Saturday, February 2, 2013

Before Watchmen: Dollar Bill #1 (One Shot)

There are a handful of artists whose work, over the years, I have bought automatically.

Among them are: Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Gil Kane, Jim Steranko, John Byrne, George Perez, John Cassaday - and Steve Rude.

Rude manages to combine some of the best elements of all those artists - Kirby's power, Ditko's acrobatics, Kane's sculpted characters, Steanko's creative layouts, Byrne's energy, Perez's enthusiasm and Cassaday's spark.

I discovered his work like most fans - in the pages of the incredible Nexus series he created with writer Mike Baron.

So when I saw he had drawn this one-shot issue of Before Watchmen: Dollar Bill, I snapped it up immediately.

And as always, Rude does not disappoint. His art is so wonderfully alive, iconic and yet fresh and original. From the joyous cover to the sports montage and comic audition scenes, his work hasn't lost a step.

Writer Len Wein (who was the original editor on the Watchmen series) gives us the origin and story of Dollar Bill, a hero who was created as (of all things) a bank mascot. But what starts as an acting gig soon becomes much more.

It's a solid story with highs and lows, but the real star here is Rude's artwork.

Why he's not working on a regular series is beyond me - he's one of the best in the business.

Grade: A-



Anonymous said...


I read this book as well. Good stuff - I'm also a HUGE Rude fan. If I may ask, why the minus on the A grade? Just curious....


Chuck said...

B., Good question. While the art was outstanding, the story was a bit on the slim side and ended abruptly (though they did about as well one one might, given the fact that the outcome was pre-ordained). It just wasn't quite compelling enough to earn an "A" - though it was very close.