It’s official: DC Comics will release histories of the universe of “Watchmen” with events leading up to the miniseries in 12 issues of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.
After months of speculation, rumors and code-names for the project “panic room”, the “frontmen” of the publisher, Jim Lee and Dan DiDio, made the official announcement revealing the project “Before Watchmen.”
“It is our responsibility as publishers to find new ways to keep all of our characters relevant,”
said DiDio and Lee
“After 25 years, the characters in ‘Watchmen’ are classics. It’s time to tell new stories about them. We seek the best writers and artists in the industry to write about the complex mythology of the original work. “
Even if DC has assembled the best team of editors of the house, the task will not be easy, since we’re talking about one of the most acclaimed works of comics of all time (if not the most acclaimed) and thousands of fans worldwide do not like the idea of even touching the universe created by Moore, me included!
Protests aside, the talents of the publishing house have been scaled and selected and the titles are planned in the following:
“Rorschach” (4 issues) – story by Brian Azzarello, art by Lee Bermejo.
“Minutemen” (6 issues) – story and art by Darwyn Cooke.
“Comedian” (6th edition) – The story of Brian Azzarello. Art by J. G. Jones.
“Dr. Manhattan “(4 issues) – story of J. Michael Straczynski, art by Adam Hughes.
“Owl” (4 issues) – story of J. Michael Straczynski, art by Andy Kubert and Joe Kubert.
“Ozymandias” (6 issues) – story of Len Wein, art by Jae Lee
“Spectrum” (4 issues) – story by Darwyn Cooke, art by Amanda Conner.
“The original series of ‘Watchmen’ is the story that Alan Moore and I wanted to tell,”
said Dave Gibbons.
“I appreciate, however, 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.”
Here’s the cover art for the various issues:
It is a weekly schedule and each issue will bring a second story, which is told in two part pages called “Curse of the Crimson Corsair”, written by Len Wein (who edited the original series) and art by John Higgins (who colored drawings of Gibbons in the original series). Besides all this, DC will release a single edition called “Before Watchmen: Epilogue” with various works of the artists involved and the story of Wein and Higgins cursed pirate .
So what does Alan think about all this? Well, glad you ask because there is already an official reaction from the man himself:
The Bearded One spoke with the New York Times, saying that DC Comics taking this move is:
“completely shameless. I tend to take this latest development as a kind of eager confirmation that they are still apparently dependent on ideas that I had 25 years ago.”
He then added a firm desire:
“I don’t want money! What I want is for this not to happen!”
Reaction from across the comic industry has been mixed. With artists like J. Michael Straczynski who said:
“Ever since Dan DiDio was handed the reins (along with Jim Lee) over at DC, he’s been making bold, innovative moves that might have scared the hell out of anyone else,”
“At a time in the industry when big events tend to be ‘OK, we had Team A fight Team B last year, so this year we’re gonna have Team B fight Team C!’ Dan has chosen to revitalise lines, reinvent worlds and come at Watchmen head-on.
“It was, I think, about two years ago that he first mentioned that he was considering the idea, and he’s to be commended for fighting to make this happen.”
Joe Bennett, a fan-favourite Hawkman illustrator, recently stated that he would have turned down the opportunity to work on the project.
“If DC had invited me to do any of these books I would have refused,” he said. “I really won’t mess with a great sorcerer.”
The major question (aside from the obvious Why do this at all?!) is if Warner Bros, the studio that put out the Watchmen film, will develop these stories for feature films. The studio has been looking for a new franchise to replace Harry Potter and Batman for a few years, and if they can keep the budgets low a series of Watchmen films could work out nicely for them.
Of course, that depends on the series being actually good, and we’ll see if that’s the case when the first issues hit shelves.
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Source : New York Times