Watch Out For ‘Before Watchmen’!

Rumors have been running rampant about the Watchmen prequel for the past six months or so, and this morning DC Comics finally confirmed those rumors in announcing Before Watchmen. These intertwining stories are to take place prior to the events of the “greatest graphic novel of all time”. Obviously, this is extremely controversial, and bittersweet in the utmost. On the one hand this is outright blasphemous, how could they destroy such a masterpiece of graphic storytelling? On the other hand, deep down we all want some more Watchmen. Check out the official release after the jump. Whether you love it or hate it, whether you read it or not, this is a big deal, sound off in the comments.

UPDATE: Alan Moore told USA Today “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.” Classic Moore. He also said that the project is “completely shameless”.

watchmen2 When I first heard of the plans for a Watchmen sequel or prequel I thought it was offensive to good taste. I thought there was no way DC would do such a thing if they knew what was good for them. Then there is all the drama with Mr. Moore, which reaches as far back as the series’ original publication. As a true fan of the book, I hated DC for considering this project. I sided with Moore.

But then again, there is no way I would ever pass up the opportunity to read more Rorschach stories. How could anyone not want to read the origin story of Rorschach becoming the apathetic, justice-driven hero we all love. Or, how could you not want to see how Dr. Manhattan was before his godliness, before he lost touch with humanity. While this may be a ploy on DC’s part, while it may seem cruel, while Moore is probably spitting venom all over town, more Watchmen is exactly that, more Watchmen. I may not agree with the ethics behind this series, you can bet your ass I will be the first in line at the comic shop to pick up these books.

DC’s official release:

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).

BEFORE WATCHMEN includes:

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.”