After months of speculation, rumor, and leaked artwork regarding a Watchmen prequel, DC Entertainment confirmed today the release of Before Watchmen, a comic book series collection that will serve as a prequel to the critically acclaimed graphic novel Watchmen.
Watchmen prequel comics miniseries collection entitled Before Watchmen is the banner title for seven all-new inter-connected prequel mini-series from DC Comics, which will begin publishing this Summer. No exact release dates have been announced at this time, though DC has released the title, creator, and series length for each prequel series.
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
Once the event launches, each week a new issue will be released which will feature a two-page back-up story called Curse of the Crimson Corsair, written by original series editor Len Wein with art by original series colorist John Higgins. There will also be a single issue, Before Watchmen: Epilogue, which will feature the work of various writers and artists, and a Crimson Corsair story by Wein and Higgins.
“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.”
This prequel has been long-rumored, but now DC is finally confirming it. On Christmas day, the comics site Bleeding Cool posted concept art by J.G. Jones and Andy and Joe Kubert that featured The Comedian and Nite Owl from what they claimed was a Watchmen prequel comic. DC legal quickly had the site take down the artwork, which was an inadvertent confirmation that such a project did exist.
In their statement today, DC acknowledged that the planned prequel series are “as highly anticipated as they are controversial,” and by controversial they are referring to things like the petition circulating last month to stop DC from continuing with this prequel project. When it comes to Watchmen, there have always been fans who are against any expanding upon/tampering with the universe created by writer Alan Moore and artist David Gibbons.
While Moore notoriously hates any adaptation or extensions of his works by others, Gibbons doesn’t always share that sentiment and even wished success for Before Watchmen.
“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.
Though some fans loathe the idea of this project, others are starving for more tales from the Watchmen universe, and the creative teams for these new books are sure to make comic book fans real happy (seriously, look at the talent who’ll be making these comics!!!). I am totally psyched for this, as I am one of the people who’s been wanting more from the Watchmen universe, which launched back in 1986. As long as the original work is not being changed, then I see no reason why I can’t enjoy reading about what happened with these characters before the events in Watchmen.