Obligatory “Before Watchmen” Post

On the one hand: sure, maybe it is a little disingenuous for Alan Moore to complain about other people repurposing his work, when he’s made a career out of reworking other peoples’ characters.

But on the other hand. The only reason that this is happening is because this isn’t his work, he doesn’t own it, because he and Gibbons signed a contract in good faith with DC, with every expectation that the rights would be returned to him a year after they stopped printing Watchmen and DC decided maybe it’d be better to just never stop printing Watchmen so they could take all the profits forever. And then never even really make an attempt at making things right, because why repay some crazy beard man when you could just make endless hollow knockoffs of his work?

My question is, what do they think they’re going to add? Watchmen‘s already a perfectly structured complete world presented in 12 issues. All these characters histories and fates are laid out already. All the interesting parts. And now DC’s saying, hey, if you liked that, here’s 34 more issues of irrelevant backstory! That’s THREE TIMES AS LONG as the original. And if it sells well you bet your ass they’re going to make more.

Now some of these creative teams look OK (well, 50% ok and 50% awful), but I’d much rather see them actually try out something new instead of strip-mining the past forever. I realize that repurposing the past is what superhero comics are based on, but the good ones always iterate one step ahead. The bad ones just rehash the same stories over and over, because if you love something once you’ll love it again in a slightly different form right?

Maybe it’ll be alright, maybe it won’t, it’s kind of too early to pass judgment on whether something’s good until, you know, it’s actually out. But here’s a thought: you’d probably be morally justified in downloading all the issues illegally, and then not paying DC back until a year after they leave print.


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