So, over at Bleeding Cool, there’s been a ton of talk about how DC appears to be going ahead with prequels to Watchmen. Most of it is speculation with only Darwyn Cooke’s name being attached.
Initially I didn’t have a problem with it. While I love Watchmen, really hold the book in high regard, at this point I’m sort of against holding things sacred. It’s been almost 25 years since that book wrapped so maybe it’s time to stop treating it as though it’s so sacred. It’s a dope and groundbreaking story, but that’s the extent of it.
In a lot of ways Watchmen is a prime example of some of the worst aspects of comic fans. Many fans put Watchmen on a pedestal as something that should never been touched, sort of how they keep their own comics in bags and on acid free boards. And fans also view any attempt to revisit the Watchmen continuity as sacrilegious, kind of how they view any attempt to alter continuity in their favorite books.
It’s that slavish devotion to Watchmen that made the feature film such an odd experience. On one hand, it was extremely dope to see one of my favorite graphic novels up on the big screen, in motion and with sound. But on the other hand, as an actual film it’s flawed. It wasn’t so much a translation as it was an imitation.
So, yeah, in the beginning I was totally for DC revisiting the Watchmen universe with prequels and sequels and whatnot. But then I got to thinking. I started pondering how I’d feel if DC decided to revisit the 100 Bullets universe only without the input of Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso.
There really are quite a few similarities between 100 Bullets and Watchmen. Both books feature damaged characters who come together to confront people they were once allied with. Both books are set in the “present” but with the past playing a pivotal role not only in terms of setting the stage, but also in terms of flashbacks with character defining moments. Both books also feature secondary characters that end up playing important roles in the big picture. Both books also end definitively, yet leave enough open that a sequel is technically possible. And both books are also product of definitive writer/artist teams.
And of course there’s the fact that in both books, both of the groups previous incarnations were called “Minutemen.”
Now it’s not completely the same. Azzarello and Risso did have a hundred issues to tell their story and managed to provide more background for their characters. And in those one hundred issues they also had more opportunity to be subtle and flesh their world out.
I guess my point is that I realized that while I didn’t really have a problem with DC dusting off the Watchmen characters for prequels and sequels, I’d be completely irked if DC decided to revisit the 100 Bullets with prequels and sequels. I’d sign a petition. I’d write letters and emails. I’d probably threaten to boycott DC, because that’s how strongly I feel about 100 Bullets.
Granted that’s a book I spent nearly a decade reading and I’ve collected every issue, so it’s something that I hold very dearly. I guess I just don’t hold Watchmen as dearly.
What I’m saying is that I can completely understand why some fans might be bent out of shape by DC’s plans to revisit Watchmen. I can see why they’d feel it was disrespectful to what Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons created and why the move will be totally controversial. And I can totally respect the fact that they’ll likely be calling for a boycott and that the move will probably be seen as a cash-grab.
But I’m also saying that I don’t really have a problem with any of the above. I’m most likely going to take a trip back into the Watchmen universe and enjoy myself.
I mean, it’s fiction after all. Right?