news about the Watchmen prequels that's brought most of this to a head for me, for a number of reasons. Watchmen is a comic that I read much later than I should have, and it really blew my mind when I finally got around to it. It was literary, apocalyptic, genre bending, and an amazing commentary on both the superhero comic and our how our own fears affect us as a culture. It was indeed one of the milestone reads in comics for me, and if I ever review it, expect me to gush for a while.
I was also asked if I would be commenting on this, and as I have more than one friend who has strong opinions about this franchise, both positive and negative, I figured I should at least share my take on the situation. Because the good friendships can withstand the most inevitable and passionate of arguments. :-)
NPR's Marc Hirsch has laid out a few logical sounding reasons for why this is a bad idea and should not happen, and it's doubtless that many other comic book nerds are going to agree with him. And I can't say I blame them. The idea of a superhero comic being respected, and in some cases revered, in literary circles, is such a rare thing--why would you want to mess with that, and possibly dilute (or worse yet, taint) it by expanding it with a prequel? I can understand the need to protect what you perceive as the integrity, nay the sanctity, of a superhero tome that has garnered significant literary acclaim and respect among the mainstream of readers.
That doesn't mean this particular comic book nerd necessarily agrees with them, however.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not jumping up and down and shouting for joy at the prospect, either. I'm not sure what I feel about this development, beyond a general astonishment about the announcement. I do, however, think more than a couple of Hirsch's points bear examination. To paraphrase them:
- Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons's non-involvement alone means this series is in trouble.
- The devaluation of of Watchmen outside of comics fandom is likely due to confusion.
- DC doesn't get that Watchmen shouldn't be expanded upon, because that was never intended.