Having Darwyn Cooke's Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1 kick-off the Before Watchmen extravaganza is a decision so brilliant I wonder if Alan Moore thought of it.
Credits & Solicit Info:
Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1 (of 6)
Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke
DC Comics 2012
I liked Watchmen. Okay, not the whole Black Freighter section, but who actually read that part and didn't skip over it? The actual story, the Dave Gibbons art...I liked it. Do I think those characters should never be used in other stories again? Heck no! Use them, abuse them and when they don't produce good stories anymore, lose them. No future story may be as good as Watchmen (in some people's opinions, not mine), but it doesn't mean that some great stories can't still be told within the Watchmen universe.
When DC announced who the new Watchmen stories were going to be created by, one truth existed: Darwyn Cooke is gonna kill on Minutemen. Even Alan Moore said (in a fake interview I just made up) "When a true Cooke's in the kitchen, you let him make whatever he wants."
The award winning comic book chef created modern classics such as DC: The New Frontier and Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter. Both of these works proved that Cooke had talent creating visually compelling time pieces that would be comparable to the Minutemen time period. Basically, Cooke passed the "no shit he'd rock that bod" test, but did he actually "rock that bod?"
Yes. You heard it here. Darwyn Cooke...rocked that bod.
Minutemen #1 introduces readers to each member of the Minutemen squad, a team of heroes from 1939, by dedicating a few pages to each member explaining what they do and what makes them unique and/or special. The narrative is told through Nite Owl's perspective, so some of the team members are spoken about longingly while others are referenced with a bit of disdain. Cooke does an excellent job of not lingering on a character and moving the story along smoothly.
With beautiful imagery and perfect panel pacing, Cooke makes each and every character seem interesting and worthy of his talents, especially in the minor less action packed moments. Cooke's simplistic panels are the key moments which give his characters their own charisma and symbolic moments that stay with us well after we've read Minutemen #1. Darwyn Cooke's work on Minutemen #1 is already magical, but I can not wait to see what the rest of his performance holds.
Overall: 5/5 - Darwyn Cooke has created a masterpiece within a masterpiece.
Review by: Dom G