This Guardian piece about Before Watchmen is well worth reading, if only because I feel that it’s the first time Dan Didio explicitly addresses the controversy over the ownership of the Watchmen series and characters, or Alan Moore’s condemnation of the project. His comments are weirdly telling, and weirdly empty at the same time:
DC says Watchmen was “a work for hire agreement at the start”, however. And it provides such a rich basis for prequels, according to DiDio. “The stories and ideas are so well defined, and there are so many throwaways in the body of the original work, a one-line mention or a side item or a cameo shot of a character, that were basically great wonderful springboards we could grow the world from,” he said. “That’s why when everybody says this is a finite story, true if you’re looking at the beginning, middle, end of that particular story itself. But when you’re talking about the characters, there’s nothing finite about them. They have endless possibilities in the types of stories we could tell with them. And like I said we’ve found the right creators to tell those stories.”
I have no particular horse in the Before Watchmen race, but I am endlessly amused by the line about people who think Watchmen being finite are correct “if you’re looking at the beginning, middle, end of that particular story itself.” The beginning, middle and end are the entire story!