Before Watchmen: Five Mini Comic Reviews

I fought with myself for the longest time about not reading these. A lot of people, not happy with the bureaucracy have been shying away, but after a little research I’m not so opposed to checking them out. In fact, currently, this is my must read every week. The only stories we haven’t been given thus far is Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan, however what is here is AMAZING!

The story of the Minutemen is retold through Hollis Mason, as he writes his autobiography. As such, he recounts his thoughts and feelings of everybody he served with in the Minutemen. Many of these are fantastic! The best is The Silhouette, which sheds light on how great a person she was and makes her murder ten times more tragic. Sally Jupiter is in it for the money and publicity, and faked some of it. Hooded Justice is a badass, Captain Metropolis isn’t touched on much as is Mothman or Dollar Bill, but the ones they do go into provide great depth for these characters.

Spectre’s story, with writing again from Darwyn Cooke, is one that I didn’t think I’d give two shits about. But after reading, I’m more enthralled by her story. The biggest part of that has to do with Amanda Conner’s art; it evokes all the passions of being in high school, especially those kind of freak out moments where the art changes. Cooke’s writing is great here too, we follow Spectre as she tries to be a normal teen in high school and the mother that prevents her from doing so. It’s also the only book that doesn’t deserve a mature rating.

Brian Azzarello? Fuck yeah! And he brings it with this Comedian story. In a way, this issue is a big fuck you to the movie as it focuses on JFK’s assassination and his friendship with the Kennedy family. Most may remember that in the film, JFK’s assassination was pulled off by the Comedian; in this book he’s friends with all the Kennedy’s, going so far as killing Marilyn Monroe at the request of Jackie. At least I think that’s who he killed. This story gives Comedian a lot of heart, something he never really had before, and for that I salute you Azzarello and Jones!

Nite Owl’s story focuses on how Hollis Mason and Daniel Dreiberg got together and the succession of one Nite Owl to the next. Dreiberg, ever the geek, emulates Mason, eventually tracking him back to his hideout. After a meeting, Hollis agrees to teach Dan the ropes, and after his parents die, begin the technological revolution that the character goes through. Though this is the volume I like least, it’s still a pretty good story.

Ozymandias’ story is my favorite so far. The art and writing are phenomenal here; the story traces young Veidt from childhood to stardom. Granted his family came from wealth, but Veidt basically said fuck it and started from the bottom just to prove he could! He was born a genius, used it to his advantage and became a millionaire, went through a relationship that felt inspired by Scrooge’s in A Christmas Carol, and didn’t let anybody get in his way. This is a fucking brilliant book, read this one above any of them!

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