For over twenty years, DC has wanted to capitalize on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons‘ best-selling and standard-setting mini-series/graphic novel Watchmen by releasing additional stories featuring the same characters. Ideas about prequel series have been discussed since even before Watchmen‘s publication, with writer Alan Moore floating the idea of a Minutemen prequel series in ’85, and other options being discussed afterward.

Moore backed away from those ideas, and he and Dave Gibbons eventually walked away from DC altogether based, in part, on language in their contract for Watchmen that related to ownership of the characters. In 2010 DC offered to give Watchmen back to Moore if he would write additional stories, but he declined. At the same time, DC Comics co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee said, “DC Comics would only revisit these iconic characters if the creative vision of any proposed new stories matched the quality set by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons nearly 25 years ago, and our first discussion on any of this would naturally be with the creators themselves.”

With no option of new stories by Moore and Gibbons, DC has gone ahead with other creators. Rumors of a Watchmen prequel have flown for months, with artwork occasionally hitting the internet and just as soon being hit with cease and desist orders from DC — the best admission that the prequels are really happening.

Indeed, today DC announced Before Watchmen, a set of seven interlocking prequel miniseries that will feature Watchmen characters such as Rorschach, the Comedian and Nite Owl. Details from the press release follow. (Updated with gallery of images for the new series.) Read More »

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Watchmen 2 Looks Like a Real Possibility

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Why hasn’t there ever been second series of Watchmen comics? It’s not as though Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons actually own the characters. Well, apparently, any talk of a sequel had been squashed, time and again, by Paul Levitz, former president of DC comics. He was very protective of the title, even denying the creators of the tie-in videogame to invent any new material at all. This was sacred stuff to him.

Now, though, he’s not in charge of the comics at all and is the Contributing Editor and Overall Consultant of DC Entertainment, the spin-off and movies arm. He’s not going to be able to do anything, directly, to stop any Watchmen sequel. More importantly, though, it seems that Dan DiDio, SVP-Executive Editor of DC, has made it his mission to realize not only a sequel series but also several prequels. Why? I suppose he’d say Why Not? And there’s good reason to believe they’ll be coming to screens as well as pages, too.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

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Digging deep behind the scenes of the recent purchase by Marvel of the character Marvelman (aka Miracleman) from Mick Anglo and Emotiv Records, Rich Johnston at Bleeding Cool has discovered an aborted $80 million Marvelman movie, based upon the Alan Moore run of the comics and – if it all went to plan – co-scripted by Neil Gaiman and an unnamed “A-list screenplay writer”. Sadly, we’ll never get to see this film now but there’s every chance that Marvel will cash in on their new acquisition with a film of their own. Well, one day. And we can pretty much guarantee that Gaiman writing to Alan Moore plots would be eschewed in favour something more like a Brian Michael Bendis and Zak Penn cocktail.

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VOTD: Nobody Watches the Watchmen

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Somebody is picking off those responsible for the big screen adaptation of Watchmen. Rorschach follows the trail to Watchmen creator Alan Moore. Watch the Funnyordie short Nobody Watches the Watchmen after the jump.
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[This review is spoiler-free]

Watchmen first appeared on my radar years ago when I’d heard that one of my favorite directors, Paul Greengrass, was slated to helm the big-screen adaptation. I’m not a huge comic book reader, but I’d heard so many complimentary things about the graphic novel that I was induced to buy myself a copy and check it out for myself. What I discovered was that the book lives up to all the hype: Moore’s (and illustrator Dave Gibbons‘) 1986/1987 comic book series spun a gripping, dystopic tale of an alternate reality, one in which costumed vigilantes have taken to the street to quell civil unrest, and the U.S. and Russia are on the brink of nuclear annihilation, held back barely by the existence of the ultimate nuclear deterrent: Dr. Manhattan, the one “superhero” that actually possessed super powers.

While Moore’s book has been referred to by many as possessing cinematic qualities, it’s also repeatedly been referred to as “unfilmable.” After all these years, a convergence of fortuitous events have allowed director Zack Snyder to take his vision of the graphic novel to the big screen. My appreciation for the book led me to eagerly anticipate this film’s release, starting with the first trailer all the way up to the first 20 minutes of the film shown at NY Comic Con. Did Snyder achieve the impossible? Was he able to make cinematic sense out of Watchmen?
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