In a move that Alan Moore calls “completely shameless,” DC Comics has announced plans to publish Before Watchmen, a prequel franchise that will expand on the back stories of the characters introduced in Watchmen, which is the best-selling graphic novel of all time. “I tend to take this latest development as a kind of eager confirmation that they are still apparently dependent on ideas that I had 25 years ago,” Moore told ArtsBeat. “I don’t want money. What I want is for this not to happen.”
Meanwhile the miniseries’ original illustrator, Dave Gibbons, had a more measured response to the news. “The original series of Watchmen is the complete story that Alan Moore and I wanted to tell,” he said in a statement. “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.”
“What we’re doing is filling in a lot of the blank spaces in a story that has already, to some degree, been told,” Before Watchmen series editor Len Wein explained to Underwire over email. “There were still a lot of gaps in the histories of Watchmen’s characters, and events only mentioned in passing or touched on briefly in the original story. We’re filling in those gaps in the most creative and inventive ways we can… I think reboots are almost mandatory in an industry that has existed for over three-fourths of a century now. The need to inject new blood, new ideas, new approaches, is the only thing that keeps our readers coming back for more.”
What do you think of the concept behind the Watchmen reboot? Do you plan on checking out these prequels when they hit stores this summer?