‘Watchmen’ prequel: Exclusive preview of ‘Silk Spectre’ No. 1

June 11, 2012 | 9:43 a.m.

Page 1 of "Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre" No. 1. (Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner / DC Comics)

Page 2 of "Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre" No. 1. (Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner / DC Comics)

Page 3 of "Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre" No. 1. (Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner / DC Comics)

Page 4 of "Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre" No. 1. (Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner / DC Comics)

Page 5 of "Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre" No. 1. (Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner / DC Comics)

Last week,  the first issue of “Before Watchmen: Minutemen” was the shot heard ’round the world for comic book fans.

The 32-page book — featuring the writing and artwork of Darwyn Cooke — added, for the first time, a new chapter to “Watchmen,” the 1980s epic that still stands as the bestselling and most acclaimed graphic novel ever.

“Watchmen” cover. (DC Comics)

“Watchmen,” by the British tandem of writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons,  was first published in a 12-issue limited series that began in September 1986 and — with its scale, intricacy, literary aspiration, storytelling formats and sheer craft — would drag the entire medium up the pop-culture staircase of ambition. The mythology and rhythm of “Watchmen” was so singular that, as the years passed, it seemed entirely natural that it sit on a shelf by itself. Now that bookcase is going to get crowded.

“Before Watchmen” is the DC Comics initiative that add seven separate prequel story arcs to the Moore and Gibbons classic. No surprise, there’s a variety of reactions to the publishing venture — some fans are giddy, others are outraged, most are probably somewhere between skeptical and intrigued. The iconoclastic Moore has blasted DC for daring to expand on his opus while Gibbons is on board but only to the extent that he gave a quote for the DC press release announcing the project.

DC Comics executives haven’t minded the controversy – just the opposite, they’ve stirred the pot and have done so without apology or pretense. Why? Simple: Controversy is king when it comes to energizing a readership and DC leaders are well aware of the fact that a certain strata of fans will go out and buy “Before Watchmen” comics just so they can describe in depth and detail  how much they hate it. The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s apathy – and there’s little apathy when it comes to “Before Watchmen,” and DC loves that.

The prequels will be published as four- or six-issue mini-series.  The next release is this week’s “Silk Spectre” No. 1, which was written by Cooke and Amanda Conner and features Conner’s artwork. We’ve got an exclusive preview of it. You can see the opening pages in the gallery above and you’ll larger versions below. Later this week, we’ll have an interview with the “Silk Spectre” creative team. And, finally, here is the schedule for the first issue releases over the coming weeks:

June 20: “Comedian” No. 1, (written by Brian Azzarello with art by J.G. Jones)

June 27: “Nite Owl” No. 1 (written by J. Michael Straczynski with art by Andy & Joe Kubert)

July 4: “Ozymandias” No. 1 (written by Len Wein, art by Jae Lee)

August 15: “Rorshach” No. 1 (written by Brian Azzarello, art by Lee Bermejo)

August 22: “Dr. Manhattan” No. 1 (written by J. Michael Straczynski, art by Adam Hughes)

– Geoff Boucher

Cover | Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5

– Geoff Boucher


‘Minutemen’ goes past darkness

Moebius: The Hero Complex interview

Dave Gibbons on his ‘Watchmen’ guilt

‘Watchmen,’ in the spotlight

‘Watchmen’ prequels: DC dares to expand on classic

Millar’s ‘Supercrooks’: Pack your bags, villains

Neil Gaiman returns to ‘Neverwhere’

Rothfuss: Let’s move past dragons, dwarves

‘Dragon Tattoo’ coming to Vertigo

Weeping Dead?: Robert Kirkman gets misty


5 Responses to ‘Watchmen’ prequel: Exclusive preview of ‘Silk Spectre’ No. 1

  1. Ron Graham says:

    It's only an "exclusive preview" to the exclusive society of those who can read text that small. No Like for you!

    • dopper0189 says:

      If you click the links at the bottom you can get the larger full page view of the panels. The ones that are labeled cover, page 1, etc.

    • @EssEyeJay says:

      If you click on the individual pages link, it opens up the pages in a separate tab/window and you can zoom in on the pages and easily read the text.

  2. Doug Jennings says:

    I enjoyed Minuteman #1 with Cooke's concise, evocative story telling. It's an expansion of "Under the Hood" (Nite Owl's expose crimefighter memior featured as text in the original Watchmen book) in comic form. From what I can tell in the Silk Spectre preview I like the general scope and tone of the story as shown. Although it's hard to read period-themed flashbacks (60s era in this case) when I feel it doesn't quite get the feel of it as I might imagine. … ie would a teen in 1966 make reference to "the mother ship"? The space race was just starting and Star Trek hadn't aired yet… I know it must sound picky but it crossed my mind none-the-less.

    • David Bean says:

      She said "the home planet". I'm pretty sure these ideas would have been in the popular conception by then

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