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Watchmen 2 [?] [!]

8 February 2010 by Phantom Troublemaker No Comment

So the hot topic in the realm of nerdery right now seems to be the possibility of expansions on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen franchise. Or perhaps more accurately, DC Comics’ Watchmen franchise. Or perhaps even more accurately, Warner Bros.’ Watchmen franchise.

The word seems to be that Dan “Out of his Fucking Mind” DiDio – the effective head of DC Comics – wants to produce new Watchmen stories now that the former head of DC (that had a strict “no fucking way” policy about this subject) stepped down. Keep in mind that I don’t know nothin’ about nothin’, but the rumor mill has it that these pursuits would include new Watchmen media up to and including prequel comics, sequel comics, new animation (likely under DC’s excellent straight-to-DVD production banner), novels, toys, stuffed animals, video games and a line of Underoos. I might have made some of those up.

Naturally, the second this possibly imaginary cat got out of the possibly non-existent bag, the clatter of furious typing rang out across the globe. I could spend an entire article just reprinting the OMG HOW DARE THEY rage I found in various blogs and message boards, but I’d rather respond to the rumor itself.

Watchmen is an iconic, influential work by two of the top creators in the field of comic books. The intent was always for it to be a standalone story told in comic form – despite what some myopic douchebags may tell you, Watchmen was originally comic books and has never actually been a graphic novel; comic collections are called “trade paperbacks” and that is exactly what the big edition of Watchmen that sells now is – that would illustrate the authors’ perceptions about our society, celebrity, paranoia and various and sundry other topics. Watchmen was a parable for the eighties that redefined what comic books could be. It is beautiful and important and should be held in a certain high regard, no matter what we may think of the story itself. The work is an accomplishment of the like you rarely get in the comics industry; perhaps once in a generation.

And to suggest that making prequels, sequels, new animation, novels, toys, stuffed animals, video games and Underoos would in any way affect the intrinsic value of the original works is just fucking retarded.

Do you hate the original Chainsaw because New Line produced a remake? Is Stephen King’s It any less terrifying and awesome because the TV mini-series sucked fucking balls? How about this one: did the Prequels make the Original Trilogy less awesome (insert your snarky “The Special Editions did that already” here if you want, but even those did not change the fact that the originals still rule)? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then you are a narrow-minded twat and likely some sort of nerd-fascist.

Allow me to explain.

If a property has so much creative impact as to inspire people to want to expand on it, make tribute to it or interpret it in their own way; then that is something pretty special. I think every creative aspect of any idea should be exploited to its’ fullest, so long as the original is still available in some way, shape or form. While I do prefer the Special Editions overall – aside from Greedo shooting first and the insertion of whiny Anakin at the end of Jedi; which isn’t technically “Special Edition”, but rather “DVD” – I would be pretty irritated if I couldn’t watch the originals from time to time.

Some people hate additions to their favorite properties. I’m sure there are some dickbags out there who are furious that they made Aliens. X-Men: Evolution was probably seen as heresy by some hardcore mutant-lovers. Lots of people hate Marvel’s Ultimate line of comics. Does that mean those things shouldn’t exist? Should those of us that do enjoy many different iterations of a central idea we are fond of be denied the opportunity to enjoy new experiences because there are those who do not have enough love and respect for the original to hold it separately from anything it may inspire? Because to me, that is what it comes down to: if you truly do have so much love and respect for something, those feelings will weather any circumstance. If somebody makes a Silk Spectre origin comic that you hate so much that it turns you off of Watchmen entirely, then you didn’t love Watchmen in the first place. That origin comic does not alter the value of the original comics in the slightest.

As nerds, we tend to be way too sensitive about our obsessions. Nobody has any clue what sort of ideas are being thrown around the DC offices, but people immediately started spitting hot fire all over the internet. I am not a fan of Watchmen, per se. I respect the comics and thought the movie was pretty, but I don’t love the concept like I love Batman. Regardless of that, I think it would be great to see Rorschach and the Comedian in ongoing prequel series. I’d like to see something detailing Ozymandias’ rise to celebrity. Yeah, that wasn’t Moore’s intent; but why not pursue those things? There are great stories just waiting to be told, and if you don’t want to read them then you don’t have to. Just don’t think that you should be able to prevent the rest of us from discovering new worlds and new ideas.

Also, it would be really funny to make Alan Moore’s big, furry head explode.

Until next time, stay creepy

-Phantom

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