Comicscape: Before Watchmen Comments -


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jedibanner 6/6/2012 9:15:21 AM

Sarcastic Caveman, my point about the universe is related to the idea of the creation of Watchmen.

When DC approached him, I'm assuming they said ''create something, it's your world, it's a one off thing, make a great story and that will be it''. And then Mr. Moore created the story of Watchmen.

But if DC had come up first and said: ''Create a new universe and there will be different limited series of the characters and other books on the side and we can go back in the past or in the furutre with what you write...give us something we can EXPEND with for the future''....ONLY THEN my friend would we see Mr. Moore say: I'm out...I can't write something without controling all aspects of one character in a story when many more will write different ways of the same characters''. There is no way in hell Watchmen would've been written the same way if DC would've said at the beginning we will expend on whatever you write.

The disctinction is very different since in my view, Watchmen was written to be a specific, one world, one time story in itself but if he was told this in advance, the story would've been very different.

Alan Moore knows he doesn't own Watchmen or LOEG and things like that. But he can fight for the rights of what was established in the beginning and why and how it was initially created.

Honor and respect are no longer the center of our is. And to try and use the ''DC owns the characters so they can do whatever they want with it'' is the easiest way to accept what is impose on us and untrue to the creation of what was established in 1986.

So with all that...time to go to the comic shop and spit on copies of ''Before Watchmen''.

tjanson 6/6/2012 9:19:25 AM

Sinister...even if the original Watchmen HAD been changed it would not change it in your mind.  DC has just rebooted its universe for the umpteenth time.  They've basically erased the Golden Age.  But that doesn't mean those stories never took place to those that read them.  This is why reboots are just bad Ideologically.  Too much time and effort is spent trying to make decades of continuity fit.  It's a losing proposition.

SinisterPryde 6/6/2012 9:20:39 AM

tjanson- My point was more in response to the idea of altering an original creation as Joel stated in his column.  This isn't a case of someone changing the end of Watchmen so they can publish sequels or altering the book to fit into some grander scheme.  Any alterations are likely to be in the prequel series and can safely be ignored by those who wish to remain ignorant of their content.

Also, i thought I remembered reading somewhere that Moore did have his own idea for a prequel/follow-up about the Minute Men.  If that is the case then Moore never intended the story to sit alone in its own universe.

joelr 6/6/2012 9:53:59 AM

@Gauleyboy You and others make some very good points. It is true that Alam Moore has written plenty of material from other peoples creations/characters. But there is a key difference- DC's motivation for this, despite the hoopla, is to make money. Alan Moore, when writing something like League of Extaordinary Gentleman, is not gleefully waiting to swim in buckets of cash. The guy is so steeped in the annals of literature it's no surprise he wanted to put these characters in a differnt sort of situation. He's not saying this is what really happened next for these icons of literature, no one is directed to LEG after reading Dracula to find out the fate of Mina Harker.

The nature of comics is what really makes this whole thing a problem. In terms of literature, Watchemen is still relatively new (unlike the LEG characters), and in the comic world every book inhabits a percieved universe. DC is now adding to that universe, and despite not altering the original Watchmen, is forever linking Before Watchmen with the original work. It uses the same look for the books, and because DC holds all the rights, you can bet there will be a huge masterwork collection that puts Before Watchmen and Watchmen together, and down the line new fans will figure this was all one big thing, when, in truth, Before Watchmen shouldn't be part of the equation. Like I said in my article- DC should know better. Of course they are doing it lawfully, but when the living creator is completely opposed to you expanding on their work, how can you not feel like a gigantic asshole for publishing it? Bram Stoker and Jules Verne are cemented in the halls of literature, messing with Dracula or Captain Nemo will never tarnish their works, but in the comic world the rules are completely different.

DC can reboot their universe ad nauseum, and Spider-Man can die a million times, it doesn't matter, they are part of a machine (a machine that can tell some great stories), but Watchmen was a single, unique entity that everyone recognized as the high watermark of comic book storytelling. DC can hide behind press release lines about how people have been gagging for new Watchmen stories, but anyone with a love of the original knows deep down that there is no need to expand on something that tells it's story in a complete and devastating fashion, unless the creator has more to say.

joelr 6/6/2012 10:11:30 AM

And about Dave Gibbons- Of course he's is a massive part of what makes Watchmen as great as it is, but honestly, he's pretty much towed the company line from the film on. And why not? Zack Snder pretty much spent the entire production trying to recreate Dave's art down to the molecule, it was Alan Moore's story that he completely ignored. In all seriousness, Gibbons is a wonderful and insanely talented man. I've had the pleasure of meeting him, and he lives up to all expectations.

@SinisterPryde You are right, the original Watchmen is, as of now, untouched. Stephen King would always say the same thing when interviewers asked him if he thought the crappy films based on his works killed the books. He would always say "My books are still on the shelf, aren't they? My stories are still there, able to be read". However, creators rights does factor into all this, heavily. Comic creators have been getting the shaft since the dawn of the medium. In a way, every new issue of Spider-Man or Superman is doing exactly what Before Watchmen is doing. It's become the nature of comics- keep the story going, forever expand the universe, for better or worse. But, again, when it comes to the particular case of Watchmen, DC should know better. Yes, under the laws of the business, DC has the right to publish more Watchmen books, but that doesn't mean they should. As I mention in the article- business and art will always clash, but art never seems to win. Just because the business world has the right to do something under archaic contracts and self interest deals doesn't mean we should just turn a blind eye. Even if my Lucas example doesn't completely apply to the Watchmen situation, the core of the story absolutely does. Suits have no interest in doing something profound, they have an interest in doing something lucrative. Just once i'd love to see art win.

SinisterPryde 6/6/2012 10:30:27 AM

I think the bedrock of this comes down to something that can't really be proven as far as Alan Moore's rights are concerned.  That is, did Mr. Moore come up with a story idea and ask to use the Charlton characters to fill in the character spots or did he see that DC had those characters and want to use them in a story?  If he had used those characters would the end of his tale been different?  If he had used the Charlton characters would we be having this discussion?

My point is, I understand the trepidation and vehemence that this is recieving.  I just don't see this as  a "moral" issue.  If the fans are really on Moore's side, then they should stop buying the tradepaperback.  Its continual sale, after all, is the reason Moore never got the rights bak.

SinisterPryde 6/6/2012 10:38:02 AM

Also, a little off topic, did anyone else read that story about Fox registering the title "Days of Future Past"?

jedibanner 6/6/2012 10:39:59 AM

''DC is now adding to that universe, and despite not altering the original Watchmen, is forever linking Before Watchmen with the original work. It uses the same look for the books''...

I would disagree with the bolded statement about the ''Before Watchmen'' not altering the orignial work.

That is what these new stories will do 110% to the will affect what was once established and add layers of unwanted depht to characters that didn't need to.

You want to know more of the background of these characters, read the written mini books in each comics of the watchment, at the end, they were giving so much depht and background on many of the characters, it was sublime.

These new stories will change everything that was established already because now they will invent characters and events that were NOT created by the original storyteller when he wrote Watchmen and these new writters will ''try'' to glue these new stories and events with the original story when it was never intended to be exlained in the first place. is a bad day to be grumpy...can't seem to stop myself to talk about this.

gauleyboy420 6/6/2012 10:43:52 AM


I've heard the same thing about Moore proposing a sequel/prequel. DC declined at the time, and when they decided the time was right, they tried several times to include Moore in the Prequels. He declined due to the bitter rift that has formed between them over the years.


I don't think Watchmen was originally conceived to take place in it's own universe. I'm not positive, but pretty sure that this story was completely fleshed out using Charlton characters that would take place in the DCU. DC didn't want such an adult story told in the DCU at that time, and that's when it became a separate universe.

gauleyboy420 6/6/2012 10:47:24 AM

joelr, I cannot get my response to post, but you bring up valid concerns. I'm gonna keep trying to post my response... This message board is being very difficult...

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