Each new title will be about a certain character. The titles are Rorschach, Minutemen, Comedian, Dr. Manhattan, Nite Owl, Silk Spectre, and Ozymandias.
This is a deviation from the original work which was simply twelve issues that is more commonly fond today as a trade book with all twelve issues collected together. The original was one story while these prequels will focus on the characters.
“You’re going to get the Rorschach that you know and want. It’s a very visceral story we’re going to be telling,” Brian Azzarello said. Azzarello will be writing Rorschach and Comedian.
Alan Moore, the writer of Watchmen, told the New York Times that he is not pleased with the creation of Before Watchmen.
Moore said that he thinks these sequels will only continue to have comics be viewed as not authentic literature.
“As far as I know,” he said, “there weren’t that many prequels or sequels to ‘Moby-Dick.’ ”
J. Michael Straczynski, the writer for Nite Owl and Dr. Manhattan, said this in an interview with Heat Vision about Moore’s reaction to the prequel series.
“Leaving aside the fact that the Watchmen characters were variations on pre-existing characters created for the Charlton Comics universe, it should be pointed out that Alan has spent most of the last decade writing very good stories about characters created by other writers, including Alice (from Alice in Wonderland), Dorothy (from Wizard of Oz), Wendy (from Peter Pan), as well as Captain Nemo, the Invisible Man, Jekyll and Hyde, and Professor Moriarty (used in the successful League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). I think one loses a little of the moral high ground to say, ‘I can write characters created by Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle and Frank Baum, but it’s wrong for anyone else to write my characters.’ “
People on Twitter have been posting their reactions to the announcement of Before Watchmen. It seems that fans of the original work may be divided on the announcement of this new series.