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.