Before Watchmen – Moloch 2

Alternating Currents: Before Watchmen - Moloch 2, Michael and DrewToday, Michael and Drew are discussing Moloch 2, originally released December 19th, 2012. Moloch is part of DC’s Before Watchmen prequel series. Click here for complete Before Watchmen coverage (including release dates).

Michael: Breaking the Before Watchmen project into character-specific series makes is a novel but logical way to approach the prequel. After all, each of the Watchmen characters are their own distinct protagonists, each with a different set of skills, challenges, ethics, and goals. And while the technique might be somewhat novel in the comic book world, the last 20 years of cinema have acclimated us to disparate, chronologically skewed vignettes that reveal more of the story as they overlap. It’s a fun narrative technique that can enhance a nuanced story, allowing the storyteller to layer information and keep the reader interested with shifting perspective. But what of Watchmen? It wasn’t initially conceived in that fractured vignette style and not all the characters are equally interesting. This was my initial concern when starting Moloch/Edgar, because I barely remembered who Moloch was from the original Watchmen. Once I did recall him, I got bummed out, because he’s a sniveling pathetic character, a witless victim, and a dubious subject for a series. However, the second issue — which mercifully brings us all the way to Moloch’s death — crystalizes the series as a sober portrait of a sincere, tortured pawn amidst the narcissism, swashbuckling, and grand-scheming of the other Watchmen characters. Continue reading

Chat Cave: Late Additions to Before Watchmen

The Retcon Punchers weren’t exactly thrilled when Before Watchmen was announced. But then, against all odds, the experiment proved largely successful. The original line-up contained many titles that went well beyond justifying their existence — a few even transcend their inherently exploitative premise. Last week saw the release of Moloch #1 and the announcement of a Dollar Bill one-off. What does this mean for the legacy of Before Watchmen? Any additional titles you want to see? What if there’s a chance to get additional issues of existing titles? Welcome to the Chat Cave. Continue reading

Before Watchmen – Moloch 1

Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Moloch 1, originally released October 7th, 2012. Moloch is part of DC’s Before Watchmen prequel series. Click here for complete Before Watchmen coverage (including release dates).

Shelby: Moloch has appeared in a few of the Before Watchmen titles. While it’s been kind of nice to see him referenced, I’ve never really thought he fit in these prequels. Alan Moore’s stage magician criminal mastermind represents a comic book villain trope; to see this caricature inserted into the realities of Before Watchmen has been jarring at times. Even though introducing a new mini-series at this point seems like a cheap cash-grab, and even though it’s written by J. Michael Straczynski, I planned to keep an open mind as I read it. Moloch is an important character in Watchmen, I was mildly intrigued by his origin. Then I read the issue, and now all I can think is how I never want to read anything like it ever again.

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Before Watchmen – Comedian 1

Today, Shelby and special guest writer Elliott Serrano are discussing Comedian 1, originally released June 20th, 2012. Comedian is part of DC’s Before Watchmen prequel series. Click here for complete Before Watchmen coverage (including release dates).

Shelby:  So far, I have been very impressed with Before Watchmen. Minute Men was a great intro to the series, setting us up for a closer look at the slightly old-timey adventures of Alan Moore’s original crime-fighting team. Silk Spectre took things a step further by expanding on a couple of under-represented characters, adding depth to the original story. Comedian, though, takes things further yet: Brian Azzarello counters accepted truths in Moore’s story of Eddie Blake, the Comedian. And you know what? It works really well.

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