Immediate reactions to the Before Watchmen announcement:
- Wow, that’s a lot of comics. Seven interconnected mini-series, none of which are less than four issues, with an eighth title getting a one-shot to top it all off?
- That’s a fascinating list of creators; whatever you might think of the idea, there’s no denying that this will be the best-looking sub-line of DC’s while it’s running. Darwyn Cooke, Amanda Conner, JG Jones, Jae Lee, Adam Hughes and the Kuberts? I mean, that’s an amazing line-up of artists. Writing-wise, Cooke and Brian Azzarello are interesting choices, and not names you would’ve immediately thought of for this kind of gig (J. Michael Straczynski and Len Wein, on the other hand, seem almost like gimmes). The creative line-up really is a sign that DC has thought hard about this, and isn’t just crapping it out for the money.
- …As, I’d argue, is the timing. If this was just a cash grab, I would’ve expected it around the release of the movie a few years back, or even closer to the New 52 relaunch of the line last year.
- That said, I believe that “We can make money from this” is a reason for Before Watchmen more than the given reason of “As publishers, we have to keep our characters relevant.” Going by that logic, I’ll be waiting for Sugar And Spike: The High School Years and Fireman Farrell: Another Hot Time In The Old City Tonight being announced any day now.
- Also embarrassing in the official press release: Dave Gibbons’ contribution, which may be the definition of contractual obligation and/or backhanded compliment, and definitely doesn’t feel like the kind of “Godspeed, New Project!” endorsement that it was clearly intended to be.
Weirdly, the announcement of Before Watchmen feels entirely appropriate; somewhat embarrassing, downright unbelievable, but those creators, man… too good to just walk away from, convinced that the entire thing is doomed to failure in every respect.