Before Watchmen – Minutemen 5

Today, Patrick and Shelby are discussing Minutemen 5, originally released December 5th, 2012. Minutemen is part of DC’s Before Watchmen prequel series. Click here for complete Before Watchmen coverage (including release dates).

Patrick: For all of its virtues, I don’t ever feel good after reading Watchmen. There’s beauty to be found in the way Moore and Gibbons express the fully realized psychology of their characters, but the world is undeniably grim. There’s not a single triumphant moment that isn’t heralded by some deeply disturbing underlying darkness. But in expressing this darkness, the original creative team is only exposing uncomfortable truths. It’s a rotten feeling that settles in your gut as you put the volume down and take it all in. Not many works even strive for this particular brand of profundity, but Darwyn Cooke’s Minutemen achieves this frequently. In issue 5, the gut-punch is so severe as to send me back through previous issues and previous write-ups, muttering impotently to myself “say it ain’t so.” Continue reading

Before Watchmen – Silk Spectre 4

Alternating Currents: Silk Spectre 4, Shelby and Patrick B4W

Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Silk Spectre 4, originally released November 28th, 2012. Silk Spectre is part of DC’s Before Watchmen prequel series. Click here for complete Before Watchmen coverage (including release dates).

Shelby: Silk Spectre has undoubtedly been one of the shining stars of the Before Watchmen event, and is hands down my favorite title of them all so far. I would even go so far as to call it one my favorite titles, period, and am supremely disappointed that it is already over. The art is clean and clever, the writing smart and natural. Amanda Conner and Darwin Cooke do not disappoint as they conclude Laurie’s story in San Francisco and seamlessly segue to the Watchmen Laurie we all know.
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Before Watchmen – Minutemen 4

Alternating Currents: Minutemen 4, Drew and Michael B4WToday, Drew and Michael are discussing Minutemen 4, originally released October 17th, 2012. Minutemen is part of DC’s Before Watchmen prequel series. Click here for complete Before Watchmen coverage (including release dates).

Drew: Is it fair to assume we’re all nerds here? Do you remember that feeling when C-3PO first shows up in Phantom Menace? That feeling in the pit of your stomach when you realized this prequel was going to cash in on every moment of cheap recognition it possibly could? Not only did I not care where C-3PO came from, the explanation shown in Menace doesn’t make any fucking sense. The negative response to 3PO’s inclusion probably curbed Lucas’ origin obsession a bit, but he still managed to cram in Luke and Leia’s birth AND the building of the first Death Star, turning the whole prequel trilogy into a sad game of “spot the thing you used to love.” As the world’s most ubiquitous prequel, those movies effectively set my expectations for what a prequel should be, which may explain why I was so resistant to the notion of Before Watchmen in the first place; I was terrified of the prospect of stories focusing on petty details like where Ozymandias got the idea for his TV wall, or spending four issues explaining where that one headshot in Dan Dreiberg’s apartment came from. We’ve certainly gotten some of that, but titles like Comedian and Silk Spectre have turned those expectations on their heads by largely avoiding any such references. With Minutemen, Darwyn Cooke has embraced the third option — addressing the known history head-on with such deftness to make it seem inevitable.

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Before Watchmen – Silk Spectre 3

Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing Silk Spectre 3, originally released September 5th, 2012. Silk Spectre is part of DC’s Before Watchmen prequel series. Click here for complete Before Watchmen coverage (including release dates).

Shelby: It’s hard being a teen-aged girl. You always fight with your mom, you can’t do what you want, there’s always some sort of boy trouble. Usually, though, you aren’t fighting with your mom because she’s forcing you to be a caped superhero and the boy trouble is not from your secret dad forcing your boyfriend to break up with you or be killed. Amanda Conner and Darwin Cooke have somehow managed to balance the two very distinct voices of the average teenager with Alan Moore’s Silk Spectre in such a way that I am immensely disappointed there is only one more issue to go of this mini-series.
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Before Watchmen – Minutemen 3

Today, Shelby and Peter are discussing Minutemen 3, originally released August 29th, 2012. Minutemen is part of DC’s Before Watchmen prequel series. Click here for complete Before Watchmen coverage (including release dates).

Shelby: Hollis Mason is a good man. He believes in the quaint and simplistic ideas of right and wrong, good and bad, as laid out in the Golden Era-esque comic books of his childhood: the heroes are upright and moral and the bad guys always get caught. You know: truth, justice, the American way, etc. The truth is especially important to Hollis. He writes his book in order to make the truth known. His time in the Minutemen taught him a hard lesson about the difference between his perceptions (and the perceptions of the rest of the world) of the caped life, and the realities. He is going to share that truth of the reality of the Minutemen no matter the cost.
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