Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Before Watchmen - After M.A.S.H.

Before Watchmen huh? Well… DC first off, I’m impressed. Seriously. Just when I think the hoop-la is over and you all will settle and let the market adjust (as well as my wallet), you go a pull off something completely unexpected again. First the New 52, then the Day and date digital. Now this. I don’t always agree with what you do or how you do it, but man… you sure know how to stay in the spotlight! As a company, you’ve had an incredible 12 months of publicity and no matter my opinion, you’ve put yourself in the driver’s seat for the future of comics. But a Prequel... ok... I'm going ot be all over the place on this one, so hear me out.

I got the “niceties” out of the way, so let me continue by saying, a “Prequel to the greatest Graphic Novel of all time” is never a good idea. Sequels and Prequels can NEVER live up to this hype. I don’t like the thought of retreading on what was Comic Book Perfection. Really, look at The Dark Knight Strikes Back debacle. You are asking for trouble and you will fall short no matter how well done this is. The movie did a great job of really trying to hit what made Watchmen special, and although I liked the movie… it’s a poor comparison to the Original. If it were up to me, I’d leave Watchmen alone and let it live in the minds and hearts of fans as it’s done. But it’s not up to me… It’s up to DC.

Having said all that… Yes… Yes this looks damn interesting. I’m Super intrigued as some of the creative choices and story ideas. Darwyn Cooke on Minutemen.  YES! Very cool!  Does this idea work? Does making Prequels & Sequels make the original better? Or just kill the idea?  What is to be gained? Here is a list of some ideas/examples of Prequels & Sequels…

1. The Star Wars Prequels: Gave us some cool moments. I don’t hate them like many of my peers. But they don’t hold a candle to the magic of the originals. Loved Darth Maul, Jango Fett, and the Epic Saber battle in the “Revenge of the Sith”. Otherwise… Eh.
2. X-Men First Class: Totally unexpected. It fits (kinda) into continuity… with some flaws and inconsistencies, but it feels like it flows and has the same voice as the original X-men movies. Great Acting, cool story. I was betting I’d hate X-men First Class, I was wrong. A nice Summer Blockbuster surprise.
3. Smallville: Ok, Season 1,2,3, & parts of 4 were awesome. Then it became super inconsistent. But it also developed into its own thing, pretty removed from what we know as Superman. Overall, I’m a fan of the show, but It became very flawed as the years went on. Not to mention the worst ending in TV history… unless you watch the YouTube video we posted months ago.
4. All-Star Batman: Dare you to tell me this isn’t a prequel to Dark Knight Returns. BLAH! All Hype, little substance! Blah!
5. Dark Knight Strikes Back: Not only was it late… by many months, not only was it hyped as the 2nd coming of the greatest Batman story ever… It was just bad. Bad, bad bad… it didn’t feel like Dark Knight. It wasn’t the special story that the original was.
6. Young Indiana Jones: I like it. Low budget, but it’s ok. Doesn’t hurt the franchise any. I liked em dammit.
7. The Hobbit: Well the book came out before the Lord of the Ring Books, but the Movie is coming out after the Lord of the Rings movies… so… ? I have little doubt this will do well. And all the footage has been awesome.
8. X-men Origins: Wolverine: Dirty Shameful Sex, Dirty Shameful Sex!

So with Prequels in mind, what projects would make cool Before stories. I thought of a few:

1. All Star Superman: How cool would it be to have Grant Morrison back to do a Silver Age-y Superman Story again?  Damn Cool! But maybe that is what he’s doing on his Action Series?
2. Ghostbusters: Yeah, how about some college antics as the gang meet for the first time and share some scary stories and maybe how they could one day make money busting ghosts? Tell you, that’s a hit. Ray and Peter and Egon, partying and studying Tobin's spirit guide. Peter getting the ladies and driving a Dodge Dart! Hit I tell ya!
3. Lobo: I want a Lobo origin story... is that a Prequel? Maybe?    
4. Supernatural: I'd love to see the father out training the boys to be hunters. They could be 10-12 and have him running and teaching them the ways of tracking and hunting the undead, evil and ghostal.

Ok, all kidding aside... I'm not keen on a Prequel for the Watchmen. But I'm mature enough to separate the classic that came first and this interesting new direction. I'm ok with the care it looks like DC is putting in. Artist integrity is overrated anyway. If you don't like the idea of sequel, don't read it. Make your statement that way. I'm probably going to buy Darwyn Cooke's Minutemen. Anyway, what do you think?

1 comment:

  1. First off there are two Supernatural mini-series from Wildstorm that deals with exactly what you describe., Supernatural: Origins and Supernatural: Rising Son.

    Also I think Watchmen needs to be taken down a notch in how it is treated by the fandom. I am not saying it isn't a milestone and a masterpiece for the comics medium, since it is, it's just the surrounding substance has gotten all murky. First it wasn't meant to be the grand epic that defined comics for decades, it was just going to be DC way to use the recently acquired Charlton Action Heroes and/or the Red Circle heroes. Second it is revolutionary due how it used the comic medium to it's fullest, the actual story was rather bland outside the 11th hour twist. Third the resistance to an expansion on the world of the Crimebusters is a recent occurrence.

    The last part is an important fact people forget. Up until the 90's there was always talk of a sequel and plus there RPG sourcebook that Alan Moore wrote for the DC RPG in the late 80's. The real reason that everyone is always hesitant about expanding the story with other books is due Alan Moore's issues with DC Comics. In another world if DC and Moore made nice you know there would have been at least one follow-up by now.

    Overall I am looking forward to the project, while I am not the biggest Watchmen fan it does look interesting. Also part of me likes the recent trend of fans getting pissy at DC and I wish to continue to support that. Plus more pirate comics, fuckin' eh.