As one might expect, with J.M. Straczynski as a featured guest and DC hosting a Straczynski panel today back-to-back with its second DC: All Access panel of the weekend–this one focused on Before Watchmen specifically–much of today was spent with DC’s editors and talent teasing, explaining, defending and rationalizing Before Watchmen.
“The reality is people really wanted to read more Watchmen,” Dan DiDio reportedly answered when asked outright why DC chose to take on the prequels. He stressed to fans that the quality of the work will be unquestioned, and Will Dennis–an editor on the project–backed him up, saying that the creators involved are at a point in their careers where they have nothing to prove to anybody. DiDio added that they specifically selected creators who would be willing to take on the challenge, regardless of how it was perceived and talked about by fans and the comics community during production.
J.M. Straczynski, who appeared on both panels, is writing two of the Before Watchmen miniseries and seems to be one of the creators associated with the project who has drawn the most fire from fans. While he was speaking his piece at two panels today, an interview he did with Newsarama ran which was dedicated solely to Before Watchmen, and largely to explaining its philosophy. While Straczynski’s first interview back on the day of the announcement was with Comic Book Resources, Newsarama has proven the most open to DC’s point of view on the event, which has been attacked by bloggers at CBR and Tom Spurgeon’s Comics Reporter site, among many others. He and Len Wein–writer of the Crimson Corsair backup features and an editor on the original Watchmen series–both defended the project to MTV Geek today as well, and said they’d be on board for future installments should this summer’s project prove to be a success.
“I think what this project has shown, more than anything else, is that there’s so much about these characters that hasn’t been told before, so many areas that can yet be explored. I think that these books will show that clearly. What happens beyond that ain’t my purview. If invited to the dance, I’d love to go,” said Straczynski in that interview.