Friday, February 5, 2010

Electric Boogaloo

I have a question for y'all...

I suppose by now you've been made aware of the hotly rumoured rumblings of expansion to the Watchmen universe (sequels/prequels) at DC, as reported this week by Bleeding Cool's Rich Johnston.

I'm sure we all can agree how horrible an idea this is, and yet, there's not a doubt in anyone's mind that any continuation of stories within the Watchmen universe would be highly successful, if not in spirit at least in sales. Even the naysayers would be curious which would no doubt rack up large numbers for DC. Given the boffo business the Watchmen trade paperback did last year surrounding the buzz prior to the film's release, I'm sure there would be quite a lot of "outside" interest in further Watchmen materials. People who have little to no concept of how sacred, pristine and pure (a little hyperbolic maybe?) the Watchmen has remained over the years would be more inclined to pick up a Watchmen sequel than the latest Spider-Man, Iron Man, or Batman trade.

But yeah, it's a bad idea, and the initial thought is who in the comic industry would be foolhardy enough to take on writing or art chores on such blasphemy? I mean career suicide or what? And yet, I'm sure there are countless individuals looking to make a name for themselves (or super-size their name) that would jump at the opportunity to work on what would be one of the highest-profile comic books ever. And what's more, I'm sure they would benefit from such exposure, even if the results were poor.

And then there would be the egos, the talent that think they're the only ones who can do the work justice and give that timeless excuse to bastardizing someone else's work: "If they're going to do it anyway, it might as well be me", or, to quote Frank Miller on doing "The Spirit", "nobody else gets to touch it".

Speculation is that a Dave Gibbons written/drawn expansion would be acceptable, and in a skewed way, I guess it's really the only acceptable solution outside of the never-gonna-happen Moore/Gibbons reunion. Personally, though I've found most of Gibbons' written work to be average at best, certainly not up to Moore's caliber.

Others have speculated that the industries' highest stature (and also British) writers could possibly give it a run, such as Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis or even Neil Gaiman (who previously followed up Moore on Miracleman), though I doubt any of them would even dare, less they fell into the trench head of "I don't trust anyone else to do it right".

We shouldn't even be talking about this. Yet we are. So let's talk.
That question I wanted to ask...
Aside from the obvious reply of "no one", who would you trust to do something with the Watchmen?


David said...

I can think of three writers whose take on "where to go from there" would be interesting:

Brian K Vaughn - he has a type of darkness in his characterization which would work for Nite Owl quite well.

Bill Willingham - I think he has the best range of voices in the industry right now.

John Byrne - always competent, and perfectly willing to get into arguments, Byrne would be willing to do something which would receive oprobrium from lots of folks.

All of the above said, I'd rather have no sequel.

Graig Kent said...

David, I'm glad you said John Byrne. I have no real admiration or respect for the man, but he would most likely make an audacious participant in the project. Given his often loony viewpoints on society and culture, I imagine his Watchmen would stand opposed to much of Moore's established message.

I could also see Byrne as one of few notable big creators who would have absolutely no problem with taking the job.

Devon Sanders said...

The only person I could even see having any sort of range you'd need to conquer something like this would be Joe Casey.

For the simple reason that he took a concept as wildly ridiculous as Wildcats and turned into one of the most provocative, well-thought-out social commentaries on the comics stands during the 00's.

Combine that with his willingness to bring a new world order sensibility to the Avengers with "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" and you have a guy who could be just crazy enough to knock the dust off an old favorite, chop it up and bring something new to it.

Jason Langlois said...

I'd think the most obvious team would be Moore/Gibbons (rather than no one).

Ellis/Cassady comes to mind, based on Planetary.

I'd also like to see what Joe Casey could do with it.

Maybe a James Robinson, circa early Starman.

BIG MIKE said...

Jason Aaron... only guy currently showing the range between dark crime drama and superheroes.

Allan said...

Is it wrong that the title of this post has inspired me to write some fanfic in which a young Sally reunites with her old pals Rorschach and Nite Owl in order to win a dance competition and save their favourite rec center from greedy capitalists?

It isn't is it? Because it's going to be AWESOME!

Peter said...

I think Chris Samnee would be a good artist for Watchmen 2: The Squid Strikes Back.

Devon Sanders said...

Samnee would be a great artist for anything. If DC put out a comic called, "Clark Kent Eats Toast," I'd buy it if he drew it.encts