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In doing some trolling on Amazon today, I came across the listings for DC’s Before Watchmen books.
Last February I guessed that there would be 3 oversized hardcovers, but it looks like there will be four:
Before Watchmen Vol. 1 HC by Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner (July 9 2013, $40)
Collects BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN 1-6 and BEFORE WATCHMEN: SILK SPECTRE 1-4, 264 pages
Before Watchmen Vol. 2 HC by Brian Azzarello, J.G. Jones and Lee Bermejo (July 16 2013, $40)
Collects BEFORE WATCHMEN: COMEDIAN 1-6 and BEFORE WATCHMEN: RORSCHACH 1-4, 256 pages
Before Watchmen Vol. 3 HC by J. Michael Straczynski, Adam Hughes and Joe Kubert (July 23 2013, $40)
Collects BEFORE WATCHMEN: NITE OWL #1-4 and BEFORE WATCHMEN: DR. MANHATTAN #1-4, 256 pages
Before Watchmen Vol. 4 HC by Len Wein, Jae Lee and John Higgins (July 30 2013, $40)
Collects BEFORE WATCHMEN: OZYMANDIAS #1-6, “Curse of the Crimson Corsair.” 256 pages
But before all that DC will be offering a new edition of the original – Watchmen: The Deluxe Edition HC on June 4 2013.
This book will include sketches, extra bonus material and a new introduction by series artist Dave Gibbons.
Of course DC is still adding on to the series with the upcoming:
- Before Watchmen: Moloch (2 issues)
- Before Watchmen: Dollar Bill (One-shot)
and DC has yet to collect:
- Before Watchmen: Epilogue (One-Shot)
OK let’s get this out of the way – yeah, it’s a money grab, Yadda, yadda, yadda. But it’s not like Alan Moore created the original characters The Watchmen were based on. Remember these were Charlton Heroes of the 1960’s – a few of which Steve Ditko created. How is that any different from Alan Scott or Jay Garrick being re-imaged into the Silver Age Green Lantern and Flash? Could it be said that Moore did the money grab first?
I love Watchmen and their, unexplored, rich history. This could be a fun sandbox that today’s gifted artists and writers can play in. Comic book characters, and all fictional characters for that matter, should be shared and explored once and again for every generation and not lie dormant so uppity purists like The Simpson’s Comic Book Guy can lament about the Golden Age of 1985. The Watchmen belong to us fans now. If you don’t like it, fine. Don’t read it. But don’t tell me it’s going to suck. Not just yet, anyway.
Who knows what a new Watchmen comic will bring? Brubaker on Rorschach? Johns on Dr. Manhattan?
Just be glad Stan Lee isn’t still on X-Men.
Introductions have become a staple in just about every collected edition published these days. They are designed to give the reader insight into what to expect, what to look for and why the following is important. It sets the stage as to what’s to come and to give you an overview of why the book is appealing and worthy of your time.
I tend to read the introduction (or forward or commentary) not only as the first thing but also as a follow up after the book is finished. For me, it make it more complete. Some introductions have stuck with me over time and it makes me want to read the book over and over again. People like Alan Moore can do this. He did so inside the pages of The Complete Frank Miller Batman. Moore is a master himself and him commenting on Frank Miller’s work elevates it. Not only is the story a masterpiece but somehow, but it somehow exemplifies it and makes it more important.
Speaking of Moore, I’m currently reading, for the first time ever, his run on Swamp Thing with DC’s Deluxe Editions. Volume Two has a wonderful intro by Neil Gaiman, who offers up not only his friendship with Moore but he’s one of the few people who can get inside and understand just what Moore is conveying to the reader. Gaiman had me primed and ready by the time I turned the page to Swamp Thing Annual #2 which featured Deadman, Phantom Stranger, The Spectre and Etrigan, The Demon – all of whom are favorites of mine. Also, I would have been completely lost if Gaiman was not there to explain Saga of Swamp Thing #32 which was an homage to Walt Kelly’s Pogo. Moore’s use language alone is baffling, unorthodox, and incomprehensible all the while being beautiful and full of meaning. I had no idea that after Moore was done writing the story he had a hard time going back and writing in plain old English!
You wouldn’t get that from reading the monthly periodical.
What are some of you favorite introductions?
Podcast: Play in new window
Collected Comics Library Podcast #212
36,040Kb; 30m 32s
So you’ve seen the Watchmen movie and you’ve read the Watchmen trade paperback and are now longing for more. Well there’s no better place then to start from the beginning; with the Charlton Heroes characters that Watchmen were based upon. Today on the show I go over where you can find Captain Atom (Dr. Manhattan), The Blue Beetle (Nite Owl), The Question (Rorschach), Nightshade (Silk Spectre), Peacemaker (The Comedian) and Thunderbolt (Ozymandias) in collected edition form. It’s another trip down memory lane as we look at the characters in their Charlton incarnation as well as their DC Comics incarnation when they were integrated in the DCU post Crisis On Infinite Earths.
Also on the show I read two e-mails, one regarding the reproduction quality of DC Comics Classics Library: Superman – Kryptonite Nevermore and another on how I first came to be acquainted with Watchmen back in 1986.
All this and the New Releases of the Week.
Please visit my site sponsors: In-Stock Trades, Forbidden Planet International (UK), and Library Binding Company.
Links of note:
DC Comics Boards – Superman Kryptonite Nevermore Discussion
In response to questions from retailers, DC Comics offers this guide to the features of the four different WATCHMEN collected editions. All four collect the entire Hugo and Eisner-Award winning epic written by Alan Moore with art and cover by Dave Gibbons.
The WATCHMEN TP (FEB058406) is the original WATCHMEN collection, running 416 pages, featuring the high-quality, recolored artwork found in WATCHMEN: THE ABSOLUTE EDITION, which were restored by WildStorm FX and original series colorist John Higgins. As a reminder, this edition is available to retailers on consignment sale now through December 1.
The WATCHMEN INTERNATIONAL EDITION TP (JUL088045) runs 416 pages and features recolored cover art by Gibbons that originally appeared in WHO’S WHO UPDATE ’87 #5 and the high-quality, recolored artwork found in WATCHMEN: THE ABSOLUTE EDITION, which were restored by WildStorm FX and original series colorist John Higgins. It is available in the U.S. and Canada exclusively through Diamond Comic Distributors.
The WATCHMEN HC (JUL080172) runs 436 pages, with newly colored cover art by Gibbons that previously appeared in the WATCHMEN ABSOLUTE EDITION. In addition, this edition includes the two text pieces written by Moore and Gibbons in 1988 for the Graphitti Designs edition, as well as a nine page Gallery section with selected art from the Absolute Edition. It is available for advance reorder and is scheduled to arrive in stores on November 12.
The WATCHMEN: THE ABSOLUTE EDITION HC Fourth printing (JUL080174) is an oversized, slipcased hardcover running 464 pages. This edition includes the two text pieces written by Moore and Gibbons in 1988 for the Graphitti Designs edition, as well as a 37-page section with the original WATCHMEN proposal, an expanded selection of rarely seen artwork and a sample of the script for issue #1. It is available for advance reorder and is scheduled to arrive in stores on November 12.
Also offered in the October Previews is the WATCHMEN #1 New Printing (OCT080158), a 32-page facscimile edition of the historic issue that began the WATCHMEN phenomenon in 1986, offered for the first time in years at its original cover price of $1.50 U.S. and scheduled to arrive in stores on December 3.