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Mixed Reviews on Alan Moore-Unapproved Prequel Before Watchmen

A new series made without the author's consent is met with yawns instead of anger.

by
Duane Lester

Bio

June 13, 2012 - 1:10 pm

Some recent previews for DC’s Before Watchmen have me wondering if it will be able to rise above the controversy.

Controversy?

No surprise, it seems Alan Moore disapproves of the idea of a prequel:

“I don’t think it’s going to work. From what I hear, there’s a certain degree of comic creators’ hostility and negative feedback posting on entertainment sites. Some people are writing petitions. I would have never have asked any of the readers to do that, but I’m genuinely grateful. It’s not a kind of reaction I can ever remember from a readership before. I would have thought, from a DC perspective, that’s it’s a lose-lose perspective, unless they did something better or as good as ‘Watchmen.’ But realistically, that’s not going to happen, otherwise it would have happened before.”

Some have looked at the first book with mixed reactions. At the A.V. Club, Oliver Sava thinks the book’s quality might be enough to make people who were once against it, go ahead and read it:

That sense of dread permeates the story, highlighted by the contrast between the bold superhero action depicted on-panel and the ill omens of Hollis’ narration. The final shot of Nelson “Captain Metropolis” Gardner smoking a stogie in a bubble bath is accompanied by the caption, “Some would say we’ve been paying for those benefits ever since.” Everything is about to fall apart for these characters, and I can’t wait to see how it all comes tumbling down. Minutemen #1 feels like DC’s first major effort to create a piece of art in its post-New 52 climate, and it’s unfortunate that the behind-the-scenes politics will prevent a lot of people from checking out this stunning new work from one of the industry’s best.

However, The Huffington Post’s Scott Thill doesn’t seem to be a fan:

As Before Watchmen‘s opener, the first issue of Minutemen seems instructive. After its initial head-fake, it problematically stays uneven, and already boasts sloppy continuity. Cooke’s throwback style and racial epithets well evoke the period, but his breakneck race through the The Minutemen’s back story and costumed roster leaves him little room for more than truncated introduction. Its scattered pace and sensibility is the diametric opposite of Moore and Gibbon’s patient original, although it continues to wax poetic about The Minutemen’s individual characters.

I have no skin in this game, nor have I seen the book yet. And I don’t know of a project that Alan Moore has even remotely been associated with where he’s said, “Oh yes.  I’m very happy with this.  It’s a slice of fried gold.”

As long as a comic has a solid story and some good visuals and I’ll be content.

Duane Lester is a freelance writer and homeschool dad for his six children. He also blogs at All American Blogger.
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