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  1. #1
    James Harvey's Avatar
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    DC Comics Officially Announces "Before Watchmen"

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    The press release and promotional image are below.

    DC ENTERTAINMENT OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCES “BEFORE WATCHMEN”


    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.”



  2. #2
    VictoryStar's Avatar
    VictoryStar is offline "Here is your first present~"
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    I know people are pretty mad because of how Alan Moore feels about DC "taking" his characters (which will always remain ironic to me because he made them from Expy's of Charlton's characters after DC told him he couldn't use those) but looking at the writing talent on this I'll go out and be the first to say I'm excited for this I really want to read the Rorschach and Nite Owl Mini's the most but I guess I'll give them all a try.

    Oh and @Defunct Zombie this explains why they had a Watchmen logo as part of the show off of all the things the new DC one can do! They planned to use it for this!

    Oh yeah and I found this quote about the Before Watchmen event on USA Today

    "Gibbons, who was an adviser on the movie, has given his blessing. "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," he says in a statement."

    So at least one of the people who originally worked on the title has faith in the project.
    Last edited by VictoryStar; 02-01-2012 at 08:34 AM.

  3. #3
    Shawn Hopkins's Avatar
    Shawn Hopkins is offline TZ Member of the Year 2013
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    DC is dead to me.
    Here's the deal, I'm the best there is. I wake up in the morning and I urinate excellence. And nobody can hang with my stuff. I'm just a big hairy American winning machine.

    I'm very humble, too.

  4. #4
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    I've never read Watchmen or watched the movie, so I'm not opposed to any follow ups. They got some really strong creative teams to do this, but the only one I can say for sure I'll be picking up is Rorschach, because Azzarello and Bermejo are an awesome team. I do think it's kinda random that they choose now to release these though. Around the time the movie was coming out seems like a smarter choice.

    Bleeding Cool has a gallary of covers or promo art.

  5. #5
    defunctzombie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VictoryStar View Post
    Oh and @Defunct Zombie this explains why they had a Watchmen logo as part of the show off of all the things the new DC one can do! They planned to use it for this!
    How'd you know I'd read this topic? (btw, no space in the name )

    I'll pick up the Rorschach ones since I like the team (Bermejo is an AWESOME artist), but I guess I'll keep my comments to myself until I get a peek.
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  6. #6
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    I may pick up the Minutemen one as Darwyn Cooke is writing and drawing it and I'm a big fan of his. Though I'm a little surprised to see him as he didn't seem to be on the greatest of terms with DC the last time I saw an interview with him. However Alan Moore's official response to this news was pretty awesome.

  7. #7
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    Yeah....

    All DC is doing it trying to make more money off of a classic story, this isn't going to enhance the legacy of The Watchmen more so than it's going to water down it's appeal and make people shake their heads as a greedy publisher. Sure, the books may do well at first, but I think in the long run people are going to see this for what it is and write them off as non-canon works to the original Watchmen saga. I'll pass.

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  8. #8
    Shawn Hopkins's Avatar
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    Here's what Alan Moore said:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/01/bo...?_r=2&ref=arts
    Mr. Moore, who has disassociated himself from DC Comics and the industry at large, called the new venture “completely shameless.”


    Speaking by telephone from his home in Northampton, England, Mr. Moore said, “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.”

    Plus:

    “I don’t want money,” he said. “What I want is for this not to happen.”

    So, yeah, he's pretty clear about it. He doesn't really leave an easy out for the fanboys, if you buy this you're supporting something that dissappoints and disgusts him.

    Another thing is that these will probably be, creatively, about the level of those The Kingdom one-shots that DC subjected fans of Kingdom Come to. That is, a pale, unnecessary shadow of the original work.
    Here's the deal, I'm the best there is. I wake up in the morning and I urinate excellence. And nobody can hang with my stuff. I'm just a big hairy American winning machine.

    I'm very humble, too.

  9. #9
    GWOtaku's Avatar
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    I look on this with skepticism for now, but in this CBR interview JMS pretty well deconstructs the attitude that holds Watchmen to be this untouchable, sacrosanct thing:

    CBR: I think one of the biggest questions readers are going to have when they hear this news is simple "Why do this?" The original "Watchmen" (gosh it sounds strange to say it that way) is a work that many consider to be just about perfect as it is, and despite having a rich world behind it, the story itself doesn't leave a lot of mysteries begging to be solved. Why do you think this kind of prequel project is a worthwhile creative undertaking for you or for anyone?

    JMS: The flip-side to that question, then, is "Why do anything based on something that was well done?" It's weirdly counter-intuitive: the characters are great, the world is terrific, we created something amazing here, so, God -- let's never ever do that again. Run away!

    A lot of folks feel that these characters shouldn't be touched by anyone other than Alan, and while that's absolutely understandable on an emotional level, it's deeply flawed on a logical level. Based on durability and recognition, one could make the argument that Superman is the greatest comics character ever created. But neither Alan nor anyone else has ever suggested that no one other than Shuster and Siegel should ever be allowed to write Superman. Alan didn't pass on being brought on to write Swamp Thing, a seminal comics character created by Len Wein, and he did a terrific job. He didn't say "No, no, I can't, that's Len's character." Nor should he have.

    Of course, when the news hits there will be a lot of talk about what the original "Watchmen" creators make of all this with Alan Moore having largely washed his hands of the property and Dave Gibbons giving his blessing to the new project via DC's PR. Do either of their opinions impact how you'll approach your work?

    Again: on an emotional level, I get it. But by the same token, Alan has spent most of the last decade writing some very, very good stories about characters created by other writers, including Alice (from Wonderland), Dorothy (from Oz), Wendy (from Peter Pan), as well as Captain Nemo, the Invisible Man, Jekyll and Hyde and Professor Moriarty. I think one loses a little of the moral high ground to say, "I can write characters created by Jules Verne, HG Wells, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle and Frank Baum, but it's wrong for anyone else to write my characters."

    The lack of his blessings has no more impact on the actual storytelling process than would be the case if we had his blessings. The story has to stand on its own. A crappy story wouldn't be helped by having his blessings, and a good one isn't made better for it. Would it be nice? Sure. I'd love it. Again, I have always been a massive fan of Alan's work. Back when I worked on "The New Twilight Zone," I tracked him down and, after pulling every string I could find, managed to get him on the phone to ask if he'd please consider writing an episode. (He said no.) Alan is the best of us. I've said repeatedly, online and at conventions, that on a scale from 1-10, Alan is a full-blown 10. I've not only said it, more importantly, I've always believed it.
    For the moment I'm just pleased they weren't stupid enough to attempt a sequel that really would be doomed to fail.
    I would suggest that it's not the medium, but the quality of perception and expression, that determines the significance of art. But what would a cartoonist know? -Bill Watterson


  10. #10
    Jin Kazama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VictoryStar View Post
    "Gibbons, who was an adviser on the movie, has given his blessing. "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," he says in a statement."
    I friggin' love that quote. It's like saying: "I don't want this to happen, but since they're going to do this anyway, at least they're putting in some kind of effort."
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