Before Watchmen: The Comedian #1

5 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Art: 5/10
Creativity : 5/10

Decent art, mediocre story

It's a Watchmen prequel

Edward Blake, professionally known as The Comedian, had his portion of the Before Watchmen series released today. Taking place prior to and on November 22nd, 1963, this issue presents a theory that men posing as FBI agents lured Blake away from Kennedy’s side, guaranteeing a successful assassination of the president. While this issue seems the closest to the ideas presented by Moore in the original Watchmen series it still comes across as high budget fan fiction, albeit with a twist. I’m not sure whether this twist is clever or just stupid. I think I’ll ponder this for a day or two, wasting even more of my precious time on the Before Watchmen series.

Written by Brian Azzzarello (100 Bullets) and drawn by J.G. Jones (Final Crisis, Wanted), this first issue (of six) in the Comedian’s saga is decent. It explores conspiracy theories, including the Kennedy assassination in addition to Marilyn Monroe’s “suicide,” attempting to add a historical element to the story. However, there is something missing, a certain artistic integrity that made Moore and Gibbons’ Watchmen such a literary accomplishment.

Maybe I’m placing my own biases in the forefront, allowing my love for Watchmen to cloud my judgment and see these books as subpar before they mature. Then again, maybe they’re nothing more than DC’s attempt to make a quick buck by cashing in on one of the most celebrated comics of the 20th century. I said something similar in my previous reviews of the Minutemen and Silk Spectre titles and I still believe it’s true, regardless of who is writing and drawing these titles. Nonetheless, unlike the Minutemen book and like the Silk Spectre comic, I’m interested to see where Azzarello and Jones are going with this series, even if it’s a bit foolish.

Author: Emmanuel Malchiodi View all posts by
Emmanuel Malchiodi is a freelance writer living in New York City but originally from Florida.

10 Comments on "Before Watchmen: The Comedian #1"

  1. Link2k June 21, 2012 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    when did this come out?

    • Emmanuel Malchiodi June 22, 2012 at 7:40 pm - Reply

      It came out this Wednesday. However, the Before Watchmen series began a few weeks back. 

  2. VroomFlorida June 22, 2012 at 6:34 pm - Reply

    I’ll never understand why the world needs a Watchmen prequel.


    • Emmanuel Malchiodi June 22, 2012 at 7:41 pm - Reply

      Other than DC looking for more cash I don’t understand it either. They’re not very good and even though I’ll read them (mostly so I can write about how awful they are) that doesn’t mean I like them. 

  3. Chris Keenan June 26, 2012 at 5:37 pm - Reply

    you guys are way to hard on this series…i think it is well done

    • Emmanuel Malchiodi June 27, 2012 at 9:42 am - Reply

      Maybe I am hard on this series. It’s probably because I believe Moore’s Watchmen is one of the most important and innovative comics of the 20th century; it’s also because Watchmen ended 25 years ago and was wrapped up so succinctly. The funny thing is I’m still reading these. 

      • Chris Keenan June 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm - Reply

         I’m a huge fan of the original also, but I think I’m one of only a few that love seeing these characters fleshed out in a different light. cant wait to see how you bash the night owl story!

        • Emmanuel Malchiodi June 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm - Reply

          Just picked it up about an hour ago and should have my review of it up tonight. To be fair, I haven’t bashed all of them (look at my review of the Silk Spectre book).

          • Chris Keenan June 27, 2012 at 5:49 pm -

             I did read it, I like your reviews i just think that you are hard on these books…But your points are valid, and i should be fair to your opinion. Keep up the good work Emmanuel

          • Emmanuel Malchiodi June 27, 2012 at 5:55 pm -

            Please, feel free to criticize my opinions. After all, I put them out here publically. When I get off work tonight I’m going to read the Nite Owl issue and review it. In my post about the Before Watchmen series, which I wrote a few months back, I said I hope these are good but that I wasn’t holding out any hope. Honestly, these have exceeded my expectations but I’m still pretty disappointed. The one book I’m looking foward to is the Dr. Manhattan issue; hopefully that one’s excellent.

            Thanks for reading and the dialogue. I enjoy it.

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