'Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan #3' - Comic Book Review

BW Dr. M 3The 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. 



The story continues to unfold concerning the background of Jon Osterman, but my faith in the storytelling of J. Michael Straczynski has continued to fall beyond the faith that I’ve put into him over the years.  I was hoping that my inability to get into Rising Stars was a fluke, given how much I’ve enjoyed his other work and how big of a Babylon 5 fan I’ve been over the years, but this issue just confirms how little of his recent writing abilities I have liked.  There was a saving grace, however, in that we learn more about Osterman’s life, in a very interesting fashion—at least from a historical point of view (says the historian).  With only one more issue to go, will JMS be able to bring me back into the fold?  I kind of doubt it, but I have some hope.


Aware that he’s changed the future—and the past—with his actions, Dr. Manhattan makes a decision to change things back to the way they are supposed to be in relation to who he is and how his life has developed.  Normally, I wouldn’t see a problem with kind of situation, but Osterman takes a very different stance from the established theories of Schrӧdinger’s quantum observations.  While I can get behind Osterman wanting to change things back the way they were to fix what he’s messed up, I can’t agree with the conclusion he’s made concerning the way they were messed up to begin with; he makes a conclusion that seems to have no real basis in reality or even a plausible theory, and it really drags down my enjoyment of the issue.

The one thing that really put the issue in a positive light for me was finding out a bit more about Osterman’s origins in Germany and how his family dealt with the rise of the National Socialist movement.  As a historian by study, I’m fascinated by historical backgrounds of characters—particularly those during the World War II era—and like that part of what makes the characters who they are, especially when it is from a very interesting and traumatic experience; however, this further look into the background of Osterman does little to make up for the fact that a good bit of the comic is talking about the various choices that he’s made in one timeline or another and how he needs to change them—again—so that there’s only one timeline in all of existence. To me, that need to make only one timeline is what really brings down the issue and makes it unbelievable and undesirable to read.

So, with only one issue left until the series is finished, what will JMS pull out of his hat to make Osterman retain the initial interest that I found him to have?  Please try and keep me interested, JMS; I don’t like the idea of wasting time reading things that hold no interest to me, and I really expected better from the man who instilled such great plot ideas in my head as a teenager.  Make me a happy comic book geek, JMS.




Last modified on Thursday, 27 December 2018 16:58

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