1 Feb
Alan Moore's "Best Comic Of All Time" gets resurrected

To much controversy, anger, excitement and fanfare DC Comics today announced it will be releasing a series of prequels to what many consider the best comic book of all time, The Watchmen. Needless to say, the mere idea of mortals touching the work of writer Alan Moore (and to a lesser degree, artist Dave Gibbons) is sacrilege — and yet, the Before Watchmen project does have potential to be a compelling piece of art. When reading that Moore had cursed the project, and utterly disassociated himself with DC, the first kneejerk reaction may be to disregard the project entirely. But upon further thought, as long as the creatives behind the series have talent and care for the original’s essence and intention, who knows what the results may yield. CBR interviewed J. Michael Straczynski — the writer behind two of the four-issue miniseries (Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan and Before Watchmen: Nite Owl) — and he offered some compelling arguments why Moore’s uninvolvement perhaps shouldn’t be treated as final judgment. “A lot of folks feel that these characters shouldn’t be touched by anyone other than Alan, and while that’s absolutely understandable on an emotional level, it’s deeply flawed on a logical level,” argues Straczynski. “Based on durability and recognition, one could make the argument that Superman is the greatest comics character ever created. But neither Alan nor anyone else has ever suggested that no one other than Shuster and Siegel should ever be allowed to write Superman. Alan didn’t pass on being brought on to write Swamp Thing, a seminal comics character created by Len Wein, and he did a terrific job. He didn’t say ‘No, no, I can’t, that’s Len’s character.’ Nor should he have.” In the years post-Watchmen, Moore has gone on to write new stories of archetypal characters such as Alice (from Wonderland), Dorothy (from Oz), Wendy (from Peter Pan), Captain Nemo, the Invisible Man, Jekyll & Hyde and Professor Moriarty, so the position that only he can write Watchmen tales does seem dogmatic. As Straczynski argues: “I think one loses a little of the moral high ground to say, ‘I can write characters created by Jules Verne, HG Wells, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle and Frank Baum, but it’s wrong for anyone else to write my characters.'” Good point Michael.Who knows, maybe the project will produce some gems…

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