DC Comics decided that half a lifetime was enough time to wait for Alan Moore to write additional Watchmen stories, and so has announced that it will be launching a series of prequel comics based in the universe this summer. Entitled Before Watchmen, the group of comics is going to contain seven different mini-series runs, each focusing on the history and origin of a particular character from the original Watchmen.
DC has also released sample covers for all seven, which you can click below to embiggen:
Alan Moore has already lambasted the plan, but that shouldn’t be taken too harshly since Alan Moore actually hates everything in the universe. That lone hydrogen atom tumbling through space half way between our galaxy and the Andromeda Galaxy? It is loathsome in his eyes.
Darwyn Cooke, J. Michael Straczynski, Brian Azzarello, Adam Hughes, Andy Kubert, and Joe Kubert are all slated for duties, and THR has a nice long interview with Straczynski if you’re interested, or if you just long for the artistic voice that once brought you “Babylon 5.”
Comics are a funny sort of genre because characters and universes end up passed along from generation to generation of writers and artists. It’s not always the case, often writers do end up with the rights to their characters, but it’s hardly universal. And while one can argue that it destroys originality, that companies just keep beating the same dead horses over and over again at the expense of creating new and original comics, the trade off is that we get to see stories told and retold, evolving over generations in something akin to oral history.