Prequel to ‘Watchmen’ Announced by DC Comics

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DC Comics announced today that this summer they will return to the Watchmen universe with a new miniseries titled Before Watchmen.

A roster of A-list names in the comic industry have been hired to write and illustrate the various new titles coming to shelves in just a few months. Before Watchmen will have seven different series and two larger books towards the end.

The seven series will focus on each of the six main characters from the original graphic novel individually, with the seventh being about the Minutemen. The two separate books are an epilogue which will feature a bunch of different writers and artists, and a single story of the Crimson Corsair, the pirate comic book readers saw in the original novel.

Does Before Watchmen have any chance of being good? Absolutely. With the list of all-star writers involved, at least one of the books will be worth reading. But the bigger question here is if DC should touch Watchmen.

I don’t pretend to know everything about comic books but there is a pretty common consensus that Watchmen is the greatest comic book/graphic novel ever written. Having read the novel several times, I don’t see much room for expansion. These new stories are going to add nothing to this classic story. They have potential to be a fun read and could tell some interesting superhero stories just like any other comic book.

But Watchmen is not just like every other comic book. It’s the voice of Johnny Cash. It’s The Godfather. It’s Shakespeare. Even if these new stories are terrible, the original will still come out unaffected. After all, The Godfather survived The Godfather Part III. In the meantime, I will definitely be looking into J. Michael Straczynski’s take on Dr. Manhattan.

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