It’s been twenty-five years since Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons turned the world of comics superheroes on its head with the release of Watchmen. Now, this summer, – and with the blessing of Dave Gibbons – the publisher has scheduled the release of seven interconnected mini-series prequels to the legendary graphic novel. The prequels, published under the Before Watchmen banner will be by some of the finest creators in today’s comics, including: J. Michael Straczynski [Babylon 5, Superman: Earth One], Darwyn Cooke [The Spirit, Parker], Brian Azzarello [100 Bullets], Adam Hughes [Justice League, Catwoman], John Higgins [Watchmen], Andy Kubert [Flashpoint], Joe Kubert [Sgt. Rock]and more.
For titles, covers, and who’s doing what, follow the jump.
John Higgins is best known as the colorist of the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons classic graphic novel, Watchmen. With Razorjack, he bounds onto that rarefied level of creativity as writer/creator, artist and colorist.
In simple terms, Razorjack is the tale of a horrific creature – the titular Razorjack – who lives to destroy [and by destroy, I mean the universe] and the all-too human cops who stumble into her path. Allow me to quote from the back cover blurb:
“Three college kids inadvertently create the opening from the alternate universe of The Twist Universe and become a focus for the evil that is Razorjack.
I finally sat down, played and beat the Watchmen: The End Is Nigh, video game this weekend. So it was pretty cool to see that they are making a sequel to the game, not only that but the full game Part 1 and 2 will be included in the upcoming Director’s Cut version of The Watchmen Blu-ray release and playable on the PS3. How sweet a package is this shaping up to be? You get the Director’s Cut of the film which includes 25 extra minutes, the full Watchmen Game Experience and Digital Copy! All they need to do is somehow squeeze in the Black Freighter and the bad Motion Comic and that would be quite a Blu-ray package. The game will also be included on the DVD version as well, so I’m assuming that version will be playable on the 360. Other than being way too dark (fixed once I increased the brightness level) and repetitive, the game is good mindless fun with some really neat beat downs. The Blu-ray and DVD Director’s Cut will hit the streets in July.
Watchmen has always been a weird project/phenomenon to me. I remember the first time I read the book when the first trade graphic novel came out. Even though I was an avid comic collector back in those days I somehow missed the single issue. And a lot of the folks that I hung around with in college never really mentioned it, then all of a sudden the collected trade paper back comes out and it builds a life of it’s own. A friend of mine was up for an editorship position at my old college newspaper and my former editor asked my friend, “Who said, The Comedian is Dead?” My friend was up for the Arts Editor job, drew a complete blank, this despite the fact that his parents are huge in the Comic Book Industry. We all just looked at him like he was out of his mind, how could he not know the answer to this question? That’s how ingrained the Watchmen book became in the “comic book” culture, however “small” it was at the time. It was only mainstream in the sense that businessmen came in and thought every number 1 issue of a comic could become the next $200,000 Superman book. Don’t get me started on how main stream media and wall street speculators basically destroyed the industry for several years.
Comics became more about marketing hype and gimmicks, than story or its fans. Watchmen was one of the few “true” stories that embraced the medium at the time. Years later it was actually required reading in some college literature programs. Which is a first for any comic book. The Dark Knight Returns didn’t reach that status until years later. So I fully appreciate the masterpiece that, the mad genius, Alan Moore created. Many people started calling the book unfilmable, which is something I never understood. Sure Alan Moore is an arrogant ass (rightfully so), but I never felt like there was anything about the book that made it “unfilmable,” yeah the subject matter is tough and what to do about the book’s ending would be difficult, but unfilmable, no.
Despite all of this, the book has always left me a bit cold and I never really connected with it like I felt I should. To this day I’m always shocked when I find someone who hasn’t read it and always say, “You have to read this book.” It’s a novel that totally changes your perception of what comics can be. The Dark Knight Returns moves me and connects with me on an emotional level, while Watchmen is a mental, if not a bit hollow connection.
The movie made me feel the same way. Like, I can recognize the brilliance of it, or actually brilliance is a really strong hyperbole, 300 Director Zack Snyder movie isn’t brilliant, it’s just really good, he nailed it. The problem is, it’s almost a word for word, shot for shot translation of the book, or a Cliff’s note version. He got rid of a lot of the book’s tangents like Hollis’ Behind the Mask book excerpts and the newsstand guy and the kid reading the story about the pirate (which I’ve never understood the point of). Unfortunately, he spends too much time on showing us Nixon giving speeches and preparing for war, I understand that those scenes added context to the global threat but it just felt a bit forced. Continue reading MOVIE REVIEWS: Holy Blueballs, Watchmen is brilliant but cold. Michelle’s Review→
The world of Watchmen is one where an actual superman is the lone deterrent to nuclear war. Too bad he doesn’t care. The world of Watchmen is one where a retired superhero can become worth three times the net worth of the major automakers – combined – by selling a line of superhero-related items – and using that platform to get into energy, cosmetics and anything else that comes to mind. It’s a world where the U.S. won the war in Vietnam in days – and where costumed heroes are a part of the national fabric. Watchmen contains multitudes.