I don’t want to spend a lot of time on this, because I am neck-deep in Batman: Arkham City, I have beer that I need to render safe for children by using my superpower of turning beer into pee, and I wish to combine these two activities, culminating in an uberactivity of wandering the house, “controller” in hand, screaming, “Who wants to give Batman a handjob?”
That said, I feel compelled to at least comment on a rumor that’s been going around the comics world for the past couple of days. I can’t confirm or deny it because, well, I’m just a drunken comic fan who doesn’t know anyone in the industry to ask if it’s true and then stab if they tell me it is.
I’ll just start with asking you to remember the source. Rich Johnston at Bleeding Cool traffics in comics gossip. Sometimes it’s true, sometimes it’s not… but the last time this rumor came up, Alan Moore himself said there was some truth to it.
Two days ago, Bleeding Cool mentioned that Watchmen prequels at DC were back on the agenda, after the success of the New 52. That meetings were happening this week. That it had the code name “Panic Room”. That names mentioned included Dave Gibbons, John Higgins, Darwyn Cooke, JMS, JG Jones, Andy Kubert and more.
Indeed I am now told that there will be four Watchmen miniseries, all prequels. Working off an over-arching uber-plot by Darwyn, who will be writing and drawing on aa [sic] book or two.
I believe the phrase I’m looking for is “this shit just got real”.
My first reaction to this news was the same as it was when I first heard it two years ago:
No no no no no no no no
Okay. Sure. By all fucking means, allow someone who isn’t Alan Moore to write a sequel to Watchmen. Unauthorized sequels by unrelated writers are a good idea. Almost always. Maybe next you can get Frank Miller to write a tale of Hamlet’s school days with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern called Wittenburg: 90210.
But then I took a step back and realized, like the man said: there is nothing that DC Comics or anyone else can do to ruin those twelve original issues of Watchmen. DC can come out with all the prequels, sequels and porno parodies they feel like. They can try to show me Nite Owl and Rorschach taking out Big Figure, or The Comedian fighting Ozymandias on the docks, or Hooded Justice giving Captain Metropolis the Donkey Punch, and it won’t affect the copy of Absolute Watchmen on my shelf one bit.
Plus, Darwyn Cooke is a good writer. What he comes up with will probably be entertaining. If he draws it, it will have a unique retro look which might even fit the time period these stories would have to take place in. Sure, it’s unnecessary, but there isn’t a force on Earth that can make me pay any attention to it if I don’t want to. Like X-Men 3 and Godfather 3, I can just… not read it.
But as easy and instinctive as it is to take that attitude, following that feeling would have kept me out of the Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek remakes. Sure, it also would have kept me out watching the Bionic Woman remake, but at least Michelle Ryan was hot and I wrote the time I spent watching out off as charity work on my taxes.
If this even happens, there’s a good chance that it will, well, suck. In which case, we will tell you that, and you can tell yourself “Watchmen prequels? What Watchmen prequels?” on your way past the W shelf to pick up your X-Men books.
But it might, might be okay. I’m willing to wait and find out. And if I find out that it is but I still can’t deal with new stories about these characters I love so much? I’m gonna do what Alan Moore did in the first place: pretend they’re Charlton Comics characters.