On July 21 Wired.com caught up with comic book legend Alan Moore during which time he revealed that this past week DC Entertainment contacted him with an offer; write “some dopey prequels and sequels” to WATCHMEN and the rights to the genre defining property will belong soley to Alan Moore himself. This is the proverbial deal with the devil for Moore as DC seems to be the last company that he would ever do business with again. Not surprisingly, he declined their offer. Never mind that completely different people are in charge of the brand since he last worked there. But I guess a suit is a suit. Some call it integrity, others call it foolish and most are just disappointed as Alan Moore’s return to mainstream super hero comics would be a wish fulfillment at the top of most fan boys bucket lists.
Regardless of whether or not Moore would have made this same decision ten years ago, you have to respect his gumption. “…I don’t want Watchmen back. Certainly I don’t want it back under those kinds of terms” sums up the ceremonial magician’s feelings on the matter and squashes DCE’s plan to trump the competition with what surely would have been the biggest piece of news at SDCC.
My questions is not “Why Won’t Alan Moore Write more Watchmen?” I think the answer to that question is obvious and Moore himself couldn’t be clearer. My question is “What's so wrong with someone else writing more Watchmen?”
For years fans have screamed sacrilege at the faintest whisper of anyone besides Moore writing any sort of Watchmen follow-up and now with the changing of guard at DC and Paul Levitz out of the leadership role, Dan Didio has made it pretty clear that if they find the right creative team the cash cow is hitting the stands whether we like it or not. But, why not?
The mentality against the project seems to rely with holding WATCHMEN on par with a holy book “and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part…” Give me a break. Who wouldn’t want to see a Grant Morrison version of Dr. Manhattan, or a Denny O’Neil Rorshach, Warren Ellis, Neil Gaiman or others on a Minutemen prequel? Ultimately, Moore’s masterpiece wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the characters Ditko/Charlton counterparts. I understand that a creative property influenced by an existing property can still be copy written, but DC owns these characters. So they can do it and I, admittedly, would be excitied if said project was announced considering that it is written by one of the aforementioned creators or someone of equal caliber, perhaps even with Dave Gibbons on art duties?
Sure, sequels usually suck, but not always. If we never had sequels we wouldn’t have EMPIRE STRIKES BACK or THE DARK KNIGHT. I also don’t buy the theory that a bad sequel tarnishes the legacy of a previously released masterpiece. Going back to Star Wars for a moment… did PHANTOM MENACE ruin the original trilogy? Or, to put it in comic book terms; Did DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN tarnish the legacy of DARK KNIGHT RETURNS? DKR is just as genre defining as WATCHMEN, and remains as such, even after its unreadable sequel. Not only that, but DKSA was written by the creator of the original! I have no doubt that a better sequel could have been written by my pet dog Murray! Miller had a great Daredevil run though, but should Marvel have kept Daredevil cancelled after Frank Miller left the title? Should DC have hung up Batman’s tights after Loeb wrote LONG HALLOWEEN (thus denying us DARK VICTORY)?
I say, DC, go for it. If the creative team is right it’s worth a shot. And if it lives up to the hype people will love it. If it’s garbage, then we can just all ignore it and consider it non-cannon anyway. Alan Moore deserves a lot of respect for what he has given us. He continues to impress with not only his original work, but his refusal of film royalties and obvious disdain for the limelight. But I say if he doesn’t want it we give someone else a chance. I doubt if DC goes down this dark road they will do so wanting the project to fail. My assumption is they will put their best foot forward and if they don’t, I know that we will be there to call them out on it.
Check out the original Wired.com article here - http://www.wired.com/underwire/2010/07/alan-moore-watchmen
Tags: "alan moore" watchmen dce
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