Friday, July 13, 2012

Before Watchmen: Minutemen #2 (of 4)

One of the ways the original Watchmen series was innovative was that it focused on characters who played the part of heroes - but weren't necessarily heroic.

They had different motives - some noble, but most had more base reasons. It was a bit of a shock for comic readers who had been raised on generations of good guys fighting for truth, justice and the American way.

I have friends who loathe comics like that - but there's no denying that comics were never the same afterwards.

Which brings us to this issue by writer / artist Darwyn Cooke, which expands on the concept even more, as we learn more about the real origin of the Minutemen - a group that was created more as a public relations stunt than as a group of civic-minded heroes trying to do the right thing.

Thankfully, there are characters in here we can cheer on - but there are also developments that are shocking and disturbing. (This is not a comic for young kids.)

It's a difficult issue to discuss without giving away essential plot points, but it's a gripping tale about a truly different team dynamic.

As always, the art is fantastic - clever layouts, clear storytelling, intense staging - Cooke is an outstanding talent.

I'm not sure if it's the inspiration of following in the footsteps of a legend, if it's just the fact that they're working with great source material, or if it's the talent of the creative teams (it's probably all three), but the Before Watchmen titles have all been excellent - and this may be the best one of the bunch.

Highly recommended!

Grade: A



Dwayne said...

I totally agree with your assessment of this book. I like how Cooke is spending a lot of time with Silhouette. She's really an original character.

Cooke's 3rd Parker book, The Score, also came out this week. It's a straight heist story and a quick read. Cooke fans should definitely pick that up. A GREAT week for Darwyn Cooke fans!

Chuck said...

Yeah, I love the Parker books - I'll have to track that one down.