DC Comicsdid their best to put a positive spin on the Watchmen prequels at their All Access panel at C2E2 today.
DC Comics held it's All Access: Before Watchmen panel today at C2E2, and they had a mission - defuse the fan outrage and anger that has been expressed on the net since the prequels were first announced. To accomplish this mighty task, the company brought out fan-favorite creators like Brian Azzarello, Lee Bermejo, Amanda Conner, Adam Hughes, Len Wein, and J. Michael Straczynski. On the not so favorite front was the great Satan of disgruntled fanboys, Dan Didio, and some other DC brass and editors including Bob Wayne, Mark Chiarello and Will Dennis.
After a brief introduction, the panel kicked off with Bob Wayne bringing a fan onstage. The fan, falling on the somewhat less than happy side about Before Watchmen, was shown some of the artwork for the comics and forced to approve in a spectacle worthy of an old-timey snake oil sales presentation. Embraced by the holy spirit, the converted fan proclaimed the artwork beautiful and his skepticism put to rest.
The panel continued to focus on the artwork, carefully avoiding the actual criticisms about the books, which never revolved around the expectation of sub par creative talent. Jae Lee's work on Ozymandias was referred to as "fine art." Adam Hughes, breaking the tone a little bit, seemed to express slight disappointment at being tasked with drawing Dr. Manhattan instead of his favorite, Nite Owl. "It wasn't a dream come true, but it is becoming really interesting," Hughes said, obvious code for "I'm slightly uncomfortable drawing massive blue penises."
J. Michael Straczynski, on the other hand, never one to shy away from controversy, was happy to blast disgruntled creator and bearded lunatic Alan Moore, pointing out Moore's own use of public domain characters to tell stories that might have offended the original creators and mixing his metaphors when he accused the warlock of standing on a "slippery slope when he uses the moral high ground." JMS went on to justify DC's exploitation of the sacred Watchmen by bringing up instances where DC has screwed other creators in even worse ways, such as Superman creators Segal and Shuster.
With the attacks out of the way, we were treated to some information on the tone of the books. According to Amanda Conner, Silk Spectre will be like a "romance comic with beatings," which this reporter must admit is likely faithful to the tone of the original story. On the other hand, Lee Bermejo promised the Rorschach comic would be like a 70s grindhouse movie, and would apparently feature porn. Running accross all the prequels will be a pirate themed backup feature called Crimson Corsair, written by Len Wein, which is sure to pack the same relevant metaphorical punch as Tales of the Black Freighter.
There was, of course, a question and answer session at the panel, but it was mostly controversy free. We did learn some tidbits of info, such as a confirmed appearance of Richard Nixon and of the aforementioned Dr. Manhattan's penis, which Adam Hughes needed to be drunk to illustrate. We were even teased with the possibility of seeing the Silk Spectre Tijuana Bible, because less is never more in the nuDCU.
Stay tuned to the Outhouse in the coming weeks for Alan Moore's eventual reply and pages and pages of fanboy bickering.
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Written or Contributed by: Jude Terror
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