BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN REVIEW

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN
Written & Drawn: Darwyn Cooke
Publisher: DC
Reviewer: Optimous Douche

 

BWM can best be described as a milquetoast THE TWELVE. It fucking kills me to write this, but I can’t lie. The power and impact is just not there anymore when you learn that these Golden Age pastiches of the DC universe had flaws. Yeah, we kind of know that already.

 

Plus, let’s be honest, THE MINUTEMEN were a backdrop at best in the original WATCHMEN. They were Golden Age characters that served more to accentuate the shittiness of the silver age WATCHMEN versus being their own story. The only two we ever really cared about were Sally Jupiter and the Comedian because they made Laurie Juspeczyk’s story that much better.

 

Darwyn does his damndest with this thing, bringing forth his A-game retro style of art that we all loved back in NEW FRONTIER, but even the best of efforts can’t pull the ripcord for a bad editorial decision plummeting to the earth.

 

The premise sets us a few days after Hollis Mason’s retirement and before the impending publishing of his Supes tell-all-tale “Under the Hood.” While unpacking his things he reflects on…you guessed it, the team. I don’t want to go into the flaws of the team because that’s all that’s conveyed, their flaws.

 

As a reader of the original WATCHMEN, I will say the flaws of the characters we know were conveyed better in WATCHMEN. The Comedian seems functionally retarded versus sadistic; Sally Jupiter is more pathetic than sad and Hollis , I don’t even get what the hell he’s doing.

 

This review will feel rushed, because I think this book was rushed. It’s beyond out of place. Yes, I will continue to read the deluge of BEFORE WATCHMEN titles about to come out, but they will be the ones on the ACTUAL WATCHMEN.

 

Reading the prequel to the MINUTEMEN is about as interesting as reading the prequel of the newsstand guy in the original WATCHMEN.

 

Bring on Rorschach stat!


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23 Comments to “BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN REVIEW”

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  1. Pink Apocalypse says:

    You know what? I believe you.

    I had this pulled, but I think I’ll just skip it, and put the money toward a copy of Watchmen.

  2. JD (Host) says:

    I too, just finished reading this book, I’m not as harsh on it as Optimous, I don’t hate it, and I’m definitely going to keep reading the series.

    The art is superb, as any Darwyn art is, and I have an affinity for Golden Age character stories being told in a modern fashion. It’s not perfect, but it’s no Star Wars Prequels, if you know what I mean.

    I think part of the problem is that this book is pretty light on actual story and spends every two pages detailing some information about the main, and not so main, Minutemen characters…but I think that is more a symptom of this being a first issue that needs to introduce these people to readers. I just don’t think it works that well. It reads a little…mechanical, if that makes sense.

    Pink, I definitely think this is wasted money for you right now, pick up your copy of Watchmen and see if you give a crap about THAT first before wasting your money on this stuff.

    This is for Watchmen lovers only..and actually only a sub-class of THAT group..it’s for Watchmen lovers who don’t love it so much that they murdered their own kittens at the idea of continuing the story.

  3. JD (Host) says:

    Although, Pink, if you had so much trouble with The Killing Joke, I’m doubly curious to see your reaction to Watchmen!!!

  4. Pink Apocalypse says:

    I managed to complete my collection of The Twelve (Including issues 0 and 1/2) and Absolutely. Friggin’. Loved it. Seriously. I read all 14 issues in one sitting.

    The retro golden age is a strong draw for me, but if it’s just a pale shadow of what The Twelve has already done, I’m going to give it a critical, peering flip before buying it.

    ‘Quick reads’ are a pet peeve of mine with comics. The more wordy, the better.

  5. JD (Host) says:

    Oh I wouldn’t say it’s a “quick read” at all.. It’s written in an old style for sure, very Pulpy…but it’s like a recent Frank Miller outing, by any means.

    I’m not sure I read Twelve 1/2…was that worth getting?

    It’s funny, The Twelve borrowed heavily from Watchmen, it’s neat that Douche decided to compare this to The Twelve. “This Watchmen mini series is like the Twelve, which is like Watchmen”

  6. Pink Apocalypse says:

    You know, the main reason I’ve never read Watchmen is because I never actually saw it, at all, ever, in any comic book shop I’ve ever been in over the years. And then one day recently (the day I sent you that email) I spotted it in a shop, and it took me a minute to even realize what it was (the smiley face with the bullet hole).

    I’ll pick it up soon. I remember really liking the movie (I saw it once, and bought it last week to see again soon), but I can’t for the life of me recall any specific details of the plot. It may have been late at night. Or I might have been drinking. Maybe both.

  7. JD (Host) says:

    I love the movie as well as the book….obviously the book is better, but the movie is as faithful an adaptation that I’ve ever seen, next to Sin City, but much better than Sin City, I think.
    I actually have the 4 hour (or whatever) cut of the movie. The Ultimate Edition, I believe it’s called.

    LOVE IT.

  8. Grim_Noir says:

    Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha! The thumbnail on the main page reads, “Nut em.” Really got all I needed to know from that! (But I read Optimous’ review anyway.)

  9. JD (Host) says:

    HOW did I miss that? Hilarious

  10. optimous_douche says:

    No, it’s not horrible. Just so unnecessary and nothing to do with the actual WATCHMEN!!!

  11. Jaydee says:

    I dunno that’s like saying the JSA had nothing to do with JLA

  12. optimous_douche says:

    JLA was a way to keep the characters young. Nay, I scoff at this comparison.

  13. jaydee says:

    yeah….YEAH???

    well…..well, I scoff at your……FACE!
    MOTHER-FACER!!

  14. kcviking says:

    My lcs put this in my pull this week even though I didn’t request it. Asked why and was shown a box of 100 copies that was sent. Did DC do this everywhere or was it just a local thing?

    I politely put the book back on the shelf using your milquetoast quote, douche. Proper respect and all.

  15. optimous_douche says:

    On the issues coming in, that’s a question for a professional in the comic distribution arts. JD?

    As for the review, I seem to be somewhat solitary in my feelings, IGN gave it a fucking 9, which is virtually unheard of.

    Again, it’s a Cooke book (hehe) so the art is splendid. I just could not make myself care despite the valiant efforts.

  16. JD (Host) says:

    Yeah, methinks you were a bit too hard on it, Sir Douche.

    I maintain that the original Minutemen are potentially the only characters that I don’t know enough about and deserve further exploration. All of the “main” characters of Watchmen were explored as much as I needed them to be, but I was always curious about the Golden Age versions of the characters in this world and their exploits.

    And seriously, Darwyn Cooke is one of my top artists in the industry, so it’s worth the money just for his art.

    DC sent us 25 copies to sell “on commission” meaning we can send them back if they don’t sell, but I believe we ordered 100 copies on our own, plus 10 or so of the “combo pack”

  17. kcviking says:

    I trust your judgement douche. In the 3 plus years I’ve been reading your reviews/suggestions you haven’t steered me wrong yet.

  18. optimous_douche says:

    Thx KC, now I actually have a reason to be good.

  19. jaydee says:

    @pink apocalypse was RIGHT, we DO have sway! holy what?? What is wrong with people???

    ;)

  20. jaydee says:

    I was reading a review, and this fella said it better than I could:

    “And I think that’s the big difference between this book and the immortal series that inspired it: Watchmen was a work of deconstructing heroism. Before Watchmen plays it straight. That’s the big failing of this book, but that’s also a relative judgment — Cooke isn’t bringing that same ambition that Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons did, he’s just out to flesh out these characters more, to give them a heart and voice many of them lacked in the sidebars of Moore’s vision.

    Is that effort justified? Right now, that’s unclear. But Cooke approaches the page with both humility and panache — he knows he’s not Moore, and hand-waves away the angry comparisons from the very beginning. Once he gets into the structure of introducing the Minutemen one by one, you really feel the rhythm of the writing. In particular, Hooded Justice, Silk Spectre, and especially Mothman get solid introductions that inform either their basic characterization or the tone in which they operate.”
    - David Pepose, http://www.newsarama.com/comics/best-shots-before-watchmen-minutemen.html

  21. optimous_douche says:

    Oh, c’mon I said the same damn thing just with less words and more swears. Efficiency is the hallmark of my reviews sir.

  22. jaydee says:

    well, his review was more positive I think..you wouldn’t recommend buying it, but this guy did.
    so pbppbpbpthththh!

  23. kcviking says:

    I like to be informed, entertained and see the proper usage of vulgarity.

    What’s wrong with that?

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