February 04, 2010

Watchmen 2: Electric Boogaloo

Today parts of the Intertubes are all aflutter about the rumor that DC is seriously considering publishing some sequel or prequel books based on Alan Moore's and Dave Gibbon's monumental Watchmen novel.

Most comic book fans shudder at the thought. It would be like making Citizen Kane 2. It's a sentiment that I share.

However there are others who are arguing that new Watchmen-inspired material might do well, and are using Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again, the 2001 sequel to Miller's own 1986-published Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, as proof that revered comic material can be revisited.

My problem with that argument is that with DK2, you had the same creative talent taking on the characters and settings that they crafted the first time around. Miller wrote and drew the first series. He was back to play in the same sandbox in 2001.

There is no way in hell Alan Moore would touch a project like this, let alone even acknowledge its existence. His hatred of DC is legendary and well documented. And I would expect Dave Gibbons to fall in line behind Alan Moore – though not for the same reasons.

So without Moore and Gibbons DC will have different talent coming in to play with a landmark piece of comic literature. I don’t see that going well. Memories of the dismal Scarlet come to mind.

DC would serve themselves best to leave well enough alone. Watchmen has become their biggest selling graphic novel because of Moore’s and Gibbon’s perfect creative synergy in a standalone piece of literature that has not been diluted with spin-offs and sequels. The books remains powerful for its superb storytelling technique, provocative themes, and memorable characters. Hopefully DC will leave it that way.

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