While the majority of Before Watchmen series have been mediocre, Minutemen and Silk Spectre have been great books. While some of my worries have come to fruition, the execution is so good that it’s hard to care. Also, Silk Spectre #3 is one trippy book.
Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner bring the full trippy aspects of the sixties into this issue. The first few pages are simply brilliant, and help sell the trip that Laurie is experiencing. The rest of the issue plays out as you’d expect, with Laurie realizing the error of her ways. What was unexpected was the inclusion of the Comedian. Cooke and Conner write him well, straddling the line of crazy super hero and father. The plot that has been at the center of these issues pops in a subtle way. I nearly missed it on the first read through. One of my big worries was that the sixties weren’t going to enter the story besides as a setting. But Cooke and Conner use it as the point when she toughens up transforming into the Silk Spectre she becomes in Watchmen. Not unexpected, but used well. If the reader knows how a certain character is going to end up before the series starts, then the writer(s) need to make sure the journey is going to be as entertaining as possible. That’s what Cooke and Conner have gone for here.
Laurie sadly has the standard realization that mom was right and she was wrong. I was worried that this was going to happen by the end and it seems as if I was right. These scenes are written well, and in the context of the scene, its possible that Laurie is examining her life. It seems off considering we have seen Laurie being this independent girl who can take care of herself. She might be slightly immature, but Laurie is well prepared to tackle life as a superhero. The even pays for boots that she could have easily have stolen. The mommy issues are handled better though. They come up subtly during the acid trip, making them feel organic. Of all the worries I had about this series (I had a lot about the event in general), only one of them has reared its head. With only one issue left, I’d say we could call this series a winner.
Amanda Conner continues to pencil the hell out of this book. The acid trip extravaganza on the first few pages uses some of the best panel structure I have seen. The panels guide the eyes well, with a reader never losing sense of what they are reading. The cartoony drawings are back, and they fit more naturally into this issue. Their use in the trip scene helps sell what is and isn’t real. Facial expressions are amazing, with one in particular. When Gurustein hits on Laurie, Conner gives her a great look. It will look somewhat familiar to Olympic viewers, although I doubt that was on purpose. Watch out for any younger readers, as there is plenty of nudity this month. Probably the most so far in any Before Watchmen book. Silk Spectre #3 is one of my top picks for best looking Before Watchmen books so far. Paul Mounts colors are fantastic. Conner may have penciled a trippy scene, but Mounts made it look great. The weird colors blend nicely and the slight yellow tint in most of them was a nice added touch.
Before Watchmen Silk Spectre #3 gets 4/5.
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