August 8, 2012

Review: BEFORE WATCHMEN: Ozymandias Issue 2

Adrian Veidt wades into the criminal underworld after the death of someone close to him. Despite his success in defeating crime lords and their ilk, the eager young hero is in for a surprise though, as his journey leads him to The Minutemen.

After the disappointing debut issue of the Ozymandias series, I was very hesitant to pick up this second installment. Issue 1 had been nothing more than a glorified retelling of his origin in Watchmen issue 11 and I was somewhat planning to be disappointed with this second offering. I'm glad to see I was proven wrong but sadly to say, Adrian Veidt's life and early crime fighting is quite a bore to read. While the stunning artwork and visuals will certainly dazzle readers as it did for me, the upcoming encounter with a former member of The Minutemen, probably will be the only instance of excitement for me, with this miniseries so far.

Issue 2 finds our hero Ozymandias off to find those responsible for his companion Miranda's overdose and subsequent death.  Writer Len Wein has used this tragedy as Adrian Veidt's supposed reason to unwittingly begin his crime fighting career. Which works fine of course, since Veidt really didn't have a fundamentally sound reason to be a vigilante. This issue quickly summarizes the early exploits and further dive into the underworld by Veidt.  You'll understand why artist Jae Lee had to go "fullscreen" on some pages because frankly, Veidt's life so far, has been quite boring to capture and portray.  Some credit must go to Wein here for painfully trying to inject some excitement in Veidt's dull life. Sometimes the smartest man in the world can also be quite lonesome and uninteresting.

Lee's powerful and captivating visuals certainly will not disappoint but the lackluster story does feature an interesting ending and lead-in for next issue.  Featuring one of The Minutemen, in a pivotal encounter, those last few pages should generate reader interest.

Final Verdict: B

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