DC released a mosaic of interior art from the first issues of the various comics in the “Before Watchmen” series at the Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo this past weekend, and the image was put online this morning.
It sure looks purty, with a nice range of stylistic differences. There’s not denying that.
However, truthfully, I don’t think anyone is worried about the artwork; DC has top-flight talent working on the titles. The big worry is the stories: Can every single one of them live up to the legacy of the original series? Since Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons‘ Watchmen is generally considered the greatest comics story ever told, that should be no problem, right?
Personally, I don’t think they can pull it off — and more, I don’t think they should even try. I stand firmly in the camp aligned against the project.
I fully understand that DC owns the characters and has the legal right to do anything it wants with them. But I don’t think the company should, and for a very good reason: Watchmen was a complete story. It had a beginning, a middle and an end. It’s finished. There’s nothing else to be said about this group of characters. What’s bad about “Before Watchmen” is coming in 25 years later and welding on a new “beginning” where it doesn’t belong.
And once this series is complete and it’s a great success — this is absolutley guaranteed to sell out, because even the haters will need to read it — DC will be able to point to the financial success as license to keep going. No dount there will be an “After Before Watchmen” and probably even a sequel series that will undo the events of the original and restore all the dead characters back to life (and profitability).
And then there’s the “tainting” factor. Who among you hasn’t had your memories and goodwill toward the original Star Wars trilogy colored by the self-contradictions and creative fauts of the prequel trilogy? Who doesn’t wish they could unsee some of the things we learned in the prequels? Now, what if “Before Watchmen” has the same effect…