Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Watchmen comics I'd be totally okay with:

1.) Tiny Watchmen by Art Baltazar and Franco

2.) Watchmenstruation by Johnny Ryan (If you're going to take a crap on a classic comic, why not turn to the expert?)

3.) Watchmice by Art Spiegelman

4.) The Watchmen Strike Again by Frank Miller (You might think I'm kidding, but I'm totally serious. They have to use this exact title, though)

5.) Watchmen Gallery (I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before, but I think DC's best strategy for exploiting Watchmen further than they already have would be to publish one of those Gallery books they used to do in the '90s—I remember buying ones featuring Batman, Death and the Justice League, although I know there were others out there too—in which they would basically have a bunch of great artists contribute pin-ups. It would give them a new comic book, or even comic book series—Mike Allred had a Madman miniseries like this, and DC's JLA-to-Z was essentially a pin-up collection with short bios of various characters offered as a primer to Marvel readers during the JLA/Avengers crossover—that wouldn't actually be a new story. I think that would allow prominent creators to "cover" Gibbons and Moore's work without feeling like jerks, and even those appalled by the idea of a Watchmen 2 something they could comfortably purchase or, at the very least, not feel the need to organize against. Hell, I'd drop $3 on 20-pages of pin-ups of Paul Pope drawing Silk Spectre and Geoff Darrow that squid-thing and Joe Kubert Ozymandias and his genetically-engineered cat thing or whatever. Slap an Alex Ross or Jim Lee or Brian Bolland cover on that sucker and ship away. On a similar note, I guess they could do like some popular manga series like Death Note and Full Metal Alchemist have done and publish some sort of guidebook, with, like, character bios or profiles and suchlike, although I think that would still seem pretty crass compared to a straight-up gallery, which could at least be interpreted as a tribute in addition to a cash grab).

6.) Watchmen Vs. Justice League (I was only 3/4ths kidding when I said that if DC were gonna do it, they should just do it and make it as crass and silly as possibleWatchmen vs. V For Vendetta, etc. Following Watchmen on its own terms is just silly. But what if they get someone like Grant Morrison—probably the only creator of Moore's stature who both works for DC and conceivably wouldn't mind needling the hell out of Moore by doing this—or Geoff Johns—who is synonymous with DC Comics in 2011-going-on-'12 and is an ideal awesome comics/stupid comics writer—and pair them with an unimpeachably talented drawer of superhero comics like, say, George Perez, and do a semi-silly, Gardner Fox style heroes of two worlds crossover in today's super-serious melodramatic style. Where, I don't know, having failed to save their world from nuclear war, Ozymandius sends a handful of his fellow heroes to the DC Universe to try saving it, only to find that its got like 200 guys who are all as powerful as Doctor Manhattan. They could fight, and then team-up. I'd buy that before I'd buy Comedian: Year One or Rorshach Begins)


Jer said...

The problem for DC is that there's no compelling reason to DO a sequel to Watchmen other than commercial ones. A compelling sequel could have been done in the late 80s when the Cold War was still hot and "mature" comics were just popping into the mainstream. Watchmen today is more than a cult classic - it's a snapshot of life in the 1980s (as told via an alternate universe, of course) and the Cold War is an essential character of that story.

Any sequel told today is going to be lesser not because of the talent involved but because the world has moved on. You can't do a sequel without it being either a homage or a pastiche because that world only exists in memories. The relevance it had then has transitioned into historical relevance, and something written today set in that same world, is going to feel like cheap historical fiction at best rather than relevant commentary on real situations (which is why Watchmen was a classic of the time and remains a classic, even as the world it describes no longer really exists).

I'm sure that won't stop them from eventually trying to tap into the nostalgia of comics buyers and doing a sequel, but the sequel will ALWAYS be lesser in this case because it's too late. And it can only serve to highlight the flaws in the original work that we currently dismiss because if its placement in the canon of the "maturing" of comic books. Much like Frank Miller's DK2 only really pointed out how deeply flawed his DKR really was.

SallyP said...

If I can't have Watchment babies, then Tiny Watchmen would be acceptable.

Akilles said...

The last one is a pretty great idea for a story.

Michael said...

The idea of a gallery style comic full of pin-ups is dead on. That's exactly what they should do in order to get the best talent to contribute to something that's not offensive to the Watchmen purist.

Alternately, DC could also do an original project using the actual Charlton characters intended to work as a companion piece to Moore's work.