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Nite Owl, Comedian art emerges for long-rumored Watchmen prequels

Note: The artwork originally accompanying this post has been removed following a cease-and-desist letter from DC Entertainment’s legal affairs department.

Any doubts regarding the accuracy of reports about DC Comics’ long-rumored plans for Watchmen prequels may have eroded over the weekend with the emergence of character art by J.G. Jones and Joe Kubert and Andy Kubert.

Bleeding Cool characterizes the illustrations of Nite Owl and The Comedian as cover art for the projects, purportedly being assembled under the code name “Panic Room,” but considering the characters’ names are written on the pages, it seems more likely they’re concept designs.

The four prequels to the seminal 1986 miniseries by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons are said to also involve Darwyn Cooke, J. Michael Straczynski, John Higgins and even Gibbons himself. Cooke, however, seemed to dismiss reports he was working on one of the miniseries, telling CBR News recently, “Ah, get out, man. That’s like three years old.”

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20 Comments

Scabs, every one of them. Darwyn denied nothing.

No, Robbie. They’re a business capitalizing on an opportunity using a successful property.

That’s another way to put it.

This is no different than the way DC has raped the rest of their characters in the ‘new 52.’ I actually find this LESS offensive by far…

The ‘it’s just business’ apologists are wrong. For those of us who’ve paid attention for 25 years, this is just the latest backstabbing move in DC’s systematic disrespect and exploitation of Alan Moore over WATCHMEN.

It’s not just business…it’s personal; against Alan’s integrity and against the fans who have proper respect.

If they go through with this prequel, I will no longer buy anything from DC or Time/ Warner in the future.

Oh fuck off, DC own the characters they can do what they want with them. Just don’t buy the book if you don’t want it.

Oh, I don’t know. My gut reaction at first was like most people’s. “Come on, DC, you don’t have to do this to be successful.” But then you see those lovely illustrations and the fanboy in me, just as quickly, said Whoa, that looks great. Of course, we’ll see how respectful to the property they are when they release issue 1 by Andy Kubert and JG Jones and then issue 2 four months later by the same team and then issues 3 to 5 by Dan Jurgens and Keith Giffen or some other DC pinch hitter. I know, I know, hopeful and cynical in the same post. What can I do… Merry Christmas Everyone!

What’s the big deal of DC telling further exploits of characters they own? If you read Marvel or DC comics, I’m sure you have read any one of their superhero properties further adventures that involved characters they own that were created by someone else, who may or may not even be involved with that character. It’s comic book business. I doubt DC has or had intentions of putting out a crap work. Why else involve top name creators.

The Church of Moore ought to calm down. If anything, DC is 20 to 25 years late with this.

Publishing new adventures of the characters Moore reworked for Watchmen does nothing to affect the original work, just like Moore and Gibbons’ limited series did nothing to change the original work of Ditko and others on the Charleton characters, which were basically reworked version of other comics characters.

NYJ

December 26, 2011 at 10:18 am

This is no different than the way DC has raped the rest of their characters in the ‘new 52.’ I actually find this LESS offensive by far…
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excuse me but who was raped? I know a few charcters in the new 52 have had sex willingly but so far I don’t know of any rape storylines but then I may be wrong . so far I am really enjoying the book Red hood has been esspeccely well written it is not my favorite but it just does not get the aclaim it should . sence I read most of what produced I think I would rebember a rape. It is turm that should never be just thown out there if it did not happen to you personally or you did not read about it actully happening to someone that mean forced sex or place were people were forced to have sex during a pillaging .

I am interested in this project…don’t like it, don’t buy it.

Cease and desist is coming…

I really enjoyed Philip’s post.

JMS is on one of them?!? So who have they lined up to do #2-4 of that series???

Nobody was “raped,” for one thing. For another, if you do just the faintest bit of research you’d know that the ownership is a bit more complicated than “DC owns Watchmen outright.” They hold the copyrights, but there’s contractual obligations that they have which complicate matters.

Finally, this comic is unwanted by anybody who sees Watchmen as a work of literature and art. But for people who think Watchmen is just another dumb old comic book, go have at it.

“Finally, this comic is unwanted by anybody who sees Watchmen as a work of literature and art. But for people who think Watchmen is just another dumb old comic book, go have at it.”

Could you be any more pompous?

Firstly Alan Moore is God. I was about to stop reading comics in the early eighties until he came along with Marvelman, V for Vendetta, Swamp Thing etc and produced. The time I stopped regularly buying comic books on a monthly basis also roughly coincides with his departure from the mainstream. However, I do believe that Alan as well as the DC detractors have gotten this one wrong.
When Watchmen was first released he was still on good terms with DC and I remember there being talks even then of prequels being made following its completion (Minutemen in WW2, the Comedian in Vietnam spring to mind). The whole ‘Watchmen’ thing was not as sacrosanct then as it is today, does anyone remember the role playing game, the badges and original computer game on cassette, the proposed movie with Terry Gilliam all of which he must have been aware of and presumably were met with his approval (although I am aware he advised Terry Gilliam against making the movie following initial discussions.
It was understood then that these were DC characters of which Moore and Gibbons had no ownership and they (DC) had the rights to market them as they so wished. Let’s not forget that Nite Owl, Rorchach etc are basically slightly reworked Steve Ditko characters; an equally highly respected artist/writer who has had his own work redone without his consultation by other comic book creators numerous times over the past fifty years, something people often fail to remember.
So at any time in the past 25 years DC could have created further stories set in the Watchmen universe but have steadfastly chosen not to. Certainly this must have been tempting at the time of the Watchmen movie when the shelves of the comic book shops were stuffed with related product. I can only assume the reason they have elected not is out of a respect for Moore and/or they would not do it without his full participation.
With the 25th Anniversary imminent DC may want to celebrate this with something special rather than just another Absolute Watchmen variation. It is my understanding that DC have approached Alan Moore about this and (if what I have read is true) agreed to now grant him the full rights to the work if he produces some new stories. Needless to say he has declined the offer (if what I have read is also true) with no inconsiderable level of disgust and disdain for their offer.
Given this, DC’s decision to now go ahead without Alan Moore is understandable. Whilst I’m sure we would all agree that it would be a more satisfactory product with his involvement clearly this is not going to happen now. This is a profound shame as I don’t believe there is anybody who would not want to read these stories; people who say “no leave it alone the tale been told” are just liars or fooling themselves. However, let’s not forget that DC have selected a number of highly skilled creators to complete the works all of whom have produced exceptional work in the field
So in conclusion I feel the legion of watchmen prequel critics needs to look at the bigger picture here as there would appear to be no substantial moral or ethical argument against the series and i do not feel that it is an attempt to ‘disrespect Alan Moore’s legacy’ as some may believe.

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