Earlier today at the Fan Expo in Toronto, DC Comics announced that this November and December will see the release of Before Watchmen: Moloch #1 and #2. Yes, you read that one right, this time around one of the villains is getting his own prequel. The series will be brought to us by the legendary writer J. Michael Straczynski and artist Eduardo Risso. JMS talked to Comic Book Resources more about his plans for the series and why exactly he believes that Moloch deserves his own prequel. Check out a few highlights below as well as a preview of Eduardo Risso’s artwork from the series.
Regarding how this series came about:
In our early conversations, Dan [DiDio] indicated that he really wanted to explore Moloch because he’s central to the mythology of the original “Watchmen,” even though only see him at the end of his life, and the rest is just a few facts and dates tossed around in text or dialogue. He would’ve liked to have included this from the git-go, but felt that everybody was maxed out on what was already on our plates. Fortunately, I got my scripts finished, done and in before anybody else, and long before they were due, so when I was done Dan asked if I’d be willing, and of course I said yes.
If you step back and just look at his story, it’s a real tragedy, in a way the most tragic of all of the characters. He started out in great difficulty, turned to crime, was sent to prison repeatedly, found religion, converted to Catholicism, and came out of prison determined to lead a changed life. It was a new beginning, a fresh start…and what happens? He falls prey to Ozymandias’ plans and becomes one of the first sacrificial lambs to that slaughter. How is that not a compelling story worth telling? Most of what we know from the material in the first book is expressed in narrative, in bits and pieces in “Under the Hood” and elsewhere — we don’t actually see any of it, and thus we don’t understand the why of the what. Yes, we know he went through all these changes, but what prompted it? How did it happen and what did it mean? I wanted to give his history the same serious treatment we were giving to all the heroic characters. A character is stretched too thin when you can’t tell any more good stories about them, and with the Watchmen characters, we’ve barely scratched the surface, even though I kinda doubt they’re going to go back to the well on this again too often or too soon.
Does this mean we can expect more Before Watchmen series coming our way? Quite possibly. Is this a good thing or bad thing? I’m not really sure. I’ve been pretty let down by these books minus Ozymandias and Rorschach’s outings, but it could go either way.