Thursday, December 29, 2011

Watchmen 2: You get what you deserve

So unless DC is just commissioning super high profile fan art, this week’s publishing of JG Jones’ Comedian art and the Kuberts’ Nite Owl art would seem to suggest that we are getting some form of new Watchmen comics.

It could be a sequel or it could be a prequel, but allow me to state the obvious: this is a really bad idea.

Alan Moore has been asked for questions about a sequel to Watchmen since he finished the last issue. And it seems as if until he had a falling out with DC Comics, he had plans to at least expand the universe a bit through Role Playing games and maybe even comics. Years later, however, he noted that the book didn’t need a sequel and he didn’t understand why anyone would want one. He noted that they weren’t exactly clamoring for a sequel to A Tale of Two Cities. Now, comparing one’s self to Dickens doesn’t do him any favors, but Moore has a point here.

Comics fans obviously want a sequel to Watchmen because it was one of the seminal comics in the history of the medium. They also want it because comics fans are almost pathologically incapable of trying something new and interesting. They only want sequels or books with familiar titles adorning the covers. How else do you explain DC calling a new supernatural team book “Justice League Dark” or Marvel slapping Avengers on any new team book they pump out.

We don’t need more Watchmen. The entire comics industry has spent DECADES learning all the wrong lessons from that comic. The sheer number of horrible grim and gritty comics produced by creators trying to ape Watchmen makes me wonder sometimes if the book was worth it I the first place. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely cringe at the idea of today’s JMS giving us his take on this book’s characters and themes.

Now, good sequels have been made out of things that didn’t need them, just look at the Godfather Part 2. But for a more analogous example, let us move to the next installment of that series. Made due to financial concerns, Godfather Part 3 was by no means a horrible movie, but it was nowhere near as good as the two movies that preceded it. While it made a lot of money for all involved at the time, it is a piece of work that induces nothing more than regret when brought up today.

Watchmen 2 (or whatever it’s called) is going to make a lot of creators money. And that’s good. Nostalgia and morbid curiosity are going to drive huge sales for this, but at the end of the day, this is a project that we are going to remember with the same fondness that we have Andy Garcia acting across from Don Corleone.

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