Comic Vine Review

3 Comments

Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan #3 - Ego Sum; The Curse of the Crimson Corsair: Wide Were His Dragon Wings, Part Nine

4

Fans of the character get more insight into the world's most powerful and complicated man.

The Good

A lot of the concepts and themes that were present on the surface of this series in previous issues are explored in greater length here. The extent of Dr. Manhattan's powers, for example, is one of those issues. What can he do, exactly? When he changes the outcome of an event, does that mean that he simply changed the future, or did he unintentionally create a new timeline where a new possibility exists? Meanwhile the old possibility still exists, as well? One thing is for sure, if anyone can write existentialism and integrate head-scratching concepts like whether or not time is relative to life/a story; it's J. Michael Straczynski. If you aren't used to reading stories that deal with past present and future, and that define time and space, Straczynski provides a story that touches on those concepts and explains them in a simplified way. That's certainly one of the things I enjoyed about this issue.

However it isn't the story that is guaranteed to blow you away so much as the art. The art in this comic is absolutely jaw-dropping. Reading this issue is a process. Each page of this comic is more detailed than last, and helps to tell the story in an incredible way. Hughes' work is so abstract and different; the way he illustrates each panel is so brilliant that you will be drawn into this gorgeous comic for his skill alone. It's like seeing a Norman Rockwell painting come to life, that's how beautiful it is.

The Bad

I think the purpose of these BEFORE WATCHMEN titles is to add some depth or dimension to characters that we met in Moore's WATCHMEN title. I would think the purpose is to find how these characters are grounded and what drives them. Although we have one issue left to go, it doesn't really feel like Straczynski humanizes Dr. Manhattan in his series, which is something I had expected him to do. Unlike other heroes in WATCHMEN, Manhattan undergoes a change that takes him from being a human male with an ordinary life, to a super-powered being who is completely detached from society.

The Verdict

This issue features a lot of flashbacks that gives readers a closer look at Dr. Manhattan's life before he became Dr. Manhattan. We see him as a child and become acquainted with his father. Straczynski also goes on to explore that particular relationship. I think the only problem with this is the fact that it doesn't quite tell us who the character is. What was his personality like? Was he a moral person? How did he meet his first wife? There's just a ton that we don't know about Dr. Manhattan even after having read the three issues of his BEFORE WATCHMEN mini-series. So, at the end of the day, who is he exactly? What was the purpose of this series? Still, beyond all that, the issue itself is very well written, well organized and Straczynski certainly plays to Hughes' strengths. Hughes knocks the art in this issue out of the park completely, delivering a just absolutely stunning piece of work.

3 Comments

Avatar image for batsymyplaything
batsymyplaything

314

Forum Posts

14431

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By batsymyplaything

I see how they're trying to explain certain phenomenon from quantum physics and theories, which weren't so available in the 80s, during when the original watchmen was released, lol.

What was his personality like? Was he a moral person? How did he meet his first wife?

I thought they told us how he met his first wife (Janey Slater), it was in the bar or whatever and she was introduced to Jon by Wally Weaver. As for being moral person, I don't know if you're asking if he's moral in this current state or before he become Dr. Manhattan. If it's before, I suspect so, I mean we're told of an incident in this issue during his early life, when he was just a kid and from that it seemed that he cared for his father and mother. Although I do agree he's personality is unknown and they haven't went too in-depth with that, but I think there wasn't much of a personality of Jon in the first place. It seems like the man was introverted person, who focused on getting a doctorate in Atomic Physics, since that was he's goal or his father's. Plus, it seems that any actual formation of a personality was maybe after he met Janey and the time from his meeting with Janey and the intrinsic field event isn't so much in the grand scale.

Avatar image for juandicimo_magnifico45
Juandicimo_Magnifico45

155

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

The art is 100% jaw dropping. I could almost enjoy this book all the same without any word bubbles. While I love this series, I think it is focusing too much on the sci-fi time travel concepts. While I think the concepts of time travel were great, like you said the Before Watchmen series should be about exploring what drives these characters and how they are grounded.

Avatar image for dboy4dashing
dboy4dashing

92

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By dboy4dashing

From the cover to the very last panel it was just mind blowing!!