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AICN COMICS Q&@: Bug sets his watch to watch the Watchmen with J. Michael Straczynski, writer of BEFORE WATCHMEN!!!

@@@ What the &#$% is AICN COMICS Q&@? @@@

Q’s by Ambush Bug!

J. Michael Straczynski!!!

Ambush Bug here with another AICN COMICS Q&@. This weekend, DC descends on Wondercon and their main attraction is a panel featuring all of the talent behind their new BEFORE WATCHMEN event which will elaborate on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ classic WATCHMEN miniseries for the very first time. I had a chance to have one of the BEFORE WATCHMEN writers, J. Michael Straczynski, answer some questions about his contribution to the event—two miniseries: NITE OWL and DR. MANHATTAN. Here’s what JMS had to say…

AMBUSH BUG (BUG): How did DC approach you with the idea for BEFORE WATCHMEN? Or did you approach them?

J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI (JMS): The answer to this lay squarely with Dan DiDio: this is his baby, his idea, he birthed it and if it succeeds, he deserves the lion's share of the credit. (If it doesn't, the lion's share should rightly fall on we the writers, because the characters are solid, the universe is well constructed, and Dan's given us the freedom to do what we want with it, so there's no excuses. Happily, given what I've seen of the art and scripts by the other writers, I think this is going to do gangbusters, both commercially and critically.) So yes: DC, in particular Dan, approached me about this. It's something Dan and I have talked about informally for some time, and I think he deserves huge props for making this happen.

BUG: You're doing the DR. MANHATTAN and NITE OWL miniseries; can you tell me how you approached each of these two extremely different characters?

JMS: What's fun is that in many ways, I have the bookends of WATCHMEN: the most powerful character at one end of the spectrum, and possibly one of the least powerful characters at the other end. But in both cases, in order to tell an interesting story, you have to go down to the human part of that character, even though in the case of Dr. Manhattan some of that has been submerged. I wanted to go more deeply into what made them these characters, beyond putting on a cowl or getting caught in an intrinsic field chamber.

BUG: I know you're an accomplished writer, but did you get any jitters taking these projects given that it was bound to incite controversy from those who believe the original series should be untouched?

JMS: Well, that's the thing, isn't it? Even Alan was working on some ideas for a WATCHMEN prequel around the same time the original miniseries came out, so he certainly didn't think at the time that they should remain untouched. And Alan certainly hasn't shied away from using other people's characters that were originally published in books that lots of people believe should remain untouched (Allan Quatermain,The Invisible Man, Captain Nemo, Jekyll and Hyde, Peter Pan, Professor Moriarty and Mina Harker, to name just a few). The argument against Watchmen gets very slippery.

Some say the legal issues (DC does own these characters lock, stock and Owl Ship) isn't the point, that the creator of the book wouldn't approve...okay, so legally, the characters noted above are legally free, but I don't think their creators would have approved of how they are used (e.g., Hyde literally sodomizing the Invisible Man to death). When you mention that part, then they flip to the fact that Alan had a bad contract, and that makes it wrong. But how is it any more wrong than the way any comics creators were treated, especially those who came out of the Golden and Silver Age? Worse than Jack Kirby, who couldn't even get his art back in his failing years? Worse than Siegel and Shuster? I've signed my share of bad contracts -- I have never received a penny in profits on BABYLON 5; my contract is such that if a set burns down on a Warner Bros. movie in Botswana, they can debit it against my share. Everyone in the entertainment business shares one truth: we make the best deal we can at that time. If it's not great, you take your knocks, lick your wounds, and try to make the next one a bit better. You don't sit there bemoaning it forever. Now, when you bring all that up to the naysayers, they flip to "it's a complete work," which goes against what Alan was doing. Then they flip to "well, creators should be more respectful than to come onto someone else's character," forgetting that Alan made his name known by coming onto Len Wein's SWAMP THING, And eventually they circle back to the legalities thing, and we're right back where we started.

So on this issue, neither Alan nor the detractors have the legal or the moral high ground here. Especially since DC went to him hat in hand repeatedly, offering vast sums of money and then total ownership of the characters, if he'd participate in the creation of more WATCHMEN stories. They would've given him anything he wanted. He opted not to pursue that opportunity. Fair enough, it's his choice and I think you have to respect that. But the operative two words there are "his choice." As I noted elsewhere, if Warner Bros. wanted to do more BABYLON 5, and wanted to give me total creative freedom, all the money I'd need, guarantees of long seasons, and I said no, repeatedly...if I said no and kept on saying no for twenty five years and they finally decided to go ahead on their own without me...whose fault is that? Mine. What right do I have to complain about it? None.

If DC were going to do WATCHMEN and Alan wanted in, if he wanted to give his input, and DC were freezing him out, I would never have taken the assignment and I suspect that's true for many of those involved. But that's simply not the case here. Alan has chosen to remove himself from the process, and after waiting more than two decades for him to change his mind, DC has finally gone ahead and revived characters who may have something of note to say to a contemporary audience. I think that's very fair.

I would be a fool if I didn't recognize that this is going to be a controversial move in some quarters. But jitters? No. It's a terrific writing challenge using some of the best characters ever created in the medium. It's a little piece of history. As with all things, though, the work must be judged on its own merits, and I have every trust that most readers will approach this with an open mind.

BUG: Let's talk a bit about specifics; what is a JMS-penned NITE OWL miniseries going to be like?

JMS: We actually know very little about Daniel Dreiberg before he puts on the Nite Owl costume. There are bits and pieces, but not a coherent narrative. So I decided that the best thing I could do would be to extract those individual pieces, put them into chronological order, and try to figure out how he got from A to B to C. There are some fascinating hints: his father was a wealthy banker who left him a vast sum of money, which he uses to pick up from the first Nite Owl. But if you look closer, he was very young when he first contacted Hollis Mason. What drives a kid to go to that extent? How did he find Hollis? What was the cause of his father's death? What was so important to him about becoming Nite Owl? And what happened when he got there? How did he meet Rorschach and what was the nature and tone of that brief partnership? And who the heck is the Twilight Lady?

Those questions, and the answers derived from them, form the arc of the four-issue NITE OWL mini.

BUG: Being that Nite Owl is a very derivative character in the first place, how are you making him distinct from a Blue Beetle or a Batman in your miniseries?

JMS: If you look only at the mask, sure, he's just another guy in a cowl fighting crime. So you have to look at the man behind the mask, and Dan Dreiberg has a fascinating history and personality. He's part hero, part fanboy...he starts out really kind of naive and idealistic, and despite everything that happens manages to hold onto a fair amount of that even as late as the original WATCHMEN series. He's not this dark, ominous guy, and for a genre that has been steeped in anti-heroes and half-crazed vigilantes, that's refreshing.

BUG: Are all of the BEFORE WATCHMEN miniseries set in the same time frame?

JMS: Oh, heck no. We're all over the place, depending on what part of a character's life the individual writer(s) wanted to explore. The only commonality they share is that they don't go beyond the first page of the WATCHMEN GN. We are specifically not touching anything after that point as a gesture of respect.

BUG: Were you in contact at all with Alan Moore or Dave Gibbons while putting these stories together?

JMS: No. I ran into Dave at San Diego Comic Con, and I could see he was of two minds about the whole thing. He seemed pleased when Dan introduced me to him as one of the writers, but then again, Dave is a really nice guy and could've been simply concealing his horror for expression later in the privacy of his hotel room. It would certainly explain the midnight screams reported by some.

BUG: Is this a finite event or are these series left open in the end for more like them to come? An AFTER WATCHMEN, perhaps?

JMS: Dunno. Nobody's said anything to me about it. That's a Dan DiDio/Jim Lee decision.

BUG: How far are you into writing these miniseries?

JMS: The first three DR. MANHATTAN scripts are finished and in, and I'm nearly done with the last issue as I write this. I'm turning in the third NITE OWL script this week, and I've already jumped ahead to flesh out parts of issue four already, so basically I'm almost done.

BUG: With you finishing up other miniseries that have been postponed or delayed recently, what steps are you making to ensure that these miniseries will be out in time with no delays?

JMS: As noted above, I'm just about done writing both miniseres, and I've been ahead of schedule on delivery from day one. That's the only area over which I have any control. The good thing about taking a multi-year sabbatical from monthly comics is that it means I can devote all my attention to limited-run projects like these when they come along. The artwork I've seen from the Kuberts (issue one is almost entirely drawn now) and Adam Hughes (halfway through one and coming up like gangbusters) is spectacular. So I can see no reason why there should be any delays on either of these. If anything, we'll probably be among the first books to be completed end to end.

BUG: Speaking of time and space, let's talk about Dr. Manhattan. There is a lot of metaphysics going on with the Dr. Manhattan character. I would imagine this is the most difficult character to write. Was it, or do you have a good handle on superhero metaphysics?

JMS: Coming from a science fiction background, I really wanted to get into the physics of who and what he is, but also the metaphysics behind that as well. So on the one hand, the story is strongly rooted in quantum mechanics and some pretty hardcore physics...but on the other hand, it gets deeply into the question of free will, and how that factors into the equation. I was in Berlin a few weeks ago paying a social visit with the Wachowskis (makers of THE MATRIX trilogy and, most currently, CLOUD ATLAS) and chewing through some of the concepts in the book written so far...we got into a lengthy discussion about how free will can exist in a universe where time is subjective and everything has already happened...what sort of moral choices you can have, and what those choices mean, if every time a choice is made a new quantum universe emerges...we really got into the tall grass, let me tell you. And it was fun, especially since the W's have these amazing twelve-story brains. My hope is that the book will trigger similar discussions among readers.

On the one hand, Dr. Manhattan is the most powerful character in the Watchmen Universe...but also the most helpless, as he sees that he has already made all of his choices, past and future...the things that are going to happen can't be changed because from a quantum perspective, or the perspective of a quantum observer, they have already happened. What a fascinating dilemma! How did he get there? What does that mean in practical terms? Those, again, are the questions that inform the narrative here.

BUG: In your opinion, what worked and what didn't in the WATCHMEN movie?

JMS: The best thing about the WATCHMEN movie is that it was a painstaking recreation of the graphic novel. The less successful thing about the WATCHMEN movie is that it was a painstaking recreation of the graphic novel. Stylistically and emotionally, the movie was cool to the touch, much like the graphic novel...and while that works great in print, film (like television) is a hot medium; it has to be able to reach across the darkness to an audience, grab them by the scruff of the neck, and make them feel something. And in that respect, I don't think it was as successful as it could have been.

BUG: Since you tend to write in a bold cinematic manner anyway, what are you doing to ensure that the missteps made in the film don't arise in this revisitation to the WATCHMEN Universe?

JMS: We're not making a movie. There were no missteps in the original book, only -- and only to a degree -- in the translation of those printed pages to the big screen. We're still working with printed pages. So I don't think we're in any danger.

BUG: Other than your own, which is the BEFORE WATCHMEN miniseries you're looking forward to reading the most?

JMS: Geez, I keep going back and forth. The Jae Lee work on OZYMANDIAS which we've seen so far is some of the most stunning stuff I've ever seen. Seriously. You could take any one of the pages and frame them in a museum of modern art. It's completely off the grid in that respect. Other than that...for the combination of writing and art, I'd probably say THE COMEDIAN mini: the art by JG Jones is just ridiculously good, and I think Brian Azzarello has done some of his best work here, ever. But quite honestly, these are all really, really solid books: great storytelling and some just freaking amazing art. Everyone involved knows that this is going to be scrutinized in massive detail, and they've brought their A-game to the process. Nobody's resting on their laurels. (And just how is that supposed to be a good thing, anyway? It can't be comfortable. I've never known anyone who's rested on laurels. Do you?)

BUG: Last chance, why should folks be sure to check out NITE OWL, DR. MANHATTAN, and the rest of the BEFORE WATCHMEN miniseries?

JMS: Why check out anything in the comics field? Great writers (well, and me, bringing up the rear), amazing artists, some of the best characters in the form...what's not to check out?

BUG: Thanks so much for taking the time to talk about BEFORE WATCHMEN. I can’t wait to check out all of the books including JMS’ NITE OWL and DR. MANHATTAN when it hits the stands in June!!!

Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole/wordslinger/reviewer/co-editor of AICN Comics for over ten years. He has written comics such as MUSCLES & FIGHTS, MUSCLES & FRIGHTS, VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS TINGLERS & WITCHFINDER GENERAL, THE DEATHSPORT GAMES, WONDERLAND ANNUAL 2010 & NANNY & HANK (soon to be made into a feature film from Uptown 6 Films). He is also a regular writer for FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND & has co-written their first ever comic book LUNA: ORDER OF THE WEREWOLF (to be released in October 2012 as an 100-pg original graphic novel). Mark has just announced his new comic book miniseries GRIMM FAIRY TALES PRESENTS THE JUNGLE BOOK from Zenescope Entertainment to be released in March 2012.

Editing, compiling, imaging, coding, logos & cat-wrangling by Ambush Bug
Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G

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Readers Talkback
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  • March 15, 2012, 9:51 a.m. CST


    by UltraTron

  • March 15, 2012, 9:53 a.m. CST



    UK release NOW please Warner Bros! And put the squid back in whilst you're at it!

  • It would be so simple to fix the watchmen movie and make it perfect. The ending as it is now completey throws out the book for no reason. I guess they thought new yorkers would be offended after all the trauma of 911? Ok. So they still killed everyone in new York in the movie. I guess doc manhattan doing it instead of an inter dimensional alien was less shocking.

  • March 15, 2012, 10:02 a.m. CST

    Mongoose Publishing

    by Preacher_klee

    JMS had a very different opinion when WB had licensed B5 novels to Mongoose Publishing that he wasn't involved with. (one written by Claudia Christian) He used his position as creator with the fan base to have the books killed. They were later released for free in pdf.

  • March 15, 2012, 10:13 a.m. CST

    I loved the original graphic novel, but the squid was a dumb add on...

    by irishraidersfan

    If you think adding the squid back into the movie will mean you'll like it, you're having a laugh. Personally, I loved the movie as is, cold to the touch and all.

  • ...but I can't, because I'm curious and weak.

  • March 15, 2012, 10:21 a.m. CST

    I'm really torn as to get these or not

    by Righteous Brother

    On the one hand, I think the whole idea is pretty sappy - as Watchmen is a self-contained work, but on the other hand I am curious. I know Alan Moore doesn't want me to buy them though.

  • March 15, 2012, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Oh fuck it!

    by Righteous Brother

    I'm going to have to get them, if only because the creative teams working on them are so good.

  • March 15, 2012, 10:37 a.m. CST

    Could care less about anything Watchmen

    by Snookeroo

    but I'll buy anything with Adam Hughes artwork. So...yeah.

  • March 15, 2012, 10:40 a.m. CST

    Is Manhattan wearing his speedo on that first cover image?

    by Squashua

    Because if he ain't...

  • March 15, 2012, 10:45 a.m. CST

    I'm probably going to wait for the trade

    by Squashua

    These are a lot of books to pick up.

  • March 15, 2012, 10:52 a.m. CST

    I love JMS, but...

    by shutupfanboy

    There is a lot more to DC going to Alan Moore and Dave with hat in hand. Its a rather murky situation at best.JMS does come off like a dick at times in this article. I also liked the movie even if they fucked up the end, not the giant squid that was stupid. The "Nothing ever ends" line needed to be given to Ozy and his oh shit expression he has in the comics, too. I think DC realized 52 was going to shake out to less stay readers than they thought, so go for the next big cash cow for the ultimate sacrifice after they butchered their superheroes.

  • March 15, 2012, 11:20 a.m. CST

    'Before Watchmen', to a degree, is hobbled from the start...

    by Scraptalicious

    From reading what JMS wrote about the basic narrative of his Nite Owl miniseries, I'm sure it will be an enjoyable read with great art (the creative teams assigned to this whole project are definitely impressive), but why does this story really need to be told? From everything I've read about these prequels, it seems that the creators are simply filling in blanks in these characters' pasts, retouching on core values and weaknesses that were already established in the original Watchmen miniseries. If that's the case, then these new books are basically going to be an exercise in fluff. It's almost like releasing the scraps on the editing room floor as it's own entity, and expecting that series to stand up in both quality and relevance to the original. The only way these books are going to achieve any degree of cultural longevity is if they bring something new to the table outside of name association with Watchmen. Basically, these books will have to prove their own reason to exist. If these fall short of that, it will simply be remembered as what everyone already suspects it to be: DC Comics crass cash-grab of 2012.

  • March 15, 2012, 11:35 a.m. CST

    So JMS, do I have your permission to write a pastiche of Babylon 5?

    by cookylamoo

  • March 15, 2012, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Love the GN & the movie...

    by Jay

    Never understood some of the hate it gets, especially considering all it gets right. People are always whining about wanting "hard SciFi" and yet when when it's right in front of them, not only do they refuse to recognize it, they flat out reject it.

  • March 15, 2012, 12:09 p.m. CST

    What these people aren't getting...,

    by Felix the Taster that Alan Moore wasn't just the creator of Watchmen. He was the star. His fierce talent was why we read it. It was about the puppeteer, not the puppets. The characters themselves are just archetypes found in every single comic at that time. Its not the same as Siegel and Shushter creating Superman but having other writers and artists take the character forward. What makes these characters special and different to those in the DC universe is that their story was meant to be finite. To pimp them out like this misses the whole point. True Watchmen fans won't read this.

  • March 15, 2012, 12:47 p.m. CST

    True Watchmen fans won't read this

    by AnakinsDiapers

    Bullshit.<P> Love Watchmen. Read it once a year.<P> I'm getting this, and will judge the story after i've read it.

  • March 15, 2012, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Isn't JMS the guy who fucked up Spiderman?

    by bob_uzumaki

    He can rot in hell for all I care. I guess I'll only check out Minutemen. Darwyn Cooke rules.

  • March 15, 2012, 1:22 p.m. CST

    sure, Moore is one of the all time greats, BUT hes also a cunt

    by MariusXe

  • and now he's their tool to fuck someone else. GREAT JOB. MOVIN' UP THAT LADDER. FUCKING HACK SCAB.

  • March 15, 2012, 2 p.m. CST

    Doesn't matter how you try to justify it...

    by Knuckleduster

    ... the simple truth is that they're doing this "event" to sell more comics and keep the money men happy, and they're gonna milk this cash cow for all it's worth. It's cold and cynical and, like most movies and comics these days, it will end up feeling more like a corporate product than an actual story that someone felt driven to tell. The creative intentions behind this are completely fucked from the start.

  • March 15, 2012, 2:21 p.m. CST


    by Felix the Taster

    Then you, sir, are what the marketing boys refer to as an easy sale.

  • March 15, 2012, 2:28 p.m. CST

    JMS is ok in my book.

    by Crazymaverick

    I love his work on Thor and Superman: Earth One. I agree with his viewpoint on the whole Alan Moore - Watchmen situation. At some point people need to put up or shut up, especially when they're not averse to using characters they haven't created. I also completely agree with his assessment of the Watchmen movie when he says that the best thing about it was it's adherence to the source material, but then that was also to it's detriment. Maybe it's because I don't think that the 12 issue Watchmen series was the best thing since sliced bread. Pretty damn good? Sure! But personally I enjoyed The Dark Knight, Batman: Year One and Arkham Asylum better.

  • -- It was said with such conviction too.

  • Superman and Wonder Woman were trainwrecks even before he left. I haven't read Earth One, but I hear good things. Watchmen > Dark Knight. DK2 was another cash grab that failed too. Year One was amazing though.

  • March 15, 2012, 3:39 p.m. CST

    Straczynski = totally FULL OF SHIT

    by Big Dumb Ape

    Have to agree with ShutUpFanBoy's assessment above that Straczynski comes off rather dickish in this interview. Then again that's not unusual since -- with regards to this project -- he's been peddling his personal brand of backwards ass logic since Day One. First, I love that he tries to defend this latest comic bastardization by stating: "Even Alan was working on some ideas for a WATCHMEN prequel around the same time the original miniseries came out, so he certainly didn't think at the time that they should remain untouched." Hey, Earth paging MORON -- as I'm sure you know, ALL writers prepare a wide amount of notes and material when penning a piece. And they CERTAINLY do it when they're creating a new "self contained world", whether it's a comic, novel, TV show or movie. In fact, I seem to recall plenty of pat on the back interviews with Straczynski in the days of BABYLON 5, where he was constantly bragging about how much "series Bible work" he had personally done for the show, to back his constant egotistical refrain that it was "more thoughtful" in concept and execution than other shows since all of its story arcs were pre-planned and fleshed out in advance. So, on a project like WATCHMEN -- which had SO many elements and characters and storylines and what not, to weave its cumulative tapestry -- the simple notion that Moore would have written MORE (no pun intended) then what ended up in the final book is pretty much a given. As is the notion that Moore MIGHT have fleetingly looked at all of his notes and side ideas and thought to himself "Hmm, maybe I can use this or that another time." But the cold, hard fact that Straczynski conveniently wants to push aside and constantly avoid is that Moore ultimately did choose NOT to pursue those ideas. And when WATCHMEN debuted and was an instant critical and commercial hit, Moore consciously chose NOT to do a sequel, nor to do any single character spinoffs or spotlight books. NOR in all the years since -- as the book garnered ever more fans and acclaim and pop culture notoriety -- did Moore ever decide to return to that world, in order to cash in on it further. Then again the whole idea of creating a piece of work and in a BABE-like moment of self-realization saying to yourself "That will do, pig"... and choosing to walk away (as Moore did)... is a concept clearly lost on someone like Straczynski who made it a personal mission in life to pimp BABYLON 5 as hard as possible, every chance he could find. Hell, to this day he's STILL pimping hard since he STILL brings up in interviews how he wants another shot at the fucking thing, this time doing a feature version. I also love that he falls back on an even LAMER defense by stating: "Alan hasn't shied away from using other people's characters that were originally published in books that lots of people believe should remain untouched (Allan Quatermain,The Invisible Man, Captain Nemo, Jekyll and Hyde, Peter Pan, Professor Moriarty and Mina Harker, to name just a few). The argument against Watchmen gets very slippery." REALLY? Who exactly are these generic "lots of people" that he's citing? That he's using as a defense, essentially claiming they have his creative back? Earth paging FUCKTARD again: There is a MAJOR difference between what Moore did with LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN and what you're doing here. What Straczynski is arguing would have held water IF Moore had written and released LEAGUE at the same time... or only a few years after... those characters had first debuted in their original literary form. Where the actual AUTHORS of those books/characters would still be alive to see their creations possibly usurped against their will or vision, and then bastardized in front of their own eyes, by someone trying to profit off them. But in LEAGUE'S case, you're talking about characters that, in some cases, are over 100 FREAKING YEARS OLD. In other words, in terms of intellectual property rights and honoring a creator's vision, ALL of those characters already HAD a chance to stand alone -- for literally GENERATIONS of time. ALL of them were given a respectable and proper shelf-life to achieve fame (or earn fortune) DURING the author's life...and now they've simply fallen into public domain. Where, by the purest sense of the law, they are SUPPOSED to be open for use and are SUPPOSED to be free for interpretation by other people aside from the original creator. That's the whole fucking POINT of having trademarks and copyrights eventually running out the clock and falling INTO public domain. But there's a BIG difference between THAT and JMS (or the other creators on these books) taking a major shit on Moore's creation which is still not that old, relatively speaking. As Scraptalicious noted in a post above, the bottom line remains "Are these stories that REALLY need to be told?" And the answer is: only to complete money whores like DC Comics and Straczynski, who are just looking for a cheap ass media stunt that will allow them to pimp an easy paycheck by shitting over another person's creative work, for no other reason than "we legally can." Long short to both DC and Straczynski: FUCK OFF with these books and feel free to shove 'em right up your goddamm money-whoring asses.

  • March 15, 2012, 3:40 p.m. CST

    Hahaha: "Alan"

    by kiddae

    J Michael Straczynski is as dumb as a post.

  • March 15, 2012, 3:47 p.m. CST

    Will not be paying to read this - Barnes & Noble lurker alert!

    by obijuanmartinez

  • March 15, 2012, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Don't worry guys...

    by kiddae

    I know the people who created the original are 100% against this, but I got some circular fallacious bullshit that proves I still get to call myself a writer.

  • March 15, 2012, 4:04 p.m. CST

    I can see not wanting to buy it, but why would you want to read it?

    by Margot Tenenbaum

    You've got to be judicious about what you let into your brain, people!

  • March 15, 2012, 4:16 p.m. CST

    Pasting in the squid would not fix Snyder's mess.

    by flax

    I still want to see Terry Gilliam's version.

  • Are there stories here that need to be told? Spot on, Scraptalicious. Reading JMS's response on writing the Night Owl mini, it sounded more like an exercise in comic book archeology than the inspired motivation for a story. It's picking through the clues to what little backstory was revealed in the GN and trying to cobble together something interesting within that framework. Doesn't sound like a recipe for groundbreaking work in my opinion. And the Dr. Manhattan prequel story...? There was no Blue Man before the events in the GN, so JMS will have to get into all this metaphysical mumbo-jumbo with Doc always having existed and being able to manipulate time and space, consider the consequences of his future action and/or in-action... blah, blah, blah. Boring. Also, what Felix said about Moore being the true star of the original GN? So true. It's what he brought to the table during the height of his powers that made it so amazing and enduring. The whole "True Watchmen fans won't read this," was a bit much though, dude. I'll be giving them a look-see at my local shop. May even pick one or two up if the #1s grab me at all. But I'll give 'em a single issue at most (if any) to prove they're worth buying more of. Beyond that, hey, no one can ever take anything from the original GN. We'll always have that, right?

  • March 15, 2012, 4:18 p.m. CST

    I just can't believe JMS didn't make a penny from B5

    by kirttrik

    That, technically, cannot be true.

  • March 15, 2012, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Also, I propose a Michael Bay/Jerry Bruckheimer B5 movie

    by kirttrik

    Cutting out JMS entirely from the creative process.

  • March 15, 2012, 6:25 p.m. CST

    JMS needs to work hard to win back any respect

    by jccalhoun

    I loved Babylon 5 but his recent work has really soured me on him. The best parts of Squadron Supreme were lifted from Moore's MiracleMan. There's the whole The Twelve debacle. Then he set up a ridiculous Superman-walking-across-America and Wonder Woman in a leather jacket storylines only to abandon them. Then there was the flamewar with Steve Wacker. Now working on this. He's got a lot of work ahead of him before I give him any more of my money.

  • March 15, 2012, 7:12 p.m. CST

    I will pretend this does not exist.

    by Yelsaeb

    That is all.

  • March 15, 2012, 7:15 p.m. CST

    And by the way, the Watchmen movie was fantastic.

    by Yelsaeb

    That is all.

  • March 15, 2012, 8:27 p.m. CST

    Watchmen is so like John Carter

    by cookylamoo

    Mostly a faithful adaption with a few little "improvements" that didn't really work out.

  • In the words of Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets, "People who speak in metaphors can shampoo my crotch."

  • March 15, 2012, 11:50 p.m. CST

    Watchmen movie could have been better. It was ok.

    by hank henshaw

    Too much of that irritating slo-mo. If they were going to leave out the alien monster, they should have left out Bubastis too. Make-up was unintentionally funny. Some music choices were inspired, others were terrible. Uneven acting.

  • March 16, 2012, 9:15 a.m. CST

    this is gonna be a disaster.


  • March 18, 2012, 4:53 p.m. CST


    by raw_bean

    JMS will of course have received his exec producer salary, as well as a payment for each script he wrote and presumably a directors paycheck for the couple of episodes he directed. What he's talking about is his supposedly entitling him to a share of the profits the show made, however it is ill defined enough that Warner Bros can count all sorts of unrelated expenses against the money the show made and make it appear on paper as though the show never made a profit from which to give him a share.