I’ve never been the biggest fan of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen. I only read it once, something like 20 years ago, and maybe before I was intellectually capable of truly appreciating it. But, whilst I was amazed at the technical proficiency, I found the book distant, cold, and emotionally difficult to connect with. I really should read it again someday to see if my opinion of it has changed in the years since.
That’s a long winded preamble to my saying, I had no problem with Before Watchmen when it was announced. In fact, with the creative talent assembled, I was actually quite excited by it. I never read the series though. Just never felt the urge.
Today, however (prompted, in part by how much I have been enjoying Doomsday Clock), I finally sat down and read Minutemen #1-6, by the late, great Darwyn Cooke. And, it was a pretty great read.
The artwork was amazing. You already know that. However, Cooke’s story was also incredibly impressive. I only intended to read one, maybe two issues; but couldn’t put it down until I had finished the lot.
The series tells the story behind “Under The Hood” - the formation of the Minutemen, the various characters involved, and their many, many, foibles. Interspersed with that is a nasty ongoing mystery that keeps you hooked on what happens next. It’s very well constructed.
I understand that this series is considered by many the best of the Before Watchmen books. We shall see, as I have them all lined up waiting to be read over the next few weeks. If you like Cooke’s work and haven’t given this one a read, I would highly recommend it.