Once upon a time, in a blogosphere far, far away, CJack provided you, her Intermittent Readers, with tales of Pop Culture and KJack’s comic book reviews on a mostly regular basis. In recent months, this hasn’t been the case, but thanks to KJack’s insomnia and CJack’s lunch break, we bring you back the the days of yore with a belated edition of…
Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1
By Darwyn Cooke
Reviewed by Kirk Jackson
Kicking off the entire Before Watchman opus is this single issue about the “golden age” of costumed crime-fighting set in Alan Moore’s seminal Watchmen universe. I must admit, like many, I was a little wary before I read this issue. I’m not from the camp that considers Watchmen too sacred to ever be touched by non-Moore hands, but I love the original just as much as anyone and never want to see mediocre versions of it. My fears melted away however as I took in the very first pages. Right away I could tell by the sequence of different images formed by very similar, circular shapes that Cooke was going to waste no time paying tribute to David Gibbon’s art. Cooke’s style in general is perfect for the pulpy feel of the Minutemen book, but he outdoes himself as he adjusts his style on every page to fit the mood and tone of each Minutemen character. The Moth Man sequence for instance is very dark, ominous, and serious, while Dollar Bill has a colorful almost cartoony commercial appearance. I was further comforted by the familiar visage of Hollis Mason, the original Night Owl, as he’s shown just finishing his book, “Under the Hood.” Like in Watchmen, this book is narrated from within by its own characters. Mason relates the story as he had written it in his book, and introduces each Minuteman one by one. With the benefit of hindsight, he is able to describe them all with accuracy and depth, and this makes for a wonderfully character driven comic. The action sequences are exciting, the dialogue spot on, and the portrayal of each character has me hanging on to every word. All in all this is an amazing start to what should be the most rewarding comic event of the year!