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Title: Before Watchmen: Comedian/Rorschach
Author: Brian Azzarello,
Illustrations: J.G. Jones and Lee Bermejo
Year Published: 2013
Synopsis: The controversial, long-awaited prequels to the best-selling graphic novel of all-time are finally here: BEFORE WATCHMEN! For over twenty years, the back stories of the now iconic characters from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's landmark graphic novel have remained a mystery, until now. DC Comics has assembled the greatest creators in the industry to further paint the world of WATCHMEN, with this second volume starring two of the most polarizing anti-heroes ever, COMEDIAN and RORSCHACH.
Eisner Award-winning writer and creator of 100 Bullets Brian Azzarello brings his gritty, nuanced storytelling to these two recognizable characters. In RORSCHACH, Azzarello again teams with superstar artist Lee Bermejo (JOKER, LUTHOR, BATMAN/DEATHBLOW) to illustrate how one of most dangerous vigilantes the comic world has ever seen became even darker. COMEDIAN, featuring art by J.G. Jones (FINAL CRISIS, Wanted), plants the famed war hero within the context of American history, as we find out how the Vietnam War and the Kennedy assassination revolve around him.
Review: I really liked the Watchmen graphic novel. I read it before the movie was out. Although it was long, I really enjoyed the movie, too. I even own the Director's cut on dvd. When I heard about these prequel comics I was hesitant, but excited. I picked up a few of the first issues when they were released, but I wasn't that impressed. After reading this graphic novel, which compiles the Comedian and Rorschach comics, I am still unimpressed.
I don't know why these stories were necessary Although they do show the great Watchmen characters in other stories, the stories don't add to the original in my opinion.
The Comedian's story is more of a historical retelling of his time in the Vietnam War. There are many historic references that the Comedian was somehow involved with, such as the Kennedy Family and Marilyn Monroe's demise. It is a war story with a lot of political talk and ethical questions.
Rorschach's story is just Rorschach being Rorschach. He acts as a vigilante with a twisted idea of morality. You get to see him a little more as a person, but I did't think it was really a story that needed to be told.
I give this graphic novel a 2/5. The artwork is beautiful and the storytelling is good, but the stories are just unnecessary. If you are a Watchmen superfan you might want to pick it up, but if you're just a casual fan I wouldn't say this is worth it.