As we discover that DC is making the Alan Moore creations The Watchmen more and more a part of the DC Universe, frankly, I’m happy, although I’m sure Mr. Moore is not. For more on this subject, check out this link here at MajorSpoilers.com.
Many comics fans, some of them here at this site, aren’t all that thrilled with the idea of this taking place. After all, The Watchmen has been a powerful and unique experience for us, and even the Before Watchmen event didn’t quite live up to the series that it was to explore. Well, at least I liked it.
I’m up for all this, so let me tell you why.
GEOFF JOHNS IS NO ALAN MOORE
I would truly love to read more from the inimitable Alan Moore. I mean, his stories are some of the most creative and unusual I’ve ever read in comics. I’m sure I don’t have to even begin to point out his terrific stories! You’ve thought of several already, I bet!
The bad news is, and he has his reasons, Moore doesn’t write as much as I would like. Yes, he does put a strange series of books out once in a while, and I get a powerful reminder as to why he’s so great. But it doesn’t happen enough to suit me.
While I think that Geoff Johns, one of the best writers in the biz today in my opinion, isn’t quite at the level of Alan Moore, I can’t think of anyone else who could do Moore’s work justice like Johns can. I spent a long time trying to think of stories told by Geoff Johns that I did NOT like, and I wasn’t able to think of any. On the other hand, I could easily think of many comic runs that guy has dazzled me with, from The Flash to JSA to Hawkman to Green Lantern to Rebirth, just to name a few.
Frankly, I’m anxious to see Johns get that chance.
THE WATCHMEN WERE AHEAD OF THEIR TIME
Whenever I look at the Watchmen characters and the situation Moore put them in, I am always struck by how far ahead of their time they were. The dark, moody “good guys” were perfect for the modern era of comics. Yet how far back did Moore create them and tell their story?
They’re kind of like Star Trek: Deep Space Nine with their shapeshifters and struggles to come to grips with a variety of opposing characters. That DS9 came before 9-11 always astounds me. Yet we now live in a post-DS9 world.
What happened between the Comedian and Silk Spectre took place years before Infinity Crisis, and yet they were very similar in their “adult” natures. Today, we take all that for granted, but there is still room for lighter, more noble heroes and characters as well.
IF IT DOESN’T WORK, NEVER MIND
While I did enjoy Before Watchmen, a lot of fans like me think that it wasn’t to Moore’s level of creativity. Did that mean it was bad? I didn’t think so. It just wasn’t Moore. There were several stories in that event that I enjoyed, still.
The thing is, I don’t think Before Watchmen in any way diminished Watchmen. DC recruited some high-power talent to give that a try, and I think it was worth the effort.
Much like what’s happening now, in my opinion.
The challenge for DC is to make this happening, well, happen well. I mean, the bar is set way, way high, of course.
But I think Watchmen was one of those comics (for those who came in late, it was a monthly comic before it was collected into a trade) that might be a book that many will attempt to reach the level of, but not attain. However, I wonder just how amazing it would be to actually rival that series! I believe Johns is our best shot at making that take place, as I previously mentioned.
It will all depend on how DC handles this. If The Watchmen get watered down by this attempt, I don’t think that will drag down that classic series. I do think there are a lot of stories left in those characters that deserve to be told. If Moore won’t do it, well… .
TAKING A CHANCE
One of the things I enjoy about Rebirth is that, besides distilling characters down to their core, it’s helping DC take chances. And this is admittedly a HUGE one.
But I like that. I prefer that to apparent change that really isn’t happening and gets reset after an event. I mean, come on … give something new a go once in a while, okay?
Will it work? I’m more confident with Johns and company than I might be with someone else. And it’s a chance worth taking, I think. Personally, I think the response to even a hint of what’s coming has been a resounding success when it comes to sales, not just scripting. I saw that long line waiting to buy a variant cover for the recent Batman issue that kicked off “The Button.” And I’m breathlessly waiting to see Flash this Wednesday! It’ll likely be the book of the week for me!
And I’m already excited for November! DC could stand some more fan excitement these days, I believe!
What about you? What do you think about this DC gamble? Do you think Johns and his fellow creators can pull off something this big? Or should they let classic stay classic? Whatever your opinion, please share your thoughts in the space below!