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Off My Mind: Should There Be a Sequel to WATCHMEN?

There have been rumors and lots of protest. Should there be another trip to the Watchmen Universe through a sequel or prequels?

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WATCHMEN is the book all comic fans should have read. Long seen as a true classic, even many non-comic book readers have checked it out way before a movie adaptation was attempted. Since it's debut in 1986, the series has received praise and acclaim as one of the best stories written. The collected book has seen numerous printed editions and has been used in several college and university courses. WATCHMEN has been elevated to a near-untouchable level. It stands on its own and that's all that we need.

Yet since before the twelve-issue series went on sale, there has been talk of prequels involving other characters and exploring the time before the story took place. The idea of revisiting the Watchmen Universe soon became an idea that many felt should never be allowed to happen. There has been a bit of recent rumblings and rumors that DC Comics has plans in the work, under a secret title, to revisit the world of the Watchmen.

Before any official confirmations or denials could be issued, people are arguing over whether this should happen. Should the beloved WATCHMEN characters be used once again or is the story too much of a classic now and should remain as it is?

== TEASER ==

As the story goes, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons originally had the idea to do a twelve-issue series on the Minutemen if WATCHMEN was a success. DC apparently also talked about the possibility of other writers doing prequels with Rorschach and the Comedian. Obviously these projects never happened and soon an ugly mess developed between Moore and DC. Rumors would pop up every now and then but it appeared that nothing would ever come of them.


In early 2010, there was a report that the possibility of the Watchmen Universe being revisited was now more possible than ever. With DC's creation of the Countdown multiverse, one world almost was set aside for the Watchmen Universe. That also meant the door could be open for insane crossovers with DC characters and Watchmen ones.

Things heated up once again as Bleeding Cool's Rich Johnston mentioned he was given information about the project being in the works. He posted that a fake working title was being used (Panic Room) for a set of prequels and as well as an image of the Comedian drawn by J.G. Jones and Nite Owl by Andy Kubert. There was also mention of the possibility of Amanda Conner doing a Silk Spectre project. Johnston was then apparently asked to remove the artwork by DC's legal department.

Whether there's any truth to those bits or not isn't really the point right now. The fact that the art had to be removed would lead you to believe that there could be some truth in the rumor or it could just be for other legal reasons and in trying to control the rumors flying around. The real question is, should there be any prequels or sequels?

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Hardcore Watchmen fans will scream, "NO!" but there are plenty that would be willing to give more Watchmen content a chance. If DC still owns the rights, they are fully entitled to do whatever they want to with the characters and universe.

Let's think about it, with WATCHMEN held in such high regard, would anyone attempt to do a subpar tie-in? DC has access to many of the industry's top talent. If there were any plans on prequels or sequels, you would think (or hope or assume) they would put as much care and thought into it as possible.

Revisiting the Watchmen Universe is something that you could only really try once. If a poor attempt was made, readers wouldn't be too forgiving or willing to give a third visit a chance. It simply means too much to too many people.

For those that are strongly opposed regardless of who DC could get to work on any related projects, the biggest statement they could make is to simply not purchase and support it. They can just look the other way. They can act as if it doesn't exist and never happened.

Does it make sense to see more Watchmen project? Sure. The characters and world of Watchmen is ripe with potential. Besides the Minutemen set in the 1940s, there could easily be prequels on other characters. What was the Comedian's full story and exploits? When did Hollis Mason pass the Nite Owl torch over to Dan Dreiberg? There are also the exploits of Doctor Manhattan, Ozymandias or the original Silk Spectre.

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What about a sequel? The idea is bound to make many cringe in fear and disgust. Prequels could possibly be acceptable but is there any room to visit the characters after the original series ended?

Because we're talking about comic books, we all know anything is possible. What happened to Nite Owl and Silk Spectre? (Although perhaps Sally changes her name since she felt Silk Spectre was too 'girly'). Rorschach's journals were left behind, could we see someone follow in his footsteps? Did Dr. Manhattan ever return to Earth? He did say, "Nothing ever ends." In comic books, that is often the case. WATCHMEN took place in 1985. What is that world like now, in the 21st Century?

We could draw some comparisons to other things that have resulted in sequels that many didn't care for. One example would be the Star Wars movies. Many feel that the prequels should never have been made and George Lucas should not be allowed to make any tweaks or updates to the films. Because they are his and he holds the rights, he can do whatever he pleases. Again, people can choose not to watch or support them if they feel offended by them.

Frank Miller's THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS is another comic seen as a classic (although not on quite the same level as WATCHMEN). It was released when I first started reading comics and, like many, I was blown away by what it was and represented. When THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN came out, I was hesitant to read it. I started and will admit, I still haven't finished reading it. It didn't feel right to me so I decided to set it aside and perhaps some day I will complete it.

It's all about choices. We may love something so much that we feel we have the right to voice our opinions. And we do have that right. We can say all we want. What it comes down to is whoever owns the rights can what they want. We can only hope they will do it properly with the care and respect we would want and demand. If not, we move on and act as if it doesn't exist. Getting in a tirade over something won't accomplish anything.

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For now, we can just wait and see. There hasn't been any official word. If DC does plan on more Watchmen, I will be there to check it out and make my decision based on the actual material. Making a decision before or even worrying about it before anything happens isn't worth the time. There are plenty of other existing comics we can be reading and talking about instead.

170 CommentsRefresh
Avatar image for gc8
Posted By GC8

This would be a stupid decision. Why even risk tarnishing the brand in the public consciousness?
As we know, comics consumers are the minority - many more people go see comic book movies than read the actual comics.
Like everything in the world, there's a chance they could make something good - but sequels almost inevitably fail to live up to the originals, and that's going to be even more true with a product like Watchmen (which barely adapted right to the screen in the first place).
The real reason not to do it is they have about a 99% chance of failing and only a 1% chance of success.

Avatar image for kfhrfdu_89_76k
Posted By kfhrfdu_89_76k


That`s okay. I like it, but it doesn`t matter to me that much, if someone doesn`t.

I don`t see a point in sequel. But if they make one, it better be good...

Avatar image for agent_prince
Posted By Agent_Prince

a million times NO

Avatar image for chris2klee
Posted By Chris2KLee


Avatar image for longbowhunter
Posted By longbowhunter

I hate the idea of a sequel. But I'm open to the idea of prequels.

Avatar image for the_impersonator
Posted By The Impersonator

Watchmen has already been watched. Period.

Avatar image for emperormeister734
Posted By Emperormeister734

yes i would like t see a sequel then if no sequel start a comic book series. i mean i really dont think rorshach was killed by dr.manhattan

Avatar image for airdave817
Posted By deactivated-579fe0ae58107


Avatar image for labeeb
Posted By Labeeb

I would too say that the simple answer is no...

Avatar image for kennybaese
Posted By kennybaese

I guess I'm not really sure why a prequel or sequel to Watchmen would automatically be bad. There are plenty or writers working now that do comics that are just as good, if not better, than Alan Moore's comics. Not to say that Alan Moore's book are bad, but that there are plenty of modern books that I think are just as good or better. Just because a modern creator didn't create the characters in Watchmen doesn't mean that they can't tell good stories with them. Scott Snyder and Frank Miller didn't create Batman, but they've still written some of the best stories with those characters ever.

I, for one, would be okay with it. Damning these books before they come out seems, to me, like a bit of an overreaction. The stories could be fantastic. The universe of the Watchmen is great and I think that more stories set within it could be cool, but that's just me.

Avatar image for dedpool
Posted By Dedpool

Prequels i could see, simply because we never really got to see them as actual heroes, just the shadows of what they used to be except, Rorschak and The Comedian. So yeah I'd love to see some of Dan and Rorschak's adventures, and some of the Comedian's covert ops.

Avatar image for spidermanwins
Edited By SpidermanWins

@longbowhunter said:

I hate the idea of a sequel. But I'm open to the idea of prequels.

Avatar image for bkole
Posted By BKole

Prequels are being whats talked about here. Not sequels, because although, I can imagine we can explore the Post-Watchmen world through a proxy, such as following a darker version of the Charlton Characters via Multiversity, it wouldn't be a good idea to revisit Watchman as it is such a revered piece of fiction in itself.

However, it DC did produce Watchmen prequels, then a huge amount of people would read them, just to see what they're like/complain incessantly about how it isn't the same and doesn't follow the same core values blah blah. No, it doesn't - and while perhaps Moore wouldn't like it for someone to turn his works into something else, I can imagine that when Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde was written that didn't imagine him to be raping the Invisible Man, or Alan Quartermain to be an opium fiend. The only difference is that Moore is still alive to contest the actions.

Avatar image for mr_hulk_smashin__
Posted By Mr.Hulk_Smashin'!

They've already confirmed it's gonna happen. Here's art from the book.

Here's another one.

Avatar image for zomboid
Posted By Zomboid

Maybe if Alan Moore wrote the prequels, but even then I'd be a little wary. No other writer could capture the same unique style that was portrayed in Watchmen. Honestly, I think Watchmen should just be left alone. It holds a sacred sort of place in the comic book world, and the story was perfect as a 12-issue series. Sure there's a lot more areas that could be explored, but that's fine. It's better off that way. Not every single aspect of a story needs to be explored, it's good to leave some parts as a bit of a mystery, or a subject for the reader to ponder for themselves. Nevertheless, if they did make new material, I would check it out before bashing it. I'd just prefer that they didn't :/

Avatar image for gravesp
Posted By GraveSp

A sequel could work if it was set in modern times and the torches had been passed so like a Nite-Owl III and Rorschach II. A prequel would also be cool if it was them set in the early days of their crime fighting. I love the book, I've reread it a lot but I don't hold it sacred and honestly if they got the right creative team it would be a very interesting read.

Avatar image for papad1992
Posted By papad1992


Avatar image for sesquipedalophobe
Edited By sesquipedalophobe

People protested a sequel to Gone With the Wind and, even though it wasn't true-to-form social conditioning for the characters, it did well enough. I'd say it was a blatant attempt to romanticize the southern class in Ireland (completely apart from the source material)... I digress.
Yes, the Watchmen was epic. It was great. Still, I don't think it's a matter of asking someone's permission: people will buy everything Watchmen, love it or hate it and the mixed results will be made into many, many public forums. 
I don't think a prequel would do quite as well. You know pretty much everyone will be all right with a minor wrench thrown into the mix.

Avatar image for fables87
Posted By fables87

The only way I think this could work were people actually would like it is if Alan Moore himself writes the book.

Avatar image for jazz1987
Posted By jazz1987

I don't think there should be one because then it opens up to idea not created by Alan Moore who is the creator of Watchmen.

Avatar image for inferi22
Posted By inferi22

I think that I would love to see anything that Dawyn Cooke would create, but otherwise I will avoid their existenece

Avatar image for sexuallobster
Posted By SexualLobster

I'd rather not.

Avatar image for notarandomguy
Posted By notarandomguy

No sequels unless its done by Moore and Gibbons... and a prequel might be good but errrm... NON OF THEM IN A MOVIE

Avatar image for deactivated-578ee3f81c5e1
Posted By deactivated-578ee3f81c5e1

I think it would disrespect the film which was spot on, even the actors seemed made for their roles. Any variation of that universe brought back would just be for cheap action scenes and greed driven producers and film companies.

Avatar image for sekele
Posted By Sekele

Only if Alan Moore was somehow involved

Alto I would not mind a homage

Avatar image for sekele
Posted By Sekele
Avatar image for asok
Posted By Asok

Why not? I would love to see something about Dan and Rorschach's time spent as partners, if Alan Moore wrote it. And if it sucks, so what? The Dark Knight Returns is still great even with The Dark Knight Strikes Again. Or perhaps a look at what the universe is like now.

Avatar image for mega_spidey01
Posted By Mega_spidey01

no sequel if ain't broke don't fix it.

Avatar image for cainpanell
Posted By CainPanell

Great article tony

I think if the can get Alan Moore to write it, And it'll have to be a prequel it just might work. A Rorschach book would be badass

Avatar image for chibi_iroh
Posted By Chibi-Iroh

While I am going to read it I seriously have had a bad taste about this since it was announced. I wouldn't have a problem with this unless Alan Moore and Dave gibbons were to write it.

Avatar image for keroga
Posted By KEROGA

i would pay to see another watchmen involved movie...

Avatar image for xtremeperson
Posted By Xtremeperson

I think DKR analog is the best one here. They're both similar comics, and I would definitely not want Watchmen to be tainted by a bad sequel. No sequel please.

Avatar image for leebmx
Edited By leebmx

Not interested unless Moore is writing.

EDIT: and even then I would be worried - why ruin something perfect? I would prefer it was made into a good t.v. series as it was never going to work as movie.

EDIT: I understand the above is never going to happen.

Avatar image for spystreak
Posted By spystreak

no sequels to the comic but I would like to see a live action adaptation of the black freighter and a prequel film to watchmenbased on rorscach

Avatar image for kapitein_zeppos
Posted By kapitein_zeppos

Watchmen is quite self-contained. I don't see the need for a sequel or even a prequel, unless of course you want to make Rorschach the new Wolverine/Lobo/Cable/Deadpool - flava of the month type character.

Personally I think it's a horrible idea, but who's going to stop DC from milking it if they get the chance ? Moore will wash his hands off it anyway.

Avatar image for dhevix
Posted By Dhevix

I enjoy the story as a stand-alone, I would detest to even risk ruining its integrity.

Avatar image for ganthetsward20
Posted By Ganthetsward20

I think it could be done but as the next generation of heroes. They should carry over some of the elements from before but only as much as what was carried over from the older group of heroes that were mentioned in the original. I think for the most part Watchmen cant have a sequel that will lesson the greatness of the current story, but a second related piece of work will have high standards to meet. I would love to see more books get as deep at the watchmen book had been. Even if we have to kill more characters. I'd like to see a comic book superhero universe that let its characters age and die and give rise to new heroes like what was done in the watchmen universe. I think it would end some of the issues with continuity and such

Avatar image for waruikumo
Posted By waruikumo


Avatar image for gordo789
Posted By Gordo789

@waruikumo said:



on a more serious note. there should only be a sequel if there is a MEANINGFUL STORY THAT NEEDS TO BE TOLD, otherwise it is just a sad attempt to cash in on our love of that book.

Avatar image for maki_p
Posted By Maki_P

Only if Alan Moore were to write it

Avatar image for hector
Posted By Hector


Avatar image for kidsupreme
Posted By KidSupreme

@Powerzone789: Your totally right!!!

@VanAce: Thats really funny the image you posted

@EugeneSaxe: I agree!

Avatar image for ___prodigy___
Posted By (((Prodigy)))


Avatar image for inverno
Edited By Inverno

@Maki_P:No. Even if Alan Moore wrote a sequel I don't think it would be a good idea either. It should be left be anyway.

Avatar image for batteredarmor
Posted By BatteredArmor
Avatar image for gambit1024
Posted By Gambit1024

I'd read a prequel featuring the Minutemen.

But a sequel is out of the question.

Avatar image for king_quisling
Posted By King Quisling

Sequel? No. Prequel? Not really, but it know I would read it.

Avatar image for danciti
Posted By DanCiTi

Unless the original mind behind the story has an equally fantastic, tasteful, well-executed, and clever story and it wasn't really a sequel and more of the same characters doing very different things in a very different world, then yes. If