Patrick: As the year comes to a close, we tend to look back favorably on what we experienced in the last 12 months. There have been some highs and lows, but through the goggles of nostalgia, I’m mostly going to remember how much fun we had starting this site and cultivating this little community of comic book nerds (hi guys!). It’s been over three months since we last saw an issue of Nite Owl, and I guess some of that rose-tinted optimism crept into my memory, momentarily distorting the quality of this series in my head. Luckily, this issue was kind enough to feature crazy, murderous Reverend Taylor Dean on page one. That’s the confused, pedantic narrative I remember! Oh, Nite Owl, it is so miserable to see you again!
Patrick: Look, not everyone’s a superhero. Right? That’s the point of Watchmen — it takes a special psychology to don a cape and cowl and fight crime by night. With each character-revelation, Alan Moore seems to say “look how fucked up these people are.” Moore employs some pretty blunt tactics to deliver this message, going so far as to devote an entire issue to Walter Kovacs’ therapy sessions. J. Michael Straczynski attempts to explore Dan Dreiberg’s mind with a similar blunt force, but ends up losing Nite Owl and Twilight Lady in the process.
Peter: Dan Dreiberg is a likable character. He’s the sympathetic hero, the guy you identify with. There is something about him that makes you go ‘awww’, and something that makes you say ‘that could be me’. Or at least, I say that when I read him. The Before Watchmen version of Dan is anything but that. Combine that with a very uninteresting, or engaging storyline, and issue 2 still fails to meet expectations. There is a glimmer of hope, as things begin to pick up…a little.
Patrick: Honeymoon’s over guys. All this time we’ve had a laundry list of crummy things that Before Watchmen could end up being: pointless retreading, canonized fan fiction, aping Gibbon’s style without adding to it and origins-orgins-origins. The creative team of J. Michael Straczynski and Andy Kubert seem to checking items off this list as they achieve them in all in this wholly unessential Nite Owl tale.