From this article, spotted on the Twitter:
“However, DC comics co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee said, ‘Watchmen is the most celebrated graphic novel of all time. Rest assured, DC Comics would only revisit these iconic characters if the creative vision of any proposed new stories matched the quality set by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons nearly 25 years ago, and our first discussion on any of this would naturally be with the creators themselves.’”
1. Did DiDio and Lee say it simultaneously, in harmony? Did they sing it to the tune of “Money” from Cabaret?
2. Is this the first public statement that DC would be willing to do new Watchmen stories, whether or not Moore and Gibbons are involved? Because, dude, I’ve got one comic book story in me, and that story is Watchmen 2: Seymour Rising.
But seriously, if there were other statements along those lines in the past, I don’t recall them. Mostly I seem to remember “oh, we wouldn’t cheapen the original with spin-offs” or “if Moore and Gibbons ever want to come back, sure.” But this is the first time they said they’d be more to happy to publish Watchmen Two-in-One #1, Batman and the Comedian, by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis, which I realize they didn’t actually say as such, but I think we can read between the lines, there.
Johanna Draper Carson had commented on her Twitter thingie about it, to which I responded, essentially, that if the Watchmen movie hadn’t killed sales on the graphic novel to the point that DC felt it was necessary to rebuild interest in the series via new material, that we’re probably safe from non-Moore/Gibbons follow-ups. Of course, that doesn’t mean it will never happen, but I think the time for it to happen was during the movie’s lifespan. Of course, we are talking about the comics industry, where barn doors are always closed after the horses have escaped, so new Watchmen material being produced years after its chance at getting as large a potential audience as possible wouldn’t surprise me.
Speaking of Alan Moore, guess who wasn’t mentioned once in this week’s Marvelman Primer? The one mention of Moore’s 1980s revival of the character is a passing mention from a full-page plug for Marvel’s 1950s Marvelman reprint projects:
“If you only know him from his dark, deconstructionist ’80s revival, then you don’t know Marvelman!”
Of course, that ignores the fact that the “dark, deconstructionist ’80s revival” is the Marvelman work most people are primarily curious about. The reprints of the ’50s stories are amusingly entertaining, granted, but it feels like treading water until the details are sorted out with getting those ’80s stories back in print.
Back to Moore…there are plenty of opportunities to bring him up, by the way: there’s a discussion of British comics publishing which mentions Warrior, the magazine where Marvelman’s revival originally appeared, but is not mentioned in the article at all. There’s another history specifically of Marvel’s forays into British comics, which cites their Captain Britain series and mentions creators such as Steve Parkhouse, Chris Claremont, Paul Neary and John Stokes, but does not mention Moore, who wrote what are probably the best-known and most sought-after of the UK-edition Captain Britain comics.
I have no idea how far along, if at all, Marvel is regarding the rerelease of the ’80s Marvelman work. If the answer is “not very,” then I suppose it’s in their best interest to deemphasize that particular run for the time being, especially if they have new material in the works of a different revival of the franchise. But the ’80s comics are very noticeable in their absence from a publication intended to be an overview and introduction to these characters, particularly when the detailed historical articles gloss right over their publications and the writer behind that relaunch.
Or maybe nobody else cares any more, Marvel feels no obligation to cater to that handful of folks who recall some short-run Marvelman series from 25 years ago, and only big ol’ nerds like me are getting all worked up about it. That too is a possibility.