Why? Why not? There are those purist out there who frowned upon the idea of DC returning to THE WATCHMEN story without Alan Moore or Dave Gibbons at the helm. Not me…especially not with someone like Darwyn Cook (Catwoman, Wolverine, The Justice League) writing and illustrating it. No disrespect to Alan, but sometimes the whole “eccentric writer” thing can become a bit passe. Honestly, The Watchmen had already jumped the shark as soon as it hit the big screen. So whether it be Alan or his fan’s they all need to just relax and see what others have to offer to the story. I read BEFORE THE WATCHMEN #1 about a week ago and “liked” not “loved it”, but it was way better than what the critics have been saying. The first issue reads like The Spirit a character Darwyn is all too familiar with. Prohibition age, action packed drama with a hint of that Alan Moore realness. The story focuses on The Minutemen the vigilante’s before The Watchmen consisting of Hooded Justice, Night Owl, The Comedian, Mothman, Dollar Bill, The Silhouette, Captain Metropolis and Sally Jupiter. A brief glimpse into these heroes lives is all you need to be reminded of their troubled back stories. The short stories touch base on each member’s lives through the eyes of Hollis Mason, the original Nite Owl. I felt that same level of ache while reading B.T.W that I felt reading The Watchmen. The same horrible lives masked by mask. It’s a new and honest portrayal of each character and Darwyn doesn’t veer too far outside the realm of what Alan had originally created, a triumph when you consider how character driven Watchmen was. Course this is only the first issue and I’d like to see what’s next. I’d especially like to see if that same level of depth can be achieved while creating something completely different. It’s a monumental task with so many eyes on you. Not at all sure who’s idea it was to return to The Watchmen, but it was a great idea to do so. The Minutemen had to have had some stories…right? This is what I need Darwyn Cook to convince me off and so far he’s off to a good start. Hey Darwyn, haters are gonna hate…you keep doing you brotha!