June 28, 2012

Review: Before Watchmen Nite Owl Issue 1

The early beginnings and adventures of Dan Dreiberg are captured in the first issue of his miniseries. What's his connection to the Minutemen?

The underlying theme so far, in the Before Watchmen, is the tragic childhoods some of these characters have dealt with. Sure Laurie Jupiter aka Silk Spectre 2 and Rorschach, had not so pleasing times during their youths, but you can also add Dan Dreiberg to this list as well. It's briefly touched upon in the debut issue of his miniseries but it seems to connect all the Watchmen heroes with the exception being, perhaps Dr. Manhattan and Ozymandias, for now. Despite the blessings and trappings that come with a middle-class upbringing, writer J. Michael Straczynski, shows us a darker side to Dreiberg's childhood. 

Nite Owl issue 1 shines the light on one of the Watchmen's "normal" heroes and showcases how he came to carry on the legendary mantle. Straczynski portrays young Dreiberg as adventurous and eager to learn, benefiting from his father's wealth to carry out his dreams and save the world. Hollis Mason, the original Nite Owl figures heavily in this issue as well, almost a father figure role, far removed from the real life father Dreiberg wishes he never had. Issue one also highlights many other notable moments in Nite owl's career such as the first encounter with future partner Rorschach, the infamous Crimebusters meeting which led to his initial brush with Laurie Jupiter. It's a shame Straczynski didn't go further with this tender yet awkward moment though.

Fans will enjoy this debut issue from the Nite Owl miniseries. Though I'm puzzled as to why Straczynski chose to go that route with Dreiberg's childhood rather than have him inspired by the original Nite Owl and not have any other motivation to be a hero. The art by Andy Kubert and inked by than legend Joe Kubert was phenomenal, giving a classic look to the interiors, as if the book itself came out in the 1970s!

Final Verdict: B

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