Alan Moore’s Watchmen has been given many honors over the years and heralded for initiating many changes to the comic medium, head amongst them is the fact that it popularized both the term ‘Graphic Novel’ and the act of buying these illustrated stories as books instead of issues. For me ten times out of eleven the trade is the superior way to read any story, regardless of its artistic intent, but I’ve slowly been coming around to the way of the floppy comic.
What DC have done with Before Watchmen though really showcases the flaws in the format: the writers they hired have mostly chosen to tell their stories slowly and over the course of the entire series, which has left many of these initial issues feeling a little lackluster and to top it off the prestige nature of the product and the constantly changing population of titles means that each individual book is now parceled out once every two months at most. This is a problem because any good serialized story will contain some complicated aspects, subtle character traits, hidden clues and dramatic cliffhangers; Cooke’s Minutemen has all of those, or at least I think it did but I can’t really remember now….
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