[Comic Review] Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1-2

Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1DC Comics has managed to hit a homerun in Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1.

Darwyn Cooke is amazing at what he does. The story is top notch. The art is perfect for this type of book. Each panel drew me into the story more and more.

Told from the perspective of Hollis Mason, better known as Nite Owl, we take a look at a handful of masks to come out of the 1930’s. And, in 1939, formed the group known as the Minutemen.

Cooke, through the narration of Hollis, takes us through an introductory journey of characters. Within this books pages we meet the likes of the Silk Spectre and her agent Larry Schexnayder, the Nite Owl himself, the Comedian, Hooded Justice, Dollar Bill, Silhouette, Mothman and Captain Metropolis. Each character is devoted (more or less) to two pages worth of story of who/what they were just prior to the Minutemen’s founding.

I cannot say enough about just how this title feels. The artwork is nostalgic, as if it was created during the 1930’s.

The story as a whole is wonderful. Even though it’s merely an “introductory” piece, it left me feeling like I got more than my money’s worth. And, considering how some books are put together this day and age, speaks volumes!

If you’re thinking about getting into the Before Watchmen series, I can honestly say this is the title in which you may consider starting with. And, since I have read some of the others (Comedian, Silk Spectre and Rorschach), I can say that this book has been my favorite thus far.

Rating: 9/10

Reasoning: Great character development, great artwork, good story, great use of narration.

Before Watchmen: Minutemen #2I can’t say enough praise for the Minutemen books within the Before Watchmen series. My awe continued as I read through Before Watchmen: Minutemen #2.

The artwork again is just stunning. It simply fits. The time period. The feel. It all goes together to bring these titles together.

The writing is also amazing. There isn’t as much flip flopping as in #1, so my attention was a little more focused on specific characters and events. Specifically, both the initial creation of the Minutemen as well as Silhouette’s agenda in cracking down on a child pornography ring.

The characters literally jump from the pages. You get a legitimate feel for who/what they are. And with Hollis Mason/Nite Owl behind the wheel as narrator, it offers a weird, insider’s perspective to the story. Cooke does an amazing job in construing the characters wet-behind-the-ears, naïve personality at this point in time in the characters life, and as he reflects back.

There are some interesting turn of events I didn’t think would be introduced here, including a rather curious development between Captain Metropolis and Hooded Justice.

Not knowing much about the history of the Minutemen myself other than what I learned from both the Watchmen graphic novel and of course the amazing movie adaptation, everything is still rather new and fresh to me. To see DC Comics delving this much into adult territory…well…gives me a bit more respect for the company. Whether it’s because of the monster that is Watchmen is behind it or not, giving the creators the ability to do what they feel the need to in order to tell their stories here is something I see more with independent publishing companies.

Kudos, and amazing work!

Rating: 9/10 Gingered Digits.

Reasoning: Great continuing character development, great artwork, superb use of narration, great plot twists, good story.


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