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: Ozymandias #2 Written Len Wein & Art by Jae Lee
Mr. Green – BAM! Another great issue of Ozymandias. Len Wein continues to make up for the Crimson Corsair with this story. Here we see the outcome of last issue’s final pages and what Adrian does in this issue makes sense. I really enjoyed the slower approach they gave here with telling his story up to the point in this issue that he becomes a masked adventurer. Although we all know that he is in the end, a psychopath, it is nice to better understand his thinking back before it all went to shit. Reading this reminds me a lot of what they did in Guy Ritichie’s Sherlock Holmes movies to explain Holmes’ thinking during combat and other critical times. The description of the slowing of time while the brain calculates all the possibilities really works and there is one panel that gave a great visual depiction of that. Jae Lee continues to create a moody dark world that makes you believe that this character could do these things. Also, he adds such fluid movements to Ozymandias which always impress me. Regardless of your thoughts on this project, overall you really should be reading this title. It is amazing each time.
It’s better but I continue to not care about the Crimson Corsair.
Andrew – Although it didn’t grab me as strongly as the first issue, this book continues to stay on point. We see Ozymandias set out on his calculated rampage of revenge for his loss from the previous issue. This revenge is executed by Ozy taking the plunge into costumed crime fighting. What follows is the introduction of Adrian’s alter ego to the public as he goes on a spree of shutting down the bad guys. This also leads him towards new investigations, specifically the whereabouts of a former Minuteman who vanished from the scene ages ago. But, as we find out from the final splash page of the book, he’s not the only one looking. The pacing and storytelling in this title is phenomenal. Len Wein is taking a character that most Watchmen fans have come to despise and opened him up to the reader. This is a time when Adrian’s motives are just. He’s an easier character to get behind. It’s interesting to see this man in this light. What’s even more interesting is that Wein’s rendition of the character is reminiscent, at points, of Batman. The lurking in the shadow’s. The scientific deduction of any situation. The acrobatic martial arts style. If Bats is truly an influence on Wein’s depiction, that will make Ozy the third character in this group that can be compared to Batman (Nite Owl and Rorschach each having similar traits to the caped crusader as well). Just like the first issue, the artwork by Jae Lee and colours by June Chung make an already strong title even stronger. The Regal look of Veidt with it’s clean lines set against a dark and sparsely populated background makes for some dynamic imagery. The double page spread of the fight with the drug dealer and his crew appears so simple yet perfectly explains the complex strategy of the self proclaimed “smartest man in the world”. When I read a comic, I rarely go back and admire a particular page of art on its own after I finish reading it. I had to make an exception with this page. There is so much happening on the page but it doesn’t feel cluttered and it makes perfect sense at first glance. With the reveal on the last page, I know that next issue will be even more exciting than this issue. This is definitely in the top two titles of the Before Watchmen line. Check it out today!
In the latest installment of The Curse of the Crimson Corsair, we see a little bit of action and the plot thickens but there still isn’t enough panels to keep one’s interest.
And if you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!
Next Week’s Issue: Rorschach #1 Written Brian Azzarello & Art by Lee Bermejo