DC Officially Announces 'Before Watchmen'

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DC has officially announced the long-rumored prequels to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen. 'Before Watchmen' will span seven titles by some of the best talents in comics.

This summer, DC Entertainment will publish all-new stories expanding on the acclaimed WATCHMEN universe. As highly anticipated as they are controversial, the seven inter-connected prequel mini-series will build on the foundation of the original WATCHMEN, the bestselling graphic novel of all time. BEFORE WATCHMEN will be the collective banner for all seven titles, from DC Comics.

“It’s our responsibility as publishers to find new ways to keep all of our characters relevant,” said DC Entertainment Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee. “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.”

Stepping up to the challenge is a group of the comic book industry’s most iconoclastic writers and artists – including Brian Azzarello (100 BULLETS), Lee Bermejo (JOKER), Amanda Conner (POWER GIRL), Darwyn Cooke (JUSTICE LEAGUE: NEW FRONTIER), John Higgins (WATCHMEN), Adam Hughes (CATWOMAN), J.G. Jones (FINAL CRISIS), Andy Kubert (FLASHPOINT), Joe Kubert (SGT. ROCK), Jae Lee (BATMAN: JEKYLL AND HYDE), J. Michael Straczynski (SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE) and Len Wein (SWAMP THING).


    * RORSCHACH (4 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: Lee Bermejo

    * MINUTEMEN (6 issues) – Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke

    * COMEDIAN (6 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: J.G. Jones

    * DR. MANHATTAN (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artist: Adam Hughes

    * NITE OWL (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artists: Andy and Joe Kubert

    * OZYMANDIAS (6 issues) – Writer: Len Wein. Artist: Jae Lee

    * SILK SPECTRE (4 issues) – Writer: Darwyn Cooke. Artist: Amanda Conner

Each week, a new issue will be released, and will feature a two-page back-up story called CURSE OF THE CRIMSON CORSAIR, written by original series editor Len Wein and with art by original series colorist John Higgins. There will also be a single issue, BEFORE WATCHMEN: EPILOGUE, featuring the work of various writers and artists, and a CRIMSON CORSAIR story by Wein and Higgins.

“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,” said Dave Gibbons, WATCHMEN co-creator and original series artist.

“Comic books are perhaps the largest and longest running form of collaborative fiction,” said DiDio and Lee. “Collaborative storytelling is what keeps these fictional universes current and relevant.”

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  • Bart Croonenborghs

    Bart Croonenborghs Feb 1, 2012 at 8:02am

    That's some fine talent involved though I'm not really interested in the books itself. Seems to me that everything you needed to know is in the original GN. It's just such a dense and complete work in itself. But hey Didio basically says it himself at the end of the news item, Cash Rules Everything Around Me.

  • Steve Kanaras

    Steve Kanaras Feb 1, 2012 at 10:03am

    "You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!"

    sorry, not interested.

  • Richard Boom

    Richard Boom Feb 1, 2012 at 12:25pm

    I think a more positive vibe is given and the involved creators truly try to make a difference here. Otherwise it would merely be Work For Hire and something tells me this is more then that. I think DC would be making themselves ridiculous if they would not give their best in this project...

    Some stuff is crap and I hate the Big 2 for doing that. But sometimes they do make comics fun again... I think (or hope) this is one of those times.

  • Bart Croonenborghs

    Bart Croonenborghs Feb 1, 2012 at 2:20pm

    I don't want to come off as someone who automatically dishes the Big Two because I do enjoy a select few of their titles but as I said before, the creators involved are good and I guess they'll make it work but I'm curious what's left unsaid in Watchmen that it warrants a prequel. And hey while we're at it... the new logo doesn't extend to the spine and it has no discernable visual gag for the Watchmen universe as stated in the examples in the press statement for the new logo. Someone needs to brief their designers a bit better.

  • Jason Wilkins

    Jason Wilkins Feb 1, 2012 at 6:00pm

    Has Alan Moore reacted to this yet? I shudder to think... BTW, I call cash grab - which is fine to a point as comics has always been about making money at that level but really, this feels a little obtuse.

  • Bart Croonenborghs

    Bart Croonenborghs Feb 2, 2012 at 3:09am

    Don't expect any new statements from Moore on this, his opinion has always been quite clear as to his intentions of the work itself and DC's further plans for the franchise.

  • Bart Croonenborghs

    Bart Croonenborghs Feb 2, 2012 at 3:17am

    FROM MR MOORE: What Did Alan Moore Have To Say? Mr. Moore, who has disassociated himself from DC Comics and the industry at large, called the new venture ?completely shameless.? Speaking by telephone from his home in Northampton, England, Mr. Moore said, ?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.? Mr. Moore said he was unlikely to stand in the way of Before Watchmen or to fight the project in court, where he said DC Comics would meet him with an ?infinite battery of lawyers.? ?I don?t want money,? he said. ?What I want is for this not to happen.? Mr. Moore also went on to say he was unconvinced, saying that the endeavour only weakened the argument that comics were an authentic form of literature. ?As far as I know,? he said, ?there weren?t that many prequels or sequels to ?Moby-Dick.? ?

  • Jason Wilkins

    Jason Wilkins Feb 2, 2012 at 8:55pm

    Not sure I agree with comics not considered lit (his own works and others such as Lemire, Hickman, Snyder to name a few would seem to disprove this) but I totally agree this is probably just about the $$$ and there's no real use fighting it. As far as I'm concerned, Moby Dick is barely literature and thank god there wasn't a sequel/prequel. Having said that, I'm a huge Moore fan and can understand his disillusionment. I just can't help wondering...what if all of these talented people focused their efforts on something new...now that would be something to slap a new logo on...

  • Richard Boom

    Richard Boom Feb 3, 2012 at 8:39am

    JESUS!! Why not friggin wait and see before dissing!!! Alan Moore is way to old-skool in his reaction!
    Once this stuff sees print I am going to read it (legal or illegal) and based on that I am either dissing it or buying it!!

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