The rumor Devin Faraci reported on nearly two years ago is turning out to be true. Bleeding Cool has reported that DC has every intention of making a Watchmen prequel, that will appear as four Watchmen miniseries headed up by Darwyn Cooke (AKA a guy who isn’t Alan Moore). David Gibbons is said to be involved, that way DC can claim at least part of the creative genius behind the original comic has given his blessing. Alan Moore wants nothing to do with the project, which comes as a shock to absolutely no one.
The fact that this is a pointless cash grab should be clear to everyone, and is reason enough that this project should never happen. But it’s certainly not the only one. For your reading pleasure lets go over a few more reasons why this project is a terrible idea.
1) I repeat-It is a pointless cash grab: DC, under its new regime has had no qualms admitting that they are returning to their old wells in hopes of bringing in some fresh cash. Watchmen is a work of art in a medium that has never demanded or allowed for its level of artistry. Of course those who worked on it wanted to be paid but it was never about the money for them. They used unknown characters to tell a complex and subversive story. The fact that it ever made money is amazing. Watchmen is complex, layered, and meaningful. It’s a story that needed to be told and redefined the medium it was told in. Anything short of that in these prequels and there will be great disappointment. Watchmen worked because some artists had an interesting idea and they went for it, and for some reason their bosses let them do it. Why not try that again?
2) Watchmen is a brilliantly self-contained story: Alan Moore has talked at length about how he has created comics with the intention of them being unfilmable. What I haven’t heard him speak too much about is that they are also self-contained, making them sequel-proof. This is the man who wrote what many consider to be the definitive story of how Superman stops being a superhero. He’s no stranger to closing a story out with a definitive conclusion. Watchmen story takes place over 40 years and covers the careers of numerous superheroes. We know how and why they started, what their careers were like, and how their lives or careers ended. There is nothing to add, no new revelatory information to bring to the table.
3) Alan Moore Doesn’t Want it: Comics companies are notorious for their disrespect towards those who have created great comic book properties. It’d be amazing to have that trend change and creative types were allowed control over their work, or at least allowed to have a say in what happens with it. I know I’m a hypocrite in this, I own the Watchmen film that Moore didn’t want made (or at least didn’t want his name attached to), so saying we should respect the man’s wishes doesn’t carry as much weight as I’d like it to. Even still, the man who created something so successful and dearly loved should be given the respect he is due. If he wants it left alone his opinion should at least be considered, if not out rightly adhered to.
4) Watchmen has earned the right to be considered untouchable: When I decided to get into reading and learning more about comics I made the mistake of reading Watchmen first. Since then every comic book has been a shadow of that book. Watchmen ruined comics for me because nothing has ever been or will ever be that good. That’s not to lessen the greatness of other comic books but to elevate Watchmen. It’s head and shoulders above the rest. It’s the platonic ideal of comic books. No comic was ever this ambitious, insightful, provocative, or just plain cool. Any sequel or prequel is simply going to be Watchmen in name only and will never rise to the standard its predecessor set.
5) The people working on this aren’t Alan Moore: There are many things that can be said about Alan Moore, but nothing you can say would be more true than stating that he is brilliant and completely unmatched when it comes to talent in comics. Anyone who thinks they can match talent with Moore received a lot more positive reinforcement and hugs as a child then I ever did. If you have the talent why not use it to create something new rather then riding on someone else’s coat tails? Unless that’s all they are ever able to hope for – the chance to attach their name to something a better artist created.
There is no hoping that this rant will stop this project from happening. More then likely this storm is coming and all we can do is buckle down and try to endure it. “ How do you do that?” you may ask. I call you back again to Devin’s plea: in the name of all that is good and pure don’t buy these comics when they are released. Don’t reward DC for this shameful money grab. If we don’t stop it here what else are they going to go after?