Who's Watching The Watchmen? The Whole World Is!

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Holy @!&%. Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s Watchmen, the holy text itself, will be expanded with a series of prequels under the inventive banner ‘Before Watchmen’ this summer.

The names attached to the project read like a tour de force of the industry. There is, undoubtedly, something for everyone to get excited about (if you’ve got an open mind about it). You’ve got Watchmen colorist John Higgins and editor Len Wein doing a regular backup. And big names like JMS, Darwyn Cooke and Brian Azzarello are taking books under their wings. At the very least, these seven mini-series will make for an impressive looking set come the inevitable graphic novel collections.

While DC relaunching their entire line last September was interesting enough, Before Watchmen just might be the real gamechanger. The most successful graphic novel of all time, a clinical part of pop-culture that’s now infused into the general public consciousness after years of across the board chatter and a perfectly mediocre movie, is receiving more. Just not ‘Moore’. Original series creator Alan Moore has publicly voiced his discontent over DC’s expansion plans of the Watchmen franchise, telling the NY Times, “I don’t want money. What I want is for this not to happen.” And: “As far as I know, there weren’t that many prequels or sequels to ‘Moby-Dick.’”

Whatever your stance on the topic may be, Before Watchmen is definitely newsworthy and it caught the attention of premier media outlets across America. Everybody from USA Today, The New York Times, LA Times, Entertainment Weekly, Wired Magazine and The Hollywood Reporter pumped an immense amount of time and coverage into the news. This is big. Like, ‘lets drive some new readers into our dying industry’ big.

Of course there will be haters. And sure, at first I went to grab a pitchfork and I looked all over for my torch, but you know what? I love The Watchmen. Why would I not want to see these characters again… to see that world expanded? Sure, there’s people saying DC  is trying to make a fast buck (it’s almost a guaranteed money maker), but you better believe  the creative teams involved want to do this massive project the justice it deserves, ‘cause if they mess this up a hell of a lot of people are going to be very pissed off.


Alan Moore too has a valid point, but there have been plenty of reimaginings of his and Dave Gibbons’ classic tale, perhaps to the point of oversaturation. DC, in this instance, is delivering something that hordes of fans have been asking for for close to 30 years.

If you don’t want to read it, then don’t. Simple as that. The original Watchmen isn’t going to be edited Star Wars/George Lucas style. It will still remain intact for your children to enjoy years down the line. The original graphic novel isn’t going anywhere – remember that before you take to Twitter and convention panels.


If it brings in more readers to our shops, then I’m all for it. Personally, only four of the seven titles (RORSCHACH/MINUTEMEN/NITE OWL/OZYMANDIAS) interest me, though I’ll probably pick them all up just to see what the teams do when they are let loose in the world of The Watchmen. If you don’t want to read them at all then fine, I’m certainly not going to show up at your house and make you ingest them Clockwork Orange style.

What are your thoughts on Before Watchmen? Happy/Sad? Sound off below or get in touch with us on Twitter or Facebook.

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  • Richard Boom

    Richard Boom Feb 3, 2012 at 8:45am

    now this is what I a talking about! Not dissing beforehand!! Well done! I look forward to it as well!!

  • Josh West

    Josh West Feb 3, 2012 at 2:22pm

    I'm going to give it a chance! Love Darwyn Cooke so that's a no-brainer.

    If you look at the negativity surrounding this announcement it is easy to see what is wrong with our industry. YES, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's got an awful deal and got screwed over by DC, but in many respects that shouldn't matter. Not to the readers and the general public.

    Does it suck they got screwed? Of course. But just because they got screwed over, does this mean other creators cant take these characters and tell fantastic stories with them? Of course it doesn't. I think it is time, I want to see more of this world and sure it sucks we cant have Moore's version, but DC handled the new 52 perfectly. I have every faith in them!

  • Josh West

    Josh West Feb 3, 2012 at 2:22pm

    Though I will say this: how good would Scott Snyder have been playing round in this world? Missed a beat there DC.

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