Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Watchmen Project

So, I'm a terrible comic book guy and I've never read Watchmen. Always meant to, but was always either too busy or felt like I had other important things to read(I mean, hey, Marvel released all those Spider-Man:Clone Sage trades!). So, yeah, just never got around to it. Then, on February 1st, DC Comics announced Before Watchmen, a series of prequel mini series, that had fans calling for DC executives heads. Obviously, have never read the original series, I really didn't have much of an opinion, and it was basically non-news to me. Didn't care one way or the other............
 Then I got to thinking. WHAT IF I read the Before Watchmen books and THEN read Watchmen? I mean, let's face it, how many times in your life do you get to do something like this? The opportunity doesn't come along very often, if ever. I had heard of Star Wars fans doing something like this with their kids. Not having them watch the original trilogy and taking them to see Episode 1, then 2, then 3, then showing them the original Star Wars trilogy. While I thought that THAT was a horrible idea, I couldn't help but wonder what that would be like. A lot of the big reveals in Empire and Jedi would be totally useless. Still, having NO feelings or ties to Watchmen, I thought that this might be something fun to try.
 When I told friends, customers, and everyone else about my intent, it was met with VERY strong opinions. Everything from "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" to "Look, just read the original, don't even bother with Before Watchmen." SO, me being me, of course I'm going to do what everyone told me NOT to do. Every week. I'll post my thoughts on whatever Watchmen title comes out, then, when they're finished, I'll read Watchmen and see what I think. After that, I'll be heading up to Madison to watch the movie on a big screen thanks to my friends Josh & John. All right, here goes nothing..........
Before Watchmen: Minuteman #1 I enjoyed this very much. It felt like I was reading a one of those DC comics that told a charming story of past age of heroes. And that's because it pretty much is. One thing kept bothering me, it reminded me of something, I just couldn't remember what. Halfway through the book I realized that it was thinking of. It reminded me of the 1991 Justice Society of America comic by Len Strezewski & Rick Burchett. Only with a little more bite. All right, a LOT more bite. I thought this was a really charming comic. Like almost everyone else, I LOVE Darwyn Cooke's art and they couldn't have picked a better artist for this book, in my opinion. I thought the narrative, which was nothing groundbreaking, was a nice change of pace, and Cooke moved the story along at a good pace. I guess if I have to put my finger on something that I didn't care for was that there were SO many characters introduced, I'm definitely going to have to go back and give this a second read right before the next issue comes out. Other than that, I found it very enjoyable. It wasn't anything at all on the heavy side, and I am genuinely looking forward to see where the story goes and what happens to these characters.


PS: Yes, I realize that Alan Moore hates me.

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