has even given up his monetary rights to movies of his stories because he doesn't want to deal with the headaches such as the League movie caused him, so it's not like he's profiting. He's done the opposite of sell out and he's pretty quiet about it and yet everyone complains about him.

I suspect mostly they complain because Moore is disinterested in modern comics and people feel spurned.

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