June 21, 2012

BEFORE WATCHMEN: Silk Spectre and Minutemen Reviews

Despite the controversy of the release of these prequel stories, the initial two titles Minutemen and Silk Spectre, are excellent stories that expand upon the Watchmen mythos. Both miniseries are written by Darwyn Cooke and the settings of the stories are so remote from the source material so as to not tread on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' masterpiece.

However, the uniqueness of the storylines are what truly defines each title and what Cooke is exploring with these two miniseries. Both Minutemen and Silk Spectre are connected despite being so far apart.  The debut issues offer readers a glimpse of the characters in different time periods. Sometimes you forget that Watchmen was set in the mid-1980s.

Minutemen Issue 1

In Minutemen issue one, Captain Metropolis recollects on the various characters that made up the Minutemen. Cooke showcases each individual character's origins and early beginnings. Pulling from the even most minute Moore detail of the Minutemen, Cooke brings the best and worst of the team. From Mothman's own self-destruction, to the bravery and determination of the Silhoutte, it's all brought to light in an empathizing way.

Silk Spectre Issue 1

Both Sally and Laurie Jupiter take center stage in the first issue of Silk Spectre. Amanda Conner does the wonderful art chores. The debut issue showcases the overbearing nature of a mother trying to protect and hone her daughter for the world ahead.  It's typical teen angst as Laurie cracks under the pressure of fulfilling the superhero her mother, intends her to be. It's hard to say that Sally had an ulterior motive for all this training and self-defense but one striking homage panel from Cooke, should bring back memories of a traumatic moment for Sally. I'm not sure how far Cooke will take the Jupiters on this ride, but so far so good.

As I mentioned once before, Before Watchmen is like meeting up with an old friend and catching up on the past. The stories are distant enough not to displace what Moore and Gibbons have established. Yet both debut issues of The Minutemen and Silk Spectre bring more to the table with an exploration of the characters that was briefly hinted upon, in Watchmen. Granted, these stories are sailing into uncharted waters but if these early indications are reflective of what's ahead for the other books, then they are most certainly welcomed.

Final verdict: A 

No comments:

Post a Comment