Watchman 2. Want fries with that?

Oh yes, now that Paul Levitz (AKA the voice of reason) has stepped down as president of DC Comics, Dan DiDio has a chance to make another of his dream projects a reality: WATCHMEN II. This is great news, especially considering how fabulous his previous dream projects have turned out! It might even get Wizard magazine to actually due articles about comics again! Oh wait, they'd probably just try to dig up whatever information they possibly could about a movie tie in. Whoopsies!

How do I feel about this? Well, even if this project were to get the full go ahead, I'd end up avoiding it. WATCHMEN by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons is not a particularly liked read to me. I liked it better maybe fifteen years ago when realism in comics (AKA dark and epic, soul sucking stuffs) still had an appeal to me. WATCHMEN is considered the greatest work in comics, but not by me. That and THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS by Frank Miller are considered the two works that signaled the medium and genre "growing up". I do prefer DKR to WATCHMEN because Miller did some interesting visual stuff in there, and it had a really biting commentary of the media.

So, if it's that great, why don't I like it? First off, I think everyone who is serious about comics should give it a read. Its extremely well done. I want to be perfectly clear here. Just because I don't like something, does not make it a bad work. If something is bad, I'll let you all know. WATCHMEN is not poorly written. It certainly isn't poorly illustrated. Its the content and tone of the story that do not appeal to me. The story takes rifts from the old Charlton Comics characters (Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, The Question, etc.) and basically beats them over the head with the 'realism' stick. I found myself pitying the characters. I know there's a lot of people know think Rorschach is the greatest thing since Batman, and that's sad on a number of levels. They're lives are all complete train wrecks. What I get from WATCHMEN is the message that being a superhero will either wreck your life or just kill you outright. Even the fellow that retired from it and passed him identity onto another gets brutally killed.

Screw that. I'll be over here reading THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SCROOGE MCDUCK COMPANION.

So, I guess that means I won't be picking up the possible sequel. Well there is one way. If the tone of the sequel runs the exact opposite direction of the first series, I'll be all over it. I want it to be cute, heart-warming and with the whimsy factor cranked up to 11. I want the characters taking brief timeouts from saving the world to save kittens from being stuck in trees. I want to laugh out loud at it for all the right reasons. I want Gail Simone to write it with art by China Chugston-Majors. The original series was one of the harbingers of the dark age of the superhero genre. Remember those? The 90s? When for a brief time Spider-man wore black, stopped telling jokes and was dark and HaRdC0Re! Let WATCHMEN II be send out a message: "Yeah, we did the dark, epic stuff. We've moved on."

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