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02/04 — Cynical Comic Book Guy Says…

The bad joke about further Watchmen material is that 99.9999% of the people who bitch about the idea will still buy whatever DC puts out.



We’ve already had PLENTY of “Watchmen” spin-off projects. It’s called JMS’s entire career.

I just hope they do a shot-for-shot remake of the Moore/Gibbons original, only with new talent like Judd Winick and Tony Daniel.

“The Adventures of Young Rorschach” is a comic called “Kick-Ass.”

As long as the new “Watchmen” comic is titled, “Countdown Aftermath: Watchmen: The Minutemen: Year One: Secret Origin,” then I’m good to go.

All these hilarious jokes, and more, coming in the next Splash Page podcast.

You forgot the “Blackest Night” tie-in Watchmen #13 where Black Lantern Rorschach comes back…

Rorschach dies?!

fucking spoiler alert, please…

Thank God Sandman is part of Vertigo so Dan Didio can’t do anything with the character.

"O" the Humanatee!

February 4, 2010 at 1:30 pm

So I go to the link and see that it’s all vague rumblings from Rich Johnston about vague rumblings he’s heard about. The Watchmen movie was not anywhere near the box office success that was hoped for (though I suppose, over time, there will be good revenues from the videos). Several months ago Diamond was offering strongly marked-down overstock Watchmen action figures and other licensed stuff. So is there really much demand for further Watchmen comics?

“Watchmen Babies in: V for Vacation”

noodles — You… you’re joking, right?

I may have mentioned this before, but seriously, if DC wants to have another Watchmen book on the shelves, they should package the original Ditko stories about Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, and the Question into a thick, color affordable trade and put “Watchmen: Origins” on the spine, using the same logo.

The material is far more similar to Watchmen than most fans realize. The whole “superheroes as symbols of fascism and/or libertarianism” debate is right there in the original stories of all three characters. So is the nine-panel layout. The best part: no one could complain about them not honoring the original material! This IS the original material. I can’t even imagine that Moore wouldn’t mind that much.

Like it or not . if DC wants to do a sequal they will go through with out one way or another. and with out Alan moore since he stated time and time again no watchman two. though if they really want some more type watchman they should just publish the twilight of the heroes. watchman done dc style. by alan moore. for Dc is going to do a sequal to watchman if they want to though if fans wind up not buying it then they will learn the lesson that they should have left it alone.

You’re being unfair to JMS, Tim.

Supreme Power and Rising Stars are actually spin-offs of Miracleman. :p

Matt Bird’s idea is good.

Matt Bird’s idea is good.

Exactly. meaning the chances of Didio doing it are nonexistent.

There’s always the Mayfair Games DC Heroes Watchmen Sourcebook and adventure(s). They had supplemental material which explored the “Crimebusters” team and their first team adventure; entertainingly reflective of the overall narrative.

Citizen Scribbler

February 4, 2010 at 2:54 pm

I like Matt Bird’s idea, but let’s take it even further. How about altering the art and captions so that you actually turn Captain Atom into Doctor Manhattan and so forth? And a new coloring job by the same colorist for the Watchmen. I’ve got my Action Heroes Archives already, plus almost all of the originals, but a Watchmen reworking would definately get me to buy it again.

Or that could just be a bad idea.

-Citizen Scribbler

Tim, you forgot the word “Rebirth” in your title. I’m sure it was just a typo.

I would most definitely buy Watchmen Babies: V for Vacation. In fact, I would have no problem with stories from the Minutemen or Crimebusters era. A sequel is a monumentally stupid idea, but for story reasons, not because it’s a moral violation or something.

Should I have stopped reading Batman when Bob Kane left the book? Did Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns mean that Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One should not have been written?

Why should the Watchmen characters be treated any differently than Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan or Superman?

Daniel O' Dreams

February 4, 2010 at 4:19 pm

The thing is there have been a lot of mediocre to terrible stories with Holmes, Tarzan and Superman. They have recovered from those stories, for the same reason they have stood the test of time, because they are iconic characters. We don’t know how iconic Watchmen’s cast will be viewed in the decades to come. We don’t know if they can afford to be in bad stories. So it’s safer to not have them in anymore stories. Remember that disastrous Gone With The Wind sequel? It may not have killed the original but it sure didn’t help.

Wow, I’m really thinking too much about this!

Mutt — There’s a possible difference in the creators of said characters/stories and their wishes/willingness to allow things after them. One of the issues here is that Moore and Gibbons have passed numerous times on doing more with these characters and their world. That DC still owns the rights is only because of the then-unheard of circumstance of Watchmen not going out of print since its release.

C’mon, Mister O’Dreams. That’s like saying you shouldn’t play a game because you might lose. And the notion that a bad sequel ruins the original is just screwy. The original will always exist as it is. (Unless George Lucas is involved.)

The rage I’ve been reading about this around the blogs today has hit Ludicrous Speed.

Everybody hates Sequels! So, no Road Warrior or Empire Strikes Back?

Everybody hates Spin-Offs! So, no Maude?

Everybody hates Prequels! So, no Batman: Year One?

Everybody hates Remakes! So, no Maltese Falcon or The Thing?

Chill out, folks. If you don’t want to read it, then don’t. But don’t act like somebody is pissing on a Koran.

Chad, I see your point and I agree that it would be nice if Moore and Gibbons were in control. But they’re not. (And shouldn’t Higgins, Wein and Kesel have a say as well?)

And I find Moore’s “purity” a little suspect anyway, given that so much of what he is famous for is pastiche, parody and re-imaginings. He says his comics shouldn’t be adapted to film because they were meant to be comics, yet he has no problem adapting prose characters into comics.

If DC threw a butt-load of money at Moore and Gibbons to do a Minutemen miniseries, wouldn’t you buy it? And don’t you think that Moore, while he was writing Watchmen, didn’t write a dozen Minutemen stories in his head? He would have had to, in order to make their backstory so rich. You can’t write and draw a panel of Doctor Manhattan blowing up a guy’s head without knowing where that moment came from. Why wouldn’t he want to tell those stories.

DC should do the right thing and re-negotiate the contract. Moore should get over himself. He wrote Youngblood, for crying out loud.

Mutt — I only include Moore and Gibbons because that’s who the rights would have reverted to, I believe (and I could be wrong). And, in most creator-owned books for DC these days, the rights are almost always owned by the writer and artist.

If Moore and/or Gibbons wanted to do more, sure, I’d give it a look, because the main issue/problem for many wouldn’t exist then.

Moore’s ‘purity’ is somewhat suspect as you mention since he does like to play with others’ toys without necessarily wanting to extend the same courtesy to others. Then again, most of the characters he uses were created by people long dead and in the public domain. Also, he hasn’t prevented his work from being adapted, he’s just wanted nothing to do with it, which is different and completely understandable (the lengths to which he’s gone to distance himself from the adaptations aren’t entirely).

Watchmen itself is at least partially based on the Charlton heroes. In fact, Moore and Gibbons were originally going to use them, until DC said that they would like to keep them as part of the DCU instead. This was all revealed in Dick Giordano’s “Meanwhile …” columns in the mid-80’s. So it became a roman a clef of sorts; Rorshach – Question, Silk Spectre – Nightshade, Nite Owl – Blue Beetle (right down to the flying bug ship and a Golden Age Nite Owl), Dr. Manhattan – Captain Atom, etc. I’m guessing the Peacemaker became the Comedian, and I’m unsure who the inspiration for Ozymandias is.

Ozy was inspired by Peter Canyon, Thunderbolt, and you’re correct about Comedian coming from Peacemaker.
i would love to have Watchmen: Prequels with the original characters. That would be fun!
Whoops! Forgot we’re talking Watchmen.
That would certainly be an interesting look back at the beginnings of these characters who have been turned into examples of…. whatever. i never liked Watchmen that much anyway.

My original report has been a little… pumped up hasn’t it?

But I stand by what I saud. Watchmen is DC’s biggest selling comic book ever. It has sold milions of copies to the masses, not us hardcore few. Even if we don’t buy Watchmen Origins: Rorschach who says that Joe Public won’t?

I’ve read somewhere (I think it was on this very site) that Moore entertained thoughts of doing Watchmen prequels with the Minutemen way back before he broke up with DC.

Mutt, I can’t see Moore ever coming back to DC, no matter how much money they threw at him. That ship has sailed a long time ago. There was a time in the late 1990s or early 2000s that Alan Moore could have come back to Marvel, actually (and I have wet dreams of Alan Moore writing the Fantastic Four or the Incredible Hulk), I seem to remember that Quesada was courting him, and Moore said on one interview that he would consider working for Marvel if they gave him back the rights to all his creations such as the Captain Britain stories he wrote, and if Marvel started a completely new deal with him from scratch. But it never happened. The interesting thing is, even when he considered working for Marvel, Alan Moore was saying that he’d never work for DC again.

“Thank God Sandman is part of Vertigo so Dan Didio can’t do anything with the character.”

Vertigo *belongs* to DC comics. So, unless there’s a written contract (verbal ones aren’t worth crap) saying otherwise, what some uppity British writer might think doesn’t matter.

I don’t remember many people screaming, “OMG! Alan Moore has ruined Swamp Thing! He’s spitting on Len Wein! Alec is not dead!”

Why not? Because the story was brilliant.

Nothing is sacrosanct.

Nothing is, Mutt…

Of course, my original point being about the hypocrisy of people remains. I honestly have no problem with people who want to see more stuff with those characters and would buy it. I do have a problem with the people who bitch and whine about it and how awful DC is, but will still plunk down the money for it. (And, no, just reading scans online isn’t any better… that just makes you a cheap hypocrite…) If you’re going to have a principle, stand on it. That’s what my real point is.

That’s my point too, Chad. The disconnect between what people say they want (and don’t want) and what they buy. But also about what they say is an unacceptable use of another creator’s characters in an era (largely started by Moore) when mining comic book history for story hooks is the industry standard.

Tom Fitzpatrick

February 4, 2010 at 7:08 pm

If DC was going to do a sequel to Watchmen, they would have done it a long time ago.

Then again, it wasn’t almost 20 years ago that they DID do two follow-ups on Crisis on Infinite Earths.

So who knows? Still the question is: would people buy it?

Tom Fitzpatrick

February 4, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Excuse me, that “almost 2 years ago”

A typo. ;-)

Still haven’t seen the movie and don’t intend to. I still revere the original too much to bring myself to watch it.

Back to what Chad said before all the comments: the fact that DC is JUST NOW realizing that shocking projects that proceed to be shat upon by the Internet will be top sellers is proof that they haven’t been paying attention to sales figures (House of M, Civil War, Infinite Crisis, Secret Invasion, Blackest Night…).

“Watchmen Babies in: V for Vacation”

Just watched that episode earlier tonight. Love it, but didn’t quite remember how…inside, I guess, it was.

Make the sequel ridiculous on purpose– Watchmen vs Transformers, or something like that. Then it won’t matter that it doesn’t live up to the original.

Make the sequel ridiculous on purpose– Watchmen vs Transformers, or something like that. Then it won’t matter that it doesn’t live up to the original.

That would actually be the smart move. Everybody is joking about Watchmen Babies, but why not do a Johnny DC title? Take the expectations absurdly low and do something totally unexpected with the characters. Even Alan Moore wouldn’t put one of his famous Hexes on a kid friendly homage/parody.

The worst thing that DC could do is the far more likely scenario. Hire a some name writers and artists that just below the “A list”. Have them do a series of prequel mini-series that mimic all the familiar WATCHMEN tics, like the 9 panel grid … most of the time.

Sorry Mary Warner , I meant to a put blockquotes around the quote I pulled from your earlier post.

Well, as a HUGE fan of Watchmen, there is no way I am going to buy any sequel to it. That would be like someone making Citizen Kane 2: The Revenge of Rosebud, or something.

And if I was a professional comic book writer, I wouldn’t go near such a project in a million years. It would be the ultimate poisoned chalice. Yeah, sure, plenty of unthinking fanboys would buy it, and it’d make a ton of money, but critics and readers with any integrity are going to absolutely hate it. And the recipient of all that vitriol is likely not to be Dan Didio, or whatever executive greenlights a sequel, but the individual who get credited as “writer” on the book.


February 4, 2010 at 11:05 pm

Thank God Sandman is part of Vertigo so Dan Didio can’t do anything with the character.

That’s where Neil Gaiman’s a little smarter – he came after Alan Moore.

So that they didn’t lose him, the deal was a little sweeter, and, he never fully said ‘no, I’ll never work you with again’ he said ‘as long as you leave the character alone, I may come back’.
He gave them a carrot.

Also, I’m sure the thinking is that no one else could write Sandman, as it’s Neil’s voice shining through.
It’s the same with Watchmen… but because it’s superheroes, they probably think they can make it work.

Still haven’t seen the movie and don’t intend to. I still revere the original too much to bring myself to watch it.

I get where you’re coming from, but personally, I don’t want to watch it because it looks like a terrible film, and everything the filmmakers have said about it makes me think they don’t understand what made Watchmen great.

Don’t worry, Dean. Your comment was immediately after mine, so everyone could see you were quoting me. It doesn’t really need attribution or anything.

And I don’t even know how blockquotes are done. How can I be offended if someone else doesn’t use them?

I don’t get what the big deal is. DC is a business, this is their biggest selling product EVER, they want to make a sequel / spin-off to male more money!

If anyone has a problem with it then its simple: dont read or buy the material! Why cant people just ignore stuff they dont like or dont think will be good instead of bitching and complaining about it! I loved Dark Knight Returns, and I hated Dark Knight Strikes Again but just because Strikes Again is out there stinking up the bookshelves doesnt diminish Dark Knight Returns in any way.

If something is released that you think will suck or is an insult to the creators then dont buy it, surely that is the ultimate protest? DC are more likely to look at sales figures as a barometer of success rather than listen to fanboys pissing and moaning on the internet that their beloved characters have been desecrated.

I love Watchmen (the comic book series), but I didnt rate the film very highly. However, I am able to separate them into two distinct entities. The suckiness of the movie does not detract from my enjoyment of the book.

is Watchmen actually DC’s biggest selling title of all time? Are we sure about that? It just sounds a little unlikely, what with it not featuring Batman and all…

Gavin, I am pretty sure, mainly due to its resurgence in the last few years and its extensive presence in mainstream bookstores, that Watchmen is DC’s biggest seller, not in comic book form but definietly in its collected edition.

Yes, Batman’s presence sells lots of stuff but I dont think any one Batman book has outsold Watchmen. I could be wrong but I am pretty sure that Watchmen is perhaps the best selling graphic novel / TPB of all time. Remember last year, just as anticipation for the movie was growing, it was selling by the truck load almost every month.

Watchmen was consistently on the top of best seller lists most of 2008 and 2009. The closet Batman book was usually the Killing Joke and it was usually well below it. Even though it’s dropped a lot since then it still outsells most of the older Batbooks.

It’s not Death of Superman?

Chad, for the record, I am not joking.

And please don’t tell me if a giant telepathic squid explodes or not.

Personally I can’t wait for the commentary from the people who will download it illegally or just flip through the copy at the store before they head over to the boards and start their furious tirade about it.

Vertigo belongs to DC Comics, but it is a separate imprint that is not under the preview of Dan Didio(t), who is Exec Dir of “DC Universe”.

You may worship at the altar of Karen Berger for all Vertigo-groovy things.

Watchmen is DC’s biggest selling trade paperback of all time, not biggest selling title. Biggest selling title of all time at DC is Batman but then there are almost 900 issues so it damn well better be.

Why does everyone keep saying Didio can’t do anything with the Neil Gaiman Sandman character? The character has appeared in DCU proper before, in Morrison’s JLA. Why can’t he appear in DCU proper again?

That Morrison JLA appearance was with Gaiman’s express permission. Not saying Didio couldn’t do whatever he wanted, just noting that there is a clear precedent for creators seeking Gaiman’s permission to use Dream and Death.

Christian Otholm

February 6, 2010 at 7:40 am

Please don’t compare finite stories, like Watchmen, Citizen Kane, with ongoing serials, like Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan and Superman. The sequel is a terrible idea and we all know it.

“Nothing is sacrosanct.”

Certainly true, but that doesn’t mean that a sequel to one of the most beloved comics of all time is anything but pointless, bound to be terrible, and an ugly moneygrab.

“Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends.”
-Doctor Manhattan

“Nite Owl and Silk Spectre. Sounds neat.”

“Silk Spectre’s too girly, y’know? Plus, I want a better costume, that protects me; Maybe something leather, with a mask over my face. Also, maybe I oughta carry a gun.”

“Go on just run whichever you want. I leave it entirely in your hands.”
– Godfrey

All from the last six pages of Watchmen. For a story that should never, ever have a sequel, the writer sure set one up. In fact, that last panel is a pure cliffhanger.

I think most people miss the real point, here. A Watchmen sequel/prequel/spinoff wouldn’t be bad because it wasn’t written by Alan Moore, or because it wouldn’t have his blessing, or because it would take away from the original, or because the original is finite in nature, or because it couldn’t possibly live up to the original. None of that. It would be bad because it would suck. It would be a terrible book, likely horribly written, with awful artwork, that is thoroughly unenjoyable on any level. If it were a good comic, it would be good, no matter what else was going on around its creation. But it wouldn’t be a good comic. It would suck.

And that’s why it would be terrible.

@ The Mutt:

You would be hard pressed to say anything about WATCHMEN that I disagreed with more than describing it as “open ended”, or “designed for a sequel”.

Contemporary to his work on WATCHMEN, Moore was publishing text pieces arguing that the principal problem with corporate superhero comics was the unending nature of their stories. The conflicts the Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced to the FANTASTIC FOUR did not ultimately matter precisely because they could not change anything fundamental. Frankly, it is hard to look at the last 25 years in comics (including his own LEAGUE OF EXTRA-ORDINARY GENTLEMEN franchise) and not conclude that he was right.

Moore intentionally wrote WATCHMEN in the most closed ended manner possible. It is a loop. It begins with Rorschach’s journal, follows it through his entire investigation and concludes with someone picking up the same journal. The narrative ends by sending us back to the beginning. The cheerful optimism at the on the part of Ozymadias is meant to be ironic. He killed all those people for absolutely no goof reason. If Moore has had one consistent theme through his entire career, then it has been the futility of violence and power.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

February 6, 2010 at 6:10 pm

@Brian and T: At least some of the Gaiman thing may have lapsed, since Daniel/Dream showed up a few more times in the JSA series, and I’m not sure Gaiman OKed every one of those for Geoff Johns. Of course, his role was rather marginal there, so who knows?

I seem to remember reading somewhere that Gaiman gave Johns’s permission to use Daniel in relation to ending the storylines of his parents.

If DC really wants to do more “Watchmen” material, I agree that the best bet would be to return to the Charlton characters. Perhaps using the Earth-4 introduced in 52, with the “film noir” (read: Watchmen-influenced) version of the Charlton characters.

I’ll read a sequel but only if it’s done by the original creative team. If not that, then a collaboration between Chuck Austen and Rob Liefeld. Come on, tell me you wouldn’t talk a peak just to check our the train wreck.

[…] 02/04 — Cynical Comic Book Guy Says… (goodcomics.comicbookresources.com) […]

I have to agree with Dean here. The Watchmen was a story unto itself. It wasn’t a “Universe” to be unendingly played in. Solution. Ignore the current Watchmen series. It worked for me.

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