Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1 Review

Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1 | Writer: Darwyn Cooke & Len Wein | Art: Darwyn Cooke & John Higgins | Colors: Phil Noto & John Higgins | Publisher: DC Comics | Price: $3.99

Some have been waiting with bated breath, while others have cursed the existence of this prequel. No matter which side of the fence you stand on, DC Comics summer event has arrived, and everyone is treated to more Watchmen. My first impression after reading this was it’s good, but it’s not Alan Moore good. Please, don’t take this as an insult or as a sign not to read it. Moore’s original has certain je ne sais quoi that no one will ever match.

So why mess with a really good thing?

While money is nice and the main motivation, thinking about this venture’s many aspects will cause paralysis by analysis.

For every fan who feels this is an abomination, there is another who craves more Watchmen, and for every creator who decided not to sign on, there are others who are chomping at the bit to add to a major comic book legacy.

Darwyn Cooke is a great example of this, and he starts off strong with the inaugural issue chronicling the origin of the Minutemen through the lens of an aged Hollis Mason, the first Nite Owl. We see how much of a bad-ass Hooded Justice is; we learn of the Silk Spectre’s crime-fighting grandeur and, of course, a young sociopath named Eddie Blake displays what little regard he has for anyone and anything. Those familiar with the Superman Confidential series or DC: The New Frontier already know what Cooke brings to the table as an artist.

While, in a perfect world, David Gibbons would have been drawing this, Cooke’s style is very appropriate, and the flow of his page layouts is, in many ways, reminiscent of the original story. The book finishes with “The Curse of the Crimson Corsair: The Devil in the Deep.” It’s too short to critique or form an opinion on since it is only two pages.

Minutemen is the perfect choice to kick off this event since we saw and heard quite a bit about the masked heroes of old. Is it enthralling enough to make you change your mind if you cursed the ground that DC Comics walks on for green lighting this? Probably not. If you can read this with an open mind, you will see how good this book is and gain an appreciation for the creative talents of Darwyn Cooke.

Grade: A-

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