Over the next several months we are going to be discussing one of the most controversial decisions at DC Comics in the last several years. No not the New 52 or Alan Scott being gay… no we will be discussing the attempt to tell the story of the Watchmen in the prequels aptly titled Before Watchmen. I’m sure that many will continue to disagree with what we have to say here whether we are positive or negative on each issue. Frankly we don’t care if you agree with us. Make up your own damn mind but we will tell you the honest truth about these stories. This column is going to be discussing the new stories that the creators are trying to tell with Alan Moore’s template. Good or bad, here we are and we are going to cover it.
This Week’s Issue: Minutemen #2 Written and Illustrated by Darwyn Cooke
Mr. Green – So the last issue of Minutemen left a lot to be desired. It was a lot of set up and not much else. Here we are finally treated to some actual story amongst the first group of Minutemen. What I enjoyed was the understanding that this group was only put together to make money and nothing else. Appearances are everything in the world being painted here by Cooke. Like last week’s Ozymandias, this still weaves in what we know but further expands on ideas that were never shown before. Regardless of Moore’s feelings on the matter, these are being presented in a way that feels true to the original series. Relationships are forming and leading to events that we have only read about before when Moore hinted at what lead people down certain paths.
As I have said before, this project does not need to happen. However, after reading what’s come out so far, I haven’t changed my mind but I can say they are making every effort to present well done work. This issue of Minutemen builds off the last and we see how these characters work with each other and that is the fun of this book and what I had hoped for last issue but didn’t get.
Crimson Corsair – no one cares yet.
Andrew – This was pretty much what I wanted the first issue to be. The story begins like last time. Hollis Mason’s meeting with Larry the Agent is the jumping off point for the flashback that is the actual story: the forming of the Minutemen. After answering an ad in the paper, Nite Owl joins the quickly formed team and they go on their first mission. The outcome reveals that the designs of this team are less about righting the wrongs of the world and more about selling themselves. And with Larry’s help, they sure do. But it’s already causing division in the ranks. Silhouette and Nite Owl are more interesting in fighting actual crime as they head off on an investigation of a missing child. Silk Spectre and Larry are more interested in stuff that will get them the big headlines and make the The Minutemen look like heroes. Taking down a big costumed bad guy will do more to help their image. And Larry is all about maintaining a certain image. Especially when it comes to the personal lifestyles of the team members. Anything scandalous has to be covered up. And when it comes to Captain Metropolis and Hooded Justice, there’s a big scandal brewing that Larry is already trying to spin. The issue ends with a two sequences inter-cut that leads to a mildly shocking last couple of panels. I really enjoyed this issue even more than the first as it was all story and no set-up. It’s great to see the “seedy underbelly” of this team get exposed. I also like how in the opening scene Larry is really bent out of shape about what Hollis is revealing in his book. Then we jump back to the 40s and we can see just why he’s so worked up. This story pulls no punches. It’s got the right mix of grit and class. The visuals are stunning as usual when it comes to Cooke’s art and his dialogue is spot on for the time era. If it continues down this road, I’m certain we’re going to get something very special here.
In the latest 2 pages of The Curse of the Crimson Corsair story, the Crimson Corsair finally decides to show up. Nothing more to say here.
And if you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!
Next Week’s Issue: Silk Spectre #2 Written by Darwyn Cooke and Art by Amanda Conner