Seeing as how a major motion picture is due out next month based on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen mini-series, DC Comics is anxious to grab any viewers jazzed from the experience. Given the limited nature of the Watchmen comic, however, there’s not exactly much more to read beyond the 12 issues.
So, DC is offering the next best thing, five budget-priced comics that may appeal to a viewer who thoroughly enjoyed Watchmen.
- Saga of the Swamp Thing #21, March 11
- Transmetropolitan #1, March 18
- Planetary #1, March 25
- Preacher #1, April 1
- Identity Crisis #1, April 8
The Saga of the Swamp Thing issue is kind of a no-brainer as it is a classic. The Anatomy Lesson not only stood the entire Swamp Thing series on its head, but it also paved the way for one of the most impressive horror/suspense comics on the market to date. Swamp Thing was such a success that it introduced a new readership that DC could sell on Sandman, Hellblazer and later spawn the entire Vertigo line.
Transmetropolitan and Preacher are frankly ‘also rans’ in the Vertigo line that were once impressive but have not aged well. Both read like stilted juvenile attacks on authority and frankly I cannot see a fan of Watchmen getting interested in either of them. If nothing else, an issue of Preacher may encourage someone to research Bill Hicks. Transmetropolitan will just make readers confused as to why DC published a Hunter S. Thompson sci-fi series.
Planetary was a once hopeful new spin on the super hero/super science genre that became plagued with publishing delays and a lack of original ideas. For every brilliant issue there was the inevitable homage to ‘x’ (be it Godzilla movies, Doc Samson, Wonder Woman or what have you) issue that became tiresome real fast. It’s a shame because the artwork by John Cassiday is stunning.
Identity Crisis may seem like the oddest addition but stacked up against the others it is actually the most appropriate for a fan of Watchmen. The first part of a major event comic written by Brad Meltzer, Identity Crisis took characters that readers had gotten bored with and added new facets to their personae. A gripping tale that really did have a lasting impact on the monthly comics, this could be the perfect read for a novice in the comics field. It also utilizes characters most everyone knows into telling a sophisticated story.
Looking past the obvious problem that in order to sell these issues movie viewers will have to set foot in a comic shop, each copy will only cost a slim dollar. So… maybe it’s the task of the already initiated to buy up these comics and distribute to those unfettered by the Wednesday new release habit?
For more recommendations, I suggest the following for those looking for very well done super hero fare and one book that I just think everyone should read:
The Twelve, Vol. 1
Supreme Power Vol. 1: Contact
Life in the Big City (Astro City, Vol. 1)
Saga of the Swamp Thing, Book 1 (nice new edition)