I've heard this one rumbling for a while now. First there was the story that DC Comics Publisher and President Paul Levitz had personally prevented any Watchmen 2 projects, because, despite their differences, he believed that as this would be against Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' wishes, it would cause very bad feeling in the creative community and would be a creatively bankrupt move.
Moore fell out massively with DC Comics, and Paul Levitz specifically, not only choosing not to work with them any further, but scuppering spinoff projects, removing his name from any movie credits and any money due to him from said movies, and taking his one final project The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, from Wildstorm, a publisher DC had purchased.
But there were moves. A Wizard splash showing DC's Countdown multiverse had Rorschach as one of the combatants and it was rumoured one of the universes in the DC 52 Multiverse was intended to be the Watchmen world. Instead, Earth 4 became a world inspired by elements of Watchmen and the Charlton Heroes universe but with other aspects such as the laws of physics being altered.
But the news broke that Paul Levitz was stepping down from DC Comics as both President and Publisher, I wondered what that meant for the possibility of a Watchmen sequel. Certainly in a hundred years, you couldn't expect there not to be one.
Well, it seems to be happening a lot sooner than I thought. I understand now that this considered a pet project of Dan DiDio, SVP-Executive Editor. That he is determined to impress new bosses by building on DC's biggest selling comic book of all time with multiple prequel comic miniseries and spinoff ongoing projects.
I understand that both Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons have to be offered first refusal before any of these titles could be published. But if they don't want to work on them themselves (and Alan Moore is never going to agree), DiDio has been sounding out people who might be willing to take on the task.
While some creators are reticent, the argument goes if there are a number of Watchmen spinoff projects, any blame or shame can be spread on many shoulders. The sales are expected to be massive, whatever the hardcore fanboy reaction and such expected sales benefits will be shared amongst the creative teams.
In contrast, not only would Levitz not allow any new Watchmen stories but even the video game was restricted to material in the graphic novel and film, nothing brand new was allowed to be invented. Despite differences with Moore, Levitz has held fast to the commitment that the comic is the comic is the comic.
It seems that this may now change.
At this stage, having disowned himself of much of it, Alan Moore is likely not to care. Though we might get an eviscerating blast at some point if this all comes to pass.
Both Jim Baikie, Rich Veitch and Gene Ha/Zander Cannon are artists who have taken on writing chores on books previously written by Alan Moore, to continue the storyline. The most creatively-acceptable solution would be Dave Gibbons writing and drawing new Watchmen titles. But DiDio's plans seem much larger than just one book.
And of course, in those initial movie contracts with Fox, there was a clause that included sequels to a Watchmen movie.
When asked, Dave Gibbons only replied "Hurm…"
Courtesy of Wizard Magazine.
It's going to be one of those days, isn't it?
See, that Rob Liefeld Chase Variant cover is so much more relaxing now…