Friday, June 22, 2012

Before Watchmen: Comedian #1 (of 4)

The third of the Before Watchmen books may have the toughest challenge, because it focuses on the Comedian, who's not exactly a sympathetic character.

The story by Brian Azzarello is firmly set in the 1960s, as it explores the relationship between the title character, President John Kennedy and his family.

I can't help but feel a bit uneasy about the depictions of the former first family as seedy, conniving and coldblooded (one member in particular gets painted darkly) - after all, these are real people who have families and loved ones still walking around. They're public figures, so there's nothing legally wrong with this kind of story - but it seems morally questionable.

The same is true for the Comedian, who kills with great abandon, and handles dirty work without a twinge of guilt.

The art is by J.G. Jones, and it's impressive work. Unlike previous stories in this series, he doesn't try to mimic the original style by Dave Gibbons - instead he serves up work that is alternately easy-going and frenetic, with imaginative layouts and impressive depictions of famous faces. He captures the time perfectly.

Of the three issues so far, this is the darkest - but like the others, it's very well done. But not recommended if you're a Kennedy fan.

Grade: A-


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