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Before Watchmen: Ozymandias #2 Review

BW Ozymandias 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. 



I made an executive decision recently to not expect the Before Watchmen books to be Watchmen. I will look at them in the context of today, and not expect them to be the same as the original. This is somewhere between generosity towards the books and self preservation.


If you read my review for Ozymandias #1, then you know how I feel about the art in that book. If not, then let me summarize. The art in Issue #1 was by far the best part of the book. It was stunning and kept me happily turning pages through the redundant (although well told) plot. In this new issue, the art is still incredible. Nearly every panel is a thing of beauty. The comic as a whole is stronger, but the beautifully painted illustrations are still more than enough to carry the book.

The plot is still a little too narrated and summarized for my taste. Most of the text is Adrian Veidt’s narration of the events as they unfold. He is suitably full of himself. The story itself is pretty interesting, showing the first outing of Ozymandias, king of kings, but don’t expect this to turn out like Batman Begins. There is no fumbling. No learning curve. No close calls. At all. This isn’t as dramatically flat as it could be. We do already know that Veidt survives, with four more issues of his limited series and the appearance in Watchmen still to come. (Ed. Does that count as a spoiler?) We don’t get enough of a sense of what the overarching story is yet. I am, however, starting to get a feel for the man who is so sure of himself that he can comfortably make the hard choices for us, without bothering to let us have a say. Ultimately, the plot doesn’t impress me, but it works. There is enough to move the story forward, even if I’m not sure where the story is going.

Speaking of, I’m not sure where this is going, in a move that steals some of the fun and mystery of Watchmen, Ozymandias decides to investigate the disappearance of Hooded Justice. I have a new rule for writing prequels and companion pieces. George Lucas, I’m looking at you. When you have a mystery or puzzle in the original work, like the identity of Darth Vader, Yoda’s appearance, the fate of minor characters that reveal huge details about a major character, or anything else that is vital to the atmosphere, plot, or mystery, don’t reveal the answer in the prequel. EVER! Now, I might be overreacting, but there is a tiny connection between a character and event that is vital to the tone of Watchmen that is just thrown into the end of this book, so they can have a dramatic splash page. Don’t do that.

Ultimately, this book succeeds in spite of the issues I had with it. The art could carry a far worse book, and the plot has improved a bit over the first issue. I don’t think this should be read before Watchmen, but it works as a companion piece.

Four bizarre Star Wars references in a Watchmen review out of five.


Ben Rhodes, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor


Favorite Book:  Cryptonomicon Favorite MovieYoung Frankenstein Favorite Absolutely Everything:  Monty Python


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