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#601855 - 02/04/13 01:48 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
jackdaw Offline
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Registered: 07/26/05
Posts: 514
Originally Posted By: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette
[quote=MBunge]
Even if you assume Moore is being unreasonable,* it still makes financial sense to keep him happy. People don't put up with Kanye West's tantrums because of their ideological preferences. They put up with him because then you get to sell another Kanye West album.



Exactly. DC may never have broken a contract with AM... but they have been pretty daft several times with the way they treated him.

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#601884 - 02/07/13 01:07 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: jackdaw]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7072
Minutemen #6...

It's the all-explication wrap-up issue. Good lord, what a mess. Okay, you ready?

Let's start with a nitpick another of Cooke's anachronisms. On page two, Marilyn Monroe makes a cameo with "her husband, the baseball player." On page three, Cooke has Hollis note, "It had been two weeks since that night with Justice." Last issue, "that night with Justice" was revealed as occurring in 1955. Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio were married from January 1954 to October 1954. I don't know if he's doing this on purpose, or whether he's really this lazy as a writer (I know he's a lazy artist).

On to more substantive criticism.


Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
Anyway, the revelation hasn't come out yet, but I think we're going to find out that HJ was killed by Hollis.

Sort of, but not exactly. In the raid on HJ's tower, Hollis strangles Hooded Justice with the noose he wears around his own neck, seemingly killing him. HJ's boyfriend Captain Metropolis then mysteriously appears (despite Hollis and Mothman having a very difficult time of getting in) to prevent HJ being unmasked. So, of course that wasn't really HJ under the mask. It was Blake (and of course he wasn't actually dead). Blake had already killed Rolf Muller (who did have a dark past of abusing and killing children), but didn't believe the guy he killed was HJ because Muller was "pushing 60" (as Blake was 61 when he was killed). Presumably, Blake shoots Muller's corpse in the head (despite having strangled him with a belt) and dumps the body in the river. Blake then kidnaps the boy from earlier in this series to put Hollis onto HJ's dark secrets... as a revenge for HJ kicking his ass for trying to rape Sally way back when.

Blake does his trademark break-in routine on Hollis to explain it all, and to tell him to edit out the parts of his book where he tells the HJ story as he knew it (including his confessing to killing HJ?), with the threat of Hollis being assassinated if he didn't comply (as Blake holds the gold Nite Owl trophy, no less). Hollis says he complies by burning the original pages, so what was still left for Dreiberg to get so upset about is anyone's guess. It is implied but not stated that he may be Laurie's real father, so maybe that was it.

Even Hollis' garage gets a *SECRET ORIGIN*. Mothman bought it for him. The final panel is a bit ironic, and I'll assume Cooke is cognizant of it. Someone brings in an "obsolete model" for Hollis to work on and his prognosis is, "It'll never be like it was when it was new, but there's still plenty of life in this old baby."


Alt cover by Becky Cloonan. I'm not a fan, but it's still kinda sad.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
Bob Kane

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#601885 - 02/07/13 01:44 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7072
Ozymandias #5...

"Being the world's smartest man does not, by extension, automatically make you the most creative." Pretty fitting opening for this issue, which just takes us through the background of setting up the telepathic squid attack. There's also a little sidestep into the street riots, which were apparently caused by the police going on strike when the costumed vigilantes proved too effective against crime so the cops didn't get their annual raise. Cameos by Doug Roth and Bernard the newsstand vendor.

Jae Lee continues his anti-Gibbons panel layouts, which is interesting, but his range of poses is appallingly spare and his tendency to silhouette is laughable.


Alt cover by Jill Thompson. Looks to be another rush job.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
Bob Kane

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#601886 - 02/07/13 02:23 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7072
Dollar Bill one-shot...

By-the-numbers origin story. Bill Brady, a down-on-his-luck small town boy who moves to New York takes on the role of the spokesman for the National Bank Company. In the initial interview for the job, Bill predictably says, "Can you at least get rid of the cape? It's bound to restrict my movements." After a media blitz popularizing their new mascot, the bank's lawyers (the firm of Dewey, Cheatham and Howe) advise Bill to apply to the Minutemen team, to which Bill balks because that's "REAL criminals using REAL guns with REAL bullets." Wein makes another biting social comment by having one of the lawyers say, "Trust me Billy-boy it's safe as HOUSES." Then, in the tryouts for the team, a fat guy dressed like Robin Hood runs out before he even gets an interview because he's intimidated by Dollar Bill. Is Len Wein an Ayn Rand fan or something?

Steve Rude does an admirable enough job on the art. Of particular interest, however, is the fact that he also did the lettering. BY HAND. The guy's an idiot and a loser in both business and life, and of course a total douche for being involved in this trash, but I gotta give him props on his dedication to the craft (unless he's just too dumb to figure out how to letter with a computer?).


Alt cover by Darwyn Cooke. At least they didn't sully anyone else's reputation.

_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
Bob Kane

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#601888 - 02/07/13 10:09 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Given how infrequently we get to enjoy a new comic book from Steve Rude, I'm sorry that this year's installment was a crappy BEFORE WATCHMEN tie-in.

I'll have to wait and see what Rude draws for 2014.

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#601922 - 02/20/13 05:06 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7072
Comedian #5...

I have no idea what the point of this is supposed to be. Blake is involved in brutally terrorizing some Vietnamese villages nothing new here and the CIA proposes covering it up. The CIA's report ends up in the hands of Dick Nixon (who says "hurm" as he peruses the document) who then has it left on the doorstep of Bobby Kennedy. That's about it. I'll guess Azzarello thinks he's going to be clever and tie RFK's assassination to the Comedian as well. Yawn.


Alt cover by Gary Frank. Despite his being closely associated with Straczynski for many years, and not working on much besides corporate properties, I always liked his work. Ah, well.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
Bob Kane

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#601941 - 03/07/13 02:53 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
MBunge Offline
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Registered: 07/19/01
Posts: 3386
Loc: Waterloo, Iowa, United States
Perhaps it's unfair to hold up Brian Azzarello as an example of all modern comic book writers, but the difference in competent plotting between his BW books and what an old school guy like Len Wein and TV guys like Cooke and JMS came up with is just night and day.

Mike

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#601943 - 03/09/13 08:06 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7072
Dr. Manhattan #4...

So this crap is finally over with. After Osterman is done shepherding all the multiverses back into one convergent timeline, he still feels like there is something "wrong." He feels his only option is to surrender his powers to the judgment of the world's smartest man, Adrian Veidt. While Straczynski predictably fills many panels quoting lines from Moore's original script, he completely ignores one of the most memorable ones: "This world's smartest man means no more to me than does its smartest termite." We are to believe that it was Osterman who sought Veidt's mercy in order to figure out what the "static obscuring the future" (Watchmen #9, page 17, panel 3) might be and how to see past it, rather than simply Veidt seeking Osterman's cooperation to harness Osterman's powers into useful and lucrative technologies. So Veidt constructed (or at least had plans to construct) this veil over the future prior to having access to Osterman's power? Bitch, please.

As a strange side note, Ozymandias apparently cracked jokes like Spider-Man whilst fighting crime, albeit with a more professorial tone. Doc shows up during a thwarted museum heist with no panties on, and Ozy doesn't bat an eyelash. Weird.

In a lame attempt to try and muck with the panel arrangement (as Alan Moore so often does to brilliant effect), they flip seven pages upside-down during the time where Osterman has surrendered all judgment to Veidt. None of this section would make any sense whatsover to anyone who hasn't read the original I thought the point of Before Watchmen was supposed to be expanding the audience? Oddly, things are only set aright at the point Veidt asks, "I did the right thing, didn't I?" Seriously? Something changed in Osterman's consciousness at *that* point?

The anti-climax of an ending is Doc landing on another planet and creating some life. Like that was actually necessary for us to see.

Decent enough artwork by Hughes and Martin. Lots of repeated panels. Probably more backgrounds in this issue than previous issues. An extremely fleshy schlong shot that not only wasn't necessary, it was anachronistic. Even after Ozymandias retired in 1975, and at least until 1977, Doc was still wearing shorts in public (Watchmen #4, pages 21 and 23). I guess Hughes just wanted to draw a schlong.

Alt cover by Boleslav Sienkiewicz. If it took him more than thirty minutes, I'd like an explanation.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
Bob Kane

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#601954 - 03/15/13 06:48 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7072
Rorschach #4...

Three months later. But at least it's over.

To recap, Kovacs had asked his waitress girlfriend on a date, but got picked up by some of the pimp Rawhead's men before he could get there. The waitress is met by an ominous unidentified man. Also, there's a blackout in NYC and everybody's going crazy in the streets.

Rawhead steals Rorschach's mask to put on himself and go out in the street and act stupid, then is killed by some random guy with a baseball bat. Kovacs is left to die at the hands of one of Rawhead's thugs, but is saved when Rawhead's pet tiger (seen briefly last issue) attacks the thug. Kovacs retrieves his mask (with a "Hurm") and the scene jumps from 1977 to 1982.

Rorschach's journal entries are now handwritten, but he's still strangely focused on the events of five years earlier. The waitress had of course been attacked by the mysterious man, who even carved on her back the words "Bright Lies, Big City" (yet another anachronistic reference, this time to either the 1988 film, or the 1984 book it was based on, Bright Lights, Big City), but she apparently lived and testified against her attacker, who only served three years while awaiting trial then was acquitted on some legal technicality. Rorschach of course kills him. The end.

The attacker is identified by name, but it's just some random guy. The answer to my question as to how the waitress was disposed of was simply "Presumably, she left town." If there was a point to this story, I sure as hell missed it.

Somewhat more consistent art this time by Lee Bermejo. The photo references aren't quite so Bradstreet-ish. The cover is based on something else, but I can't quite put my finger on it right now. I'm thinking it's something by Frank Miller.

Alt cover by Lady Death leftover, Ivan Reis. Very bland.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
Bob Kane

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#601957 - 03/15/13 06:53 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7072
Ironically, the first guy to die in the original series has the last Before Watchmen series to finish.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
Bob Kane

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