Well DC has decided to make a Watchmen Prequel. Needless to say this has gotten people riled up. Many believed that Watchmen is a work of art and should never be touched. A few years ago I maybe would have agreed with the same amount of anger as others but now, not so much.
Now don’t get me wrong, I think Watchmen is an amazing and perfect story and should not be expanded on. Not because I hold the story as a sacred text, but because there’s really no reason to. Everything that needed to be told about the universe of Watchmen, has been told and with an astonishing level of detail. The world of Watchmen is pretty much complete and while it would be fun and interesting to see the adventures of mask vigilantes before the final ending, it just doesn’t seem worth bringing back the Watchmen universe to tell it. So why bother?
The main reason appears to be DC wanting to make more money from the characters. Honestly, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. Really, I’m surprise how long they lasted. Though there another reason, it’s a dream project for writers and artists. Just think about how many creators out there would love a chance to write and draw these interesting and iconic characters. To be able to participate with a title that has inspired so much, not just in this industry but many other creative industries, is an honor. Personally, I would love nothing better than to work on a Batman title, to be apart of that grand legacy, to add what I can to something I loved growing up. Although the larger question is, would it be worth it? Can it be nearly as anything great as it’s predecessor? And that’s the key concern people should have.
Now of course there is the matter of what does Alan Moore think and unsurprising he’s not happy. Alan Moore has never been one to like what comic companies do with his work. He hates movie adaptions and unwanted sequels to his work. His main complaint is usually the companies should try to be original and create something new rather than rely on something he made 25 years ago. That I agree with, our culture has gotten too comfortable with sequels, prequels, reboots, revamps, etc. that we rarely see something new and original. But I also think it’s hypocritical of Moore to think DC is still dependent on his ideas when really he made his career of of using other people’s ideas. Marvelman, Swamp Thing, hell even Watchmen all used characters he didn’t create. In case you don’t know Watchmen was originally titled “Who Killed the Peacemaker” Rorschach, The Comedian, Dr Manhattan, Silk Specter, Nite Owl, and Ozymandias were based off of: The Question, Peacemaker, Captain Atom, Nightshade, Blue Beetle, and Thunderbolt respectively. All of whom were created in the sixties and own by DC. So it seemed Moore’s not the only one dependent on other people’s ideas from more than 20 years ago. He is also quoted saying, “As far as I know, there weren’t that many prequels or sequels to Moby-Dick.’” Which is true, but that didn’t stop him from using Ishmael from Moby-Dick or Captain Nemo, Allan Quatermain, Dr. Jekyll, Hawley Griffin, Professor Moriarty, and countless other characters from famous literature in his comic The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Now I feel weird criticizing Alan Moore because the guy is a genius who could crap better stories than I can ever dream to write. I’m in no way implying he was wrong to use those characters or that he’s incapable of creating his own. I just think it’s hypocritical to criticize someone else for doing the same thing with his work that he’s done with others. He’s also entitled to his opinion which I half agree with, I don’t think these prequels should be made. Though I’m not going to get angry over something completely out of my control. If you think it’s wrong for DC to make these prequels then just don’t buy them. I certainly won’t be reading them unless I hear good things. Really, you don’t even have to acknowledge their existence, so it doesn’t matter; because we already have a masterpiece and even if there’s a million sequel it doesn’t change what we have.
But at the very least, I pray the prequel’s success can green light this project: Saturday Morning Watchmen.