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.
Drew: This Before Watchmen thing must have been a hard sell to creators. Sure, they’d have the opportunity to work with some of comicdom’s most interesting characters, but they’d also be competing with some incredibly beloved source material, written by one of the greatest comic writers of all time. Hoping to improve on Watchmen would be beyond unreasonable, so the best anyone could really hope for is a competent expansion of that universe. That’s not exactly the world’s most rewarding job. Writer Darwyn Cooke and artist Amanda Conner have the additionally arduous task of being saddled with everybody’s least favorite character from Watchmen, which they handled dazzlingly in last month’s debut, managing to take Silk Spectre in a totally unexpected direction. This month’s issue subverts our expectations yet again, taking a step that can’t so much be described as forward or backwards, but sideways. Continue reading →
Peter: Watchmen is, to many, the best comic book ever written. The trade paperback is the #1 best-selling comic book. The feature film was overall well received by audiences and critics. DC Comics has made the decision to resurrect the franchise, leaving some fans excited, some skeptical, and some outright pissed. Minutemen 1 is the first of 35 books to come detailing the prequel tales of the Watchmen Universe. Hopefully it will be as well received the original material. Several months ago, Retcon Punch gave it’s initial reactions to the Before Watchmen project that you can find here.