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After Watchmen: Before Watchmen

So…the long-rumored “Watchmen 2” is officially Before Watchmen, the collective heading for 7 mini-series and a one-shot. (Rorschach, Dr. Manhattan, Nite Owl, and Silk Spectre with 4 issues each; Minutemen, Comedian, and Ozymandias with 6 issues each, and Before Watchmen: Epilogue.

By my count, that’s 35 issues. Assuming all are $2.99 cover price, that’s $105. Whereas the original, complete story of Watchmen for the past quarter-century has been a single $20 volume. Not nearly as enticing for purposes of purchasing.

This project in one swoop makes the original a mere quarter of the whole. Though still a whole itself, it’ll now be PART OF a larger “universe.”

And DC does not have the greatest track record with me when it comes to collected volumes, and no comics company has any great record anymore with PRICING of collected volumes. (Collected volumes being my first thought, because I just cannot see spending 35 weeks trying to follow these in singles rather than a whole story for any given character). Heck, for the entirety of my awareness of comics (going back nearly 24 years), Watchmen has existed as a collected volume.

Yet despite any and all negative thoughts toward this…I have to admit…I cannot see avoiding these on any principle. I may avoid a FORMAT (singles), I may opt to get whatever collected volumes from the local library…but I’m fairly certain I’ll read these. And then I’ll go back to the original, and re-read that, and it’ll be in a new light. New details from the prequels to impact the emotional impact…worst-case, the original could be a palate-cleanser.

The official announcement of these minis came today, from DC‘s The Source blog. Interviews and cover images and such are scattered across media outlets…and the above constitutes my own initial thoughts/gut reactions to the basic announcement that these’ll exist. PLENTY of time yet for all the news and hubbub to “convert” me OR “sour” me on these. Time will tell.

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