Saturday, January 14, 2012

We Don't Need Any Watchmen Sequels...Ever

Back in 1985-1986, shit in comic books got serious.

Totally fucking serious.

I’m talking about Alan Moore and David Gibbons’ landmark classic “Watchmen”, which would go on to become a game-changing masterpiece that would be revered for decades to come. All these years later, a shit load of recognition and praise, and even a much-maligned big-screen adaptation (that was better than it rightfully should have been) and it appears that the story of “Watchmen” isn’t quite over yet…ya know, because DC Comics still wants to make as much money off of it as they can.

Now I always thought Marvel was the comic company that knew how to milk and whore out their properties for all their worth, but in this case, DC is going above and beyond by planning to release prequel and sequel comic series to the legendary original. Artist Dave Gibbons is believed to be involved in all this to some capacity, but unsurprisingly Alan Moore is not. The much-revered writer and his long-disastrous relationship with DC led him to not wanting to be involved in any re-packaging of his old work for the publisher, as well as not wanting his name listed in the credits for any film adaptation of his comics, which has included “Watchmen”, “V For Vendetta”, and more besides.

Now, here’s what I have to say about these prequel and sequel comics to my beloved “Watchmen”…


The story was so perfect and unlike anything to ever come before it that it practically helped revolutionize the whole medium. It showed an alternate reality 1985 where superheroes existed…and the world wasn’t any better for it. Ticking ever closer to a worldwide nuclear holocaust, Alan Moore presented a startlingly realistic superhero story that worked as both a commentary on Cold War politics as well as comic books themselves. It made such a prolific impact on the medium and garnered so much critical acclaim that many wondered if anything else could ever come close to touching the brilliance of “Watchmen”.

Now, in 2012, almost 30 years after “Watchmen” originally hit the presses, we’re getting needless prequels and sequels to the story…needless and pointless. The talent allegedly involved with the project, which supposedly includes the wonderful writer/artist Darwyn Cooke, artist Amanda Connor, and other big names being thrown around including Brian Azzarello, J.G. Jones, J. Michael Straczynski, Adam and Andy Kubert, Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Shane Davis, and even Grant Morrison (!) almost makes me want to check out this money-grabbing project because part of me is quite curious what all these creative minds could come up with working in the “Watchmen” universe…while the fanboy in me is instead shitting my pants in nerd-rage.

“Watchmen” is a brilliant, stand-alone story. It set the standard for adult storytelling in the comic book medium, and to this very day remains so revered and beloved that it’s actually kind of hard to put it all into words. While there probably is an intriguing backstory and lots of history to be revealed, as well as the fact that the comic’s ending definitely has plenty of openings for a follow-up, any other work going on with anything new that’s “Watchmen”-related should only rightfully be done either by both Moore and Gibbons, or at least with both creator’s guiding hands at the forefront. Neither is going to happen here, that much is known, which is all the more reason why DC should just leave “Watchmen” the fuck alone. We don’t need prequels or a sequel, the story is perfect as it is and has been since it was published in the mid-80s. Creating a prequel/sequel just wouldn’t have the same effect, especially without any input from Moore. To sum it all up, any new “Watchmen” material is just plain old bullshit.

As much as I’d take DC over Marvel (“New 52” regardless), this is one of those rare times where I’m actually giving them a big old middle finger. We don’t need any kind of follow-ups to “Watchmen”, and we never, ever fucking will either. Some things should be left the fuck alone…and this is definitely one of them.

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