Genevieve, as someone who is more familiar with creator-owned comics rather than superhero books, how does the opening of Watchmen play with your perceptions of the genre? Genevieve Koski: How does the opening play with my perceptions of the superhero genre?
Before Watchmen - Minutemen - Silk Spectre Deluxe Edition () – GetComics
But reading Watchmen is like putting together a puzzle only to have its pieces grow exponentially more numerous as you assemble them. The two figures are linked, not just because they both continued operating one sanctioned, one not as vigilantes after the Keene Act of outlawed superheroes, but also because of their shared inclinations toward violence and moral absolutes. Manhattan, looming over two-thirds of the page in all his big, blue, naked glory. What is it you think makes these two characters such an integral part of this world, in both their past and present iterations?
OS: The answer to that is simple: contrast. The Keene Act made costumed vigilantism illegal, and even superhero comic books have fallen out of fashion, replaced by exceedingly bleak pirate comics. Manhattan and Ozymandias watch from their DC pedestals. Rorschach is the middle ground, a character without any sort of superhuman abilities but whose mind has been damaged to the extent that he now views himself as someone above the laws of man. Those scenes of Hollis and Dan reminiscing over coffee or Sally and Laurie bickering while The Comedian is being buried not only show us how the superhero experience has affected their civilian lives, but also how memory tends to muddle the negative aspects of the past.
Sally and Hollis look back at their Minutemen days with reverence, but the flashbacks show us that life was just as fucked up for them, only with more colorful costumes. Nite Owl and Silk Spectre are also the only legacy heroes in the cast, which serves a variety of purposes. It allows Moore and Gibbons to look at different eras of the same hero and how that influences their costuming, superhero mission, and general worldview; the shift from Hollis to Dan and Sally to Laurie is huge. The Watchmen characters are all analogs of established Charlton Comics characters, and like his Charlton counterpart Blue Beetle, Nite Owl transitions from a bombastic brawler to a more technologically focused hero when Hollis hands over the mantle to Dan.
If there were more to tell about the Minutemen, Moore would have included it in those Under The Hood text segments. Mark Waid briefly spoke about this in his A. Club interview last year:.
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What to me made Watchmen an exemplar and an absolute textbook is its flawless storytelling. Each time I return to Watchmen , new details pop out that show how Moore and Gibbons convey important information without being overly explicit. The tick of the Doomsday Clock is heard with every newspaper headline detailing the growing political strife between the U. That specificity is lacking in a lot of the Before Watchmen series, but Minutemen and.
Silk Spectre are the two that come closest to having the same economy as the source material. Minutemen has the advantage of using the Under The Hood excerpts as a blueprint for the story, while Silk Spectre has the nine-panel grid to give the book stronger structural integrity. Silk Spectre artist Amanda Conner has a more cartoonish style than Gibbons, but she does remarkable work taking his skill for cinematic staging and combining with the more animated sensibility of classic romance comics.
The major character to be influenced is Laurie, who becomes more tragic each time I return to the series.
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Would you agree with that conclusion, Genevieve? But Silk Spectre certainly sheds new light on the character; more importantly, it sheds light on the complicated relationship between Laurie and her mother, the first Silk Spectre, Sally Jupiter. A lot of my problem with Laurie in Watchmen is that her bitterness and resentment toward her mother, combined with her bitterness and resentment toward her life with Dr.
I simply mean that the many stories it does tell, often in the background, are rich enough that they can support their own narratives, and the toxic history between Sally and Laurie is one such story. And do you think this story adds anything to the history we get in Watchmen —specifically the Under The Hood segments—or does it exist purely in spinoff-land for you? Watchmen is one of the defining books of the modern age of comics, and what I appreciate most about Minutemen and Silk Spectre is the way that both of them apply the Watchmen aesthetic to a different era of comic books.
The tone is brighter, but the darkness is still lingering under the surface, waiting until Laurie is older before it makes itself known. When Hooded Justice stops The Comedian from raping Silk Spectre and is told that one day the joke will be on him, I remember the events of Minutemen and include them as canon. These are the two prequels that do the best job of fleshing out the relationships that Alan Moore establishes in Watchmen , providing some much appreciated character development for Sally, Hollis, and Laurie.
One major figure of Watchmen that we have yet to discuss is Dr.
Manhattan, who has some major moments in 3. Michael Straczynski. Artists: Andy and Joe Kubert . The plot takes place in the early s, where year-old Daniel Dreiberg is trained by Hollis Mason, the Nite Owl who led the vigilante team The Minutemen , as he narrates his first adventures as the second Nite Owl. Dreiberg and Rorschach did not get along, but they started an early partnership when they begin looking at a series of prostitute murders. Each recalled the abuse their mother suffered when they were children.
Nite Owl inadvertently allows seduction into his world of vigilantism , courtesy of the dominatrix madam The Twilight Lady, while Rorschach turns toward religion, bringing the duo back together to solve the case. The story debuted to mostly positive reviews. Writer: Len Wein. Artist: Jae Lee .
As he awaits the final moment for his master plan to come together, Ozymandias reflects on what brought him there and makes an autobiographical recording of his life that spans when the story of Watchmen takes place. We see his early studies and adventures, the beginnings of his financial empire and his crime-fighting career, and his first unnerving encounters with The Comedian and Doctor Manhattan—the latter of which prompted him to build his Antarctic fortress of Karnak, aid in resolving the Cuban Missile Crisis , and retire from crime-fighting to concentrate on saving the world at any cost.
Artist: Lee Bermejo . The story follows Rorschach in New York City, , where his crime-fighting activities cause him to be targeted by a crime lord running drugs and prostitution in the sordid Times Square. While focused on the gang, Rorschach makes the mistake of allowing another predator to operate unchallenged. Artist: Adam Hughes . The story explores the different universes that Doctor Manhattan alias Jon Osterman simultaneously perceives. It also adds a notable new element to Osterman's backstory by revealing him to be a half- Jewish German immigrant who escaped with his father from the Third Reich to America; in the original Watchmen series, he was not implied to be anything other than American.
It debuted to positive reviews. Artist: Eduardo Risso . Moloch , alias Edgar William Jacobi, was an ex-nemesis of the Minutemen who played a macguffin role in the original series. This story reveals engrossing information about Moloch's childhood, his turn to villainy, and new details surrounding his death.
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According to review aggregation website Comic Book Roundup, the series received an average score of 5. The story explores Bill Brady, the corporate-sponsored superhero and Minutemen team member known as Dollar Bill. The planned Epilogue one-shot was cancelled.
BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN/SILK SPECTRE DELUXE EDITION
DC has collected Before Watchmen in four hardcover and softcover collections, grouped by author. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Comics Journal. David Anthony Kraft 's Comics Interview.
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