In a move that's been long-rumored and almost totally feared by many in the comic book industry, Big Two publisher DC Comics announced this morning that in the summer they'd be releasing a set of seven mini-series that serve as prequels to the landmark graphic novel/movie/genre-defining landmark Watchmen, thus ensuring that everyone who goes to their comic shops today will have something to complain about with the other customers.
In all fairness, though, the talent lined up to work on these books is stacked. In a few months' time, you can enjoy series like:
- Rorshach from Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo (the award-winning team behind the Joker graphic novel)
- Minutemen from Darwyn Cooke (New Frontier)
- Comedian from Azzarello and JG Jones (artist on Final Crisis)
- Dr. Manhattan from J Michael Straczysnki (Babylon 5) and Adam Hughes (lots of pin-ups)
- Nite Owl from JMS and the Kubert brothers (Grant Morrison's Batman, Richard Donner's Action Comics)
- Ozymandias from Len Wein (Wolverine, Swamp Thing creator) and Jae Lee (The Inhumans)
- Silk Spectre from Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner (Power Girl)
All of those creators are respected and substantial talents in the comic industry, and none of them seem like the type to have just been waiting, praying for the day that they could spit on original writer Alan Moore's legacy, even if that's what a lot of people consider these prequels to be doing.
In a preemptive attempt to justify the movie, DC co-publishers Dan Didio and Jim Lee stated on their blog that it's their "responsibility as publishers to find new ways to keep all of our characters relevant," because being named one of the 100 best novels since 1923 by Time magazine is so 2005, bro. And if you're wondering what the original creators think about this, well, Alan Moore lives in a cave and will not speak to mere mortals like us. HOWEVER, artist Dave Gibbons had this to say: "I appreciate DC's reasons for this initiative and the wish of the writers and artists involved to pay tribute to our work. May these new additions have the success they desire."
So yeah. Lots of people are gonna be mega-pissed about this, but also, the talent on these books basically guarantees their value if they were anything but Watchmen prequels. So what do you think?