One of the worst kept and most controversial of secrets in the last couple of years within comics has finally come to fruition as DC Comics has announced the seven issue plan for Before Watchmen, a group of interconnected prequel miniseries that will launch in the summer of 2012. They’ll be individual series under the banner name of Before Watchmen and vary from four to six issues. Theer’s some strong artists and writers involved that will definitely tempt many, though there will be far more people who will simply be upset that one of the classics is being “infringed” upon with new stories that will dilute and cheapen the original work by Alan More.
Frankly, we’re keen on it simply because of the talents involved and because it was going to happen sooner or later in some form or another. And it’s definitely the kind of approach that DC Comics can use for their summer 2012 “event” as they were originally intending to not do a crossover event for the New 52 books that launched this past September. This lets them have an event without it impacting their regular line and could likely draw more people to it. And considering the continued strong sales of the Watchmen graphic novel since its release oh so many years ago, expect the eventual trades for these to do well in the bookstore chains and other markets as well.
“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.”
Check out the talent involved in the miniseries below:
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.”