…of their greatest success – to make even more money.
Watchmen: The Feature-Film tanked – big time. Watchmen: The Groundbreaking Comic Book Series was a ridiculously HUGE success, so while the following press release from DC Comics is a shock in some ways, it makes perfect financial sense.
This summer, DC Entertainment will publish all-new stories expanding on the acclaimed WATCHMEN universe. As highly anticipated as they are controversial, the seven inter-connected prequel mini-series will build on the foundation of the original WATCHMEN, the bestselling graphic novel of all time. BEFORE WATCHMEN will be the collective banner for all seven titles, from DC Comics.
I guess no one at DC has seen..
- The Star Wars prequels.
- Return to Oz.
- Predator 2.
- Terminator: Salvation.
- Road House 2.
- The Matrix sequels.
Then again, some of these films – especially The Phantom Menace and its ilk – have brought in big bucks for the property-holders, so of course the well is going to be revisited time and again. DC, has of course, taken the high road and said it’s “all about the fans” and the creative growth of the company.
“It’s our responsibility as publishers to find new ways to keep all of our characters relevant,” said DC Entertainment Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee. “After twenty five years, the Watchmen are classic characters whose time has come for new stories to be told. We sought out the best writers and artists in the industry to build on the complex mythology of the original.”
Let’s get one thing straight: I understand DC is in business to make cold, hard cash at superhuman speeds whenever possible. At $3.99 an issue (the current price for DC Comics with back-up stories) the 35 chapters of Before Watchmen will cost $139.65 to read. If they can use some of that money to give back – which they do – then that’s even better, for everyone.
But I’m still shocked. As was Watchmen co-creator Alan Moore who long ago cut ties between himself and DC Comics and the industry at large, and who called the new venture “completely shameless.”
Mr. Moore told the New York Times, “I tend to take this latest development as a kind of eager confirmation that they are still apparently dependent on ideas that I had 25 years ago.”
The legendary – and quite frankly, scary-looking - Mr. Moore says that the endeavor only weakens the argument that comics are an authentic form of literature.
“As far as I know,” he said, “there weren’t that many prequels or sequels to ‘Moby-Dick.’ ” While he was unaware of DC’s specific plans for Before Watchmen, – no surprise given Moore’s public bashing of most of the film versions of his work – Mr. Moore said he has over the years resisted overtures from the publisher to approve sequel or prequel projects. Still, he says he won’t stand in the way of Before Watchmen or fight the project in court, where he said DC Comics would meet him with an “infinite battery of lawyers.”
Apparently the legal system is Moore’s kryptonite.
- DC Comics Launching ‘Watchmen’ Prequel Series [Updated] (screenrant.com)
- Debate over ‘Before Watchmen’ (geekout.blogs.cnn.com)
- It’s About Time – Watchmen Prequels in the Works (eonline.com)
- Comic Book Fans, Rejoice! Watchmen Is Getting A Prequel Series! (perezhilton.com)