The comic book event of the summer is nigh! Before Watchmen, the much-anticipated prequel series to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen, will consist of seven limited series and an epilogue one-shot. Stay tuned, as the Fanboy Comics crew will be reviewing each title as it is released. Hurm.
Issue 3 of Minutemen came out yesterday. Yay, I guess. This series is well written and very well illustrated by the talented Darwyn Cooke, but with each issue I read, I start to wonder why it exists. At first, I was excited to learn more about the Minutemen and the skeletons in their closets, but now the book just seems to be retreading stuff covered in Watchmen. Now, we've covered the Comedian raping Sally Jupiter, which we already saw in Watchmen. Now, we're seeing Hollis discover more of what is really going on in Silhouette's secret life, which is okay, but showing us this stuff isn't a revelation, because we know the outcome from Watchmen.
I was much more excited with last issue where we got to see that the Minutemen's first mission was a total fluke that they only salvaged through good PR. My feeling about this comic is basically this: tell us a new story. I don't want a six-issue miniseries that starts at the formation of team as seen in Watchmen and ends with the team's fall from grace as seen in Watchmen. Why not just tell one really cool arc about them fighting crime and taking down a big-shot villain that could happen anywhere in their history? As long as this comic feels the need to constantly hit touchstones from the Watchmen series, it doesn't feel special or unique; it just feels like paint by numbers. If these heroes functioned for years as heroes before their fall, just tell me one good story in those years; don't jump around and try to tell me their whole history in 6 issues.
I can't fault Minutemen, as it is expertly written and features really great art. It's a good comic, I guess I just don't know why it exists or if I'm going to learn anything from it that I don't already know. If you're already invested in the Before Watchmen experiment, then you'll probably buy this one too, but if you've been on the fence, I highly recommend that you spend your money elsewhere. There are so many great creator-owned books out this week by a lot of talented individuals, that there's no need to fill DC's coffers with more money by buying this unnecessary retread of the Watchmen series.