‘Beyond Watchmen’: Don’t Call It A Cash Grab.

There are certain things in the world nobody asked for, nobody wanted and nobody needed.

Like The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.  Like The Godfather III.   Like every Alien movie that wasn’t directed by Ridley Scott or James Cameron.  Like every Terminator sequel that wasn’t directed by James Cameron.

Like New Coke.  Like Sarah Palin as vice president.  Like a Hummer.  Like NBC’s entire fall season.

Like Before Watchmen.  DC Comics announced this week they will publish a limited series of comics based upon the Watchmen 25 years after the fact.

Before Watchmen?  There was no before Watchmen and there was no after Watchmen.  There is only WatchmenAlan Moore wrote it and Dave Gibbons drew it and they told the story in 12 issues and that was it.

Sure DC has about the same principle as a pimp with a stable of child prostitutes, but they aren’t trying to sell Before Watchmen to geezers like me.  They’re going after the kids who saw Watchmen the movie and never finished reading Watchmen the graphic novel.

Alan Moore: the creator who got left out in the cold

This act of money-grubbing douchery on DC’s part should come as no surprise.  Two years ago they went to Moore and offered to return he rights to Watchmen .  There were a few conditions though.

“They offered me the rights to Watchmen back, if I would agree to some dopey prequels and sequels,” Moore said in an interview with Wired,  “So I just told them that if they said that 10 years ago, when I asked them for that, then yeah it might have worked. But these days I don’t want Watchmen back. Certainly, I don’t want it back under those kinds of terms.”

After Moore blew them off, 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.”

Then two years later DC proceeded with their dopey prequels idea and if they sell well, can the dopey sequels be far behind?  Ready for After Watchmen?

Though Zack Snyder’s Watchmen film underwhelmed and underperformed, it did well enough for some suit at Warner Brothers to greenlight the prequels and build up interest in the characters for another movie.  Warner has had no luck producing comic book movies without Batman or Superman in it.  Personally, I blame all the audiences that passed on Hellblazer, Jonah Hex and Green Lantern in favor of something else (like a good movie).

This isn’t necessary but then The Sting II without Newman and Redford and Butch and Sundance: The Early Years without Newman and Redford wasn’t necessary either.  There’s still a version of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes without Harold Melvin (who’s dead) or Teddy Pendergrass (who’s dead) or any of the other original Blue Notes,

It’s about dollar, dollar bill, y’all.  Money talks and everything else is walkin’.  Before Watchmen is a bad, bad idea whose time has come.  Alan Moore can’t stop it.   DC knows they can’t improve on the original, but make some more money from it?  That, they are willing to do.

I get it that DC has every right to use (or exploit) characters they own and they own Watchmen, not the guys who created them.   This isn’t about art, this is about commerce.  DC Comics is in the business of making money.  They don’t give their comics away for free.

Everything I needed to know about Watchmen I learned in Watchmen.   That was essential.  This is unnecessary.   What Moore and Gibbons did they did out of inspiration and love.  What  DC is doing is because they are part of a corporation and corporations are inspired by love of money.  Corporations don’t make anything original.  They make prequels, sequels, remakes, relaunches, reboots and anything else that’s been done before because it they bought it once, they might buy it again.

Before Watchmen could be good.  It might be great.  I’ll never know.   I am numb to the latest , greatest stunt the comic book corporate properties belch out.

Do not want.  Will not buy.