Comic Review: Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre

Published: July 13th, 2012 – November 28th, 2012
Written by: Amanda Conner, Darwyn Cooke, John Higgins, Len Wein
Art by: Amanda Conner, John Higgins, Paul Mounts
Based on: Watchmen by Alan Moore

DC Comics, 126 Pages

Review:

This wasn’t one of the Before Watchmen books that I was anticipating when compared to the ones featuring the characters I like more: The Comedian and Rorschach. But man, I was pleasantly surprised by this and that has a lot to do with the writing.

Silk Spectre’s story was penned by Amanda Conner, Darwyn Cooke, John Higgins and Len Wein – a pretty solid team. But a lot of times, this many writers can create a clusterfuck. This wasn’t. It had a nice flow to it and it made Silk Spectre a richer character than she was if all you’ve ever read with her is the original Watchmen.

I also really dug Amanda Conner, John Higgins and Paul Mounts art. It fit well with the story and did the proper job of reflecting the era where this tale primarily takes place.

As much as I like Alan Moore’s original Wathcmen, this gives both Silk Spectre characters a deeper exploration and in fact, makes them more interesting. It’s also cool seeing how the Comedian is involved in a very pivotal moment in the younger Silk Spectre’s life.

This story is kind of tragic but it helps build more context to the character and her life. Granted, this wasn’t written by the character’s creator but I don’t think that it, in any way, diminishes Alan Moore’s overall vision. And this, like most of these Before Watchmen comics, seems to truly respect the source material while building off of it in a great way.

Rating: 8.25/10
Pairs well with: other Before Watchmen stories, as well as Watchmen and Doomsday Clock.

Comic Review: Before Watchmen: Minutemen

Published: June 6th, 2012 – January 23rd, 2013
Written by: Darwyn Cooke
Art by: Darwyn Cooke, Dave Stewart
Based on: Watchmen by Alan Moore

DC Comics, 164 Pages

Review:

Working my way through all of the Before Watchmen stuff has finally brought me to the story about the Minutemen. I was excited about this one, beforehand, as it is the one chapter in the saga that focuses on the earliest stuff in the Watchmen timeline. Plus, I was excited to see Darwyn Cooke’s take on Alan Moore’s stupendous universe.

Overall, this was a good, solid read. Cooke’s art style, here, really encapsulated the feel of the World War II era. All the characters looked fantastic in their sort of pulpy ’40s style.

The story shows how the Minutemen came together but the most interesting part of the story is the dynamic between the team members and how they’re all pretty damaged people having to play up appearances for the public.

Cooke tackles a lot of issues within the pages of this collection without being too heavy handed about it. Frankly, it just works and works well.

I liked seeing and understanding these characters at a deeper level because as great as they all were in the original Watchmen story, they didn’t have much time to shine with the events of that book being focused on the heroes that became their heirs.

Rating: 7.25/10
Pairs well with: other Before Watchmen stories, as well as Watchmen and Doomsday Clock.