'Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan #2' Review

BW Dr. M 2The 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.

Reflecting once again upon the fact that I’m not a fan of the original Watchmen series, my faith in J. Michael Straczynski’s skills is what prompted me to keep reading this particular series, even though is starting to wane a bit.  Issue #1 left some really prominent questions in regards to Dr. Manhattan’s origins and how they relate to the greater series created by Alan Moore, but I’m afraid that the writing from this issue really doesn’t do the previous one justice.  Throughout the issue, I was hoping for something that would set this once apart, that would really draw my attention to keep reading, but most of the time I just ended up wondering when I would get to the end of the book.  I’m disappointed, JMS; I expected more from you.


Picking up where the last issue left off, Jon Osterman (Dr. Manhattan) observes his younger self not involved in the accident that makes him who he is in the present.  While he is not sure exactly why his situation has changed, he continues to observe his younger self making various decisions that affect the outcome of his life—whether to get married or not, whether to dance first or last, and so forth—and sees the consequences of the random decisions based upon the theories of Erwin Schrӧdinger’s quantum observations.

While there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of an actual progression in terms of plot development, it was rather fascinating to see the various roads that could have been taken had Jon not become Dr. Manhattan, though it is rather unusual how several of them don’t seem to have anything to do with his actual decisions.  Quantum theory is very interesting to me, especially the concept of divergent paths, but none of the examples shown in the issue seem to be of any real result of Jon’s decisions.  It really makes me wonder just what the point of the issue was, and how it relates to Jon’s life in regards to his accident.

Because I cannot determine how it relates to Jon’s life, I am eagerly awaiting the progression to follow in Issue #3, hoping that it will answer some of the questions that I have.  What exactly is going on with the younger Jon Osterman?  Which of the possible future paths that he observed ends up being the one that Dr. Manhattan will undertake?  And, just who are the blue men of Mars?  Tell me, JMS, for I wish to be able to truly understand better, and I really want you to bring back the faith I’ve held in you since I first saw Babylon 5.



Last modified on Thursday, 27 December 2018 17:10

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