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Dave Gibbons on Watchmen Prequel Video Game: It’s Canon

This choice quote comes from Kotaku:

Alan and I have always resisted doing any sort of back-story to the Watchmen graphic novel — at various times it’s been suggested that we could do the Comedian’s Vietnam War Diaries or Rorshach’s journal, which we thought would be a bit dopey. But the precedent is, at the time the original comics came out, Mayfair games did a role-playing game that Alan helped write bits of, and it’s completely canon, so this game uses a lot of that less-well known material.

The story they got it from is here. Also of interest to comics fans: Len Wein, the book’s editor, is writing the game’s script. So that could be interesting, although he’s far from the first comics writer to do a script for a superhero video game.

15 Comments

What about the cell phone game?

Well it sounds vaguely interesting, not that it really matters if it is considered canon by Dave Gibbons or not. The fact that it is a download game for xbox makes it sound like it would suck. A mystery/suspense game in the watchmen universe would be interesting, although I don’t think anything could do the comic justice. Especially without alan moore.

There is no canon.

There’s Watchmen, and that’s it. It stands alone just fine.

Omar Karindu, back from an Internet Thogal ritual

January 14, 2009 at 9:44 pm

What exactly does one do in a Watchmen game? Plot mass murder with Ozymandias? Torture suspects as Rorschach? Try to rape people in the Comedian chapters?

Jeremy Henderson

January 14, 2009 at 9:49 pm

This wasn’t a videogame, it was a tabletop RPG, like Dungeons & Dragons. The Watchmen Sourcebook was part of the DC Superheroes game published by Mayfair.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the only game that could miss the point of the source material more than a 3D beat-em-up where you play as Night Owl and Rorschach before the Keane act would be a No Country for Old Men first person shooter where you play as Anton Chigurh and Carson Wells in the Vietnam War.

All I have to say about this is that in the game, Rorschach has a “rage meter” and Nite Owl can shoot lightning at people.

It makes me very sad.

The DC Heroes RPG had one Watchmen sourcebook and (wiht some input fro Moore himself allegedly) a couple of playing modules (with covers by Gibbons) and even lead figures. Sadly, I couldn’t get my hand on the figures.

Overall the Mayfair RPG had sidebars and even whole sourcebooks made by writers and pencillers of the original comic stuff. The Legion of Super-Heroes sourcebook, for instance, was written by Tom and Mary Bierbaum and the Atlas of the DC Universe by Paul Kupperberg.

Hey, maybe it you do well enough, you get to stop Ozymandius! And arrest Comedian! And fix everyone else! And give Watchmen the big happy ending it’s been sorely lacking. Then Nite Owl could punch someone, and they’d say Ow, and he’s say, “I think you mean…Owl.” Then he gives us in the audience a big thumbs up in the final panel. While eating a Hostess cupcake.

E. Martin…what “allegedly” ? In the Gibbons quote above, it states it explicitly.

As for the rest of the comments, once upon a time Watchmen was a comic book, not the Bible.*

*I’m pretty sure that was said by a csbg person, not me.

Sheesh, you people need to buy the Watching The Watchmen book. The original RPG that this game is apparently based on was happily endorsed by Gibbons and Moore, who were actively involved in it’s production. Which, you know, it pretty much says right up there in the post you’re leaving comments on. So in terms of how “canon” it is, and how respectful of the source material it’s likely to be, I don’t see how it could have a better pedigree.

I don’t care about the game, because I’m not a gamer. But reading averybody attacking the thing just on principle, and making huge assumptions about what it’s going to be, leaves a bad taste in my mouth. At least wait untill you see the thing before slating it.

And you know, it’s not like you HAVE to buy the damn thing. Although, god forbid, it might actually be *fun*! GASP!

Wow, people sure can jump to conclusions. I thought it was fairly well known that it’s a prequel set in happier times before the Kean Act. The game might suck, but it’s existence doesn’t make Watchmen any less awesome. And if it doesn’t suck then it’s a fun game, and the more fun games there are in the world the better.

You have to remember that the original story itself told us that they all had long careers, most of which were not described in the 12 issues. What was the story behind Nite Owl and Rorschach taking down the Underboss? What was taking place when Ozymandius and the Comedian met (and Ozymandius lost)? How about when Dr. Manhattan actually fought crime? (Ask Moloch’s old gang.) Did Captain Metropolis ever actually do anything?

If the original writers were able to contribute to source material through a series of Role Playing Supplements, published by their employer no less, then how is that really any different than the background material found in the back of every issue?

Get a grip, haters. After reading the books many times, people claim they still find things they’ve never seen before. This is just another level of that.

DW

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