DC Makes It Official: The Watchmen Prequels Are Coming

A couple months ago, Rich Johnston claimed DC had some prequel comics to Watchmen in the works, and we’ve explained why we’re pretty psyched about that. Now DC has officially confirmed the launch of seven new prequel series collectively known as “Before Watchmen”.

It shouldn’t surprise you to hear that neither Alan Moore nor Dave Gibbons wish to involve themselves in a prequel. We can guess which four-letter words Moore would string together about this, but we don’t have to guess at Gibbons’ response. He told DC, “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.”

The “Before Watchmen” series will be a weekly release following seven story lines being handled by some huge names in the industry:

  • Rorschach — 4 issues written by Brian Azzarello and drawn by Lee Bermejo
  • Minutemen — 6 issues written and drawn by Darwyn Cooke
  • Comedian — 6 issues written by Brian Azzarello and drawn by J.G. Jones
  • Dr. Manhattan — 4 issues written by J. Michael Straczynski and drawn by Adam Hughes
  • Nite Owl — 6 issues written by Len Wein and drawn by Andy and Joe Kubert
  • Ozymandias — 6 issues written by Len Wein and drawn by Jae Lee
  • Silk Spectre — 4 issues written by Darwyn Cooke and drawn by Amanda Conner

There will also be a single issue of “Before Watchmen: Epilogue” from various writers and artists. Each issue will also continue the subnarrative trend from the original Watchmen:

Each issue will also feature a two-page backup story called Curse of the Crimson Corsair, a riff on Watchmen‘s subnarrative Tales of the Black Freighter, whose metafictional shout-outs to Bertolt Brecht as well as the exploitative EC Comics mirrored Watchmen’s main plot with disturbing dimension. [Wired]

“Curse of the Crimson Corsair” will be written by Watchmen‘s original editor Len Wein with art by Watchmen‘s original colorist John Higgins. So at least some of the original people are still involved. And, yeah, it’s easy to rage on DC for making prequels to something as beloved as Watchmen, but this is the comics business. Oftentimes hundreds of people will work on the same characters, keeping the mythology going over the decades, so we suggest you just lie back and think of England.

Continue after the break to see some of the covers released so far.

[Sources: DC Comics, HeroComplex, Wired, BleedingCool, all images courtesy DC Comics]