Posted February 2, 2012 by Earl Maghirang in Comics

DC Comics Officially Announces “Before Watchmen”

DC Comics has officially announced the a new prequel series entitled “Before Watchmen” which is based on the characters created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.

Here’s what DC had to say about the matter!

This summer, DC Entertainment will publish all-new stories expanding on the acclaimed WATCHMEN universe. As highly anticipated as they are controversial, the seven inter-connected prequel mini-series will build on the foundation of the original WATCHMEN, the bestselling graphic novel of all time. BEFORE WATCHMEN will be the collective banner for all seven titles, from DC Comics.

“It’s our responsibility as publishers to find new ways to keep all of our characters relevant,” said DC Entertainment Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee. “After twenty five years, the Watchmen are classic characters whose time has come for new stories to be told. We sought out the best writers and artists in the industry to build on the complex mythology of the original.”

Stepping up to the challenge is a group of the comic book industry’s most iconoclastic writers and artists – including Brian Azzarello (100 BULLETS), Lee Bermejo (JOKER), Amanda Conner (POWER GIRL), Darwyn Cooke (JUSTICE LEAGUE: NEW FRONTIER), John Higgins (WATCHMEN), Adam Hughes (CATWOMAN), J.G. Jones (FINAL CRISIS), Andy Kubert (FLASHPOINT), Joe Kubert (SGT. ROCK), Jae Lee (BATMAN: JEKYLL AND HYDE), J. Michael Straczynski (SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE) and Len Wein (SWAMP THING).


- RORSCHACH (4 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: Lee Bermejo
– MINUTEMEN (6 issues) – Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke
– COMEDIAN (6 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: J.G. Jones
– DR. MANHATTAN (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artist: Adam Hughes
– NITE OWL (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artists: Andy and Joe Kubert
– OZYMANDIAS (6 issues) – Writer: Len Wein. Artist: Jae Lee
– SILK SPECTRE (4 issues) – Writer: Darwyn Cooke. Artist: Amanda Conner

Each week, a new issue will be released, and will feature a two-page back-up story called CURSE OF THE CRIMSON CORSAIR, written by original series editor Len Wein and with art by original series colorist John Higgins. There will also be a single issue, BEFORE WATCHMEN: EPILOGUE, featuring the work of various writers and artists, and a CRIMSON CORSAIR story by Wein and Higgins.

“The original series of WATCHMEN is the complete story that Alan Moore and I wanted to tell. However, I appreciate DC’s reasons for this initiative and the wish of the artists and writers involved to pay tribute to our work. May these new additions have the success they desire,” said Dave Gibbons, WATCHMEN co-creator and original series artist.

“Comic books are perhaps the largest and longest running form of collaborative fiction,” said DiDio and Lee. “Collaborative storytelling is what keeps these fictional universes current and relevant.”

Before Watchmen: Rorshach

my god! This has definitely got GRIT written all over it. 100 Bullets writer Azzarello must be fricking jumping for joy when he got this gig.


Oh no they didn’t?! They really put back J. Michael Straczynski to write an allegory of sorts for Superman. Please tell me he’s going to finish this book this time around. Ribbing aside, this one spells epic all over it thanks to the writing skills of JMS (on a good day) together with the lush, beautiful interiors provided by Adam Hughes. If all else fails, wtf, I’m still getting this since its Adam Hughes.


It’s 2012 guys, if you haven’t seen the movie then, you really should because its important to know the characters. Anyway, the Minutemen were the guys that included Silk Spectre II’s mother as well as the first Nite Owl which will be written and drawn by Darwyn Cooke. I guess this is going to be retro in approach. Will this include the stories regarding the further adventures of the Minutemen, we’ll have to find out soon.


Speaking of Nite Owl, the second Nite Owl will be done again by JMS together with father and son team of Joe Kubert and Andy Kubert. This one’s been leaked months ago with a profile art for Dan Dreiberg. This one’s got a good Batman feel to it.


The Squid’s creator and ultimate yet unlikely villain in Watchmen also gets an issue in with art by Jae Lee no less. Oh and its written by Len Wein, the same editor who did Watchmen decades ago. It’s also interesting to note that DC managed to get the whole band again except for the vocalist (so to speak) for this project. More on Wein later.


While the image spells creepy, this is one of the more interesting issue thats been added to the list. I’m guessing this would include how Eddie Blake discovered the secret facility where the Squid was being developed as well as his time in Vietnam.


Darwny Cooke will also be doing another series/issue focusing on Laurie aka Silk Spectre II. Since Amanda Conner is onboard this is going to look really cute and at the same time gutsy. Plus you also have to admit that there’s some vested interest in seeing the young Laurie and how she hooks up with a guy like Dr. Manhattan. I’m telling you, it has to do something with the lack of loincloth.


There’s a cool looking concept. len Wein returns and even manages to reel in original series colorist John Higgins.

Of course, Alan Moore can not be reached for comments.

Earl Maghirang