In a pair of matching articles at Buzzfeed have “leaked” a series of never-before-seen images from the Second Wave of DC Comics’ New 52 taken while a reporter for the site was doing a tour of the site for a feature article last week.
While it’s not exactly fair play to cut and paste all forty-nine of their images here, there’s a fair mix of character sketches, interior pages and promotional images, the collective value of which really helps to give fans a sense for what they’re in for with the company’s two biggest initiatives of the next six months.
Controversy aside, the actual art on Before Watchmen appears so far to be uniformly beautiful, with Amanda Conner’s work in particular feeling pitch-perfect for the character and the project. The Rorschach and Crimson Corsair stuff also appears to be well-suited for what we know of the characters and concepts; Jae Lee’s Ozymandias is pretty, but until we see some story pages it will be hard to judge; his style doesn’t necessarily seem all that well-suited to high-tech nature of the character.
The New 52 pages have a heavy focus on GI Combat: The War That Time Forgot, and while Ariel Olivetti’s art is nice, it’s nothing groundbreaking and hard to guess whether helicopters fighting dinosaurs will bring people in the doors. It might, if it were drawn by Darwyn Cooke (who did it splendidly in The New Frontier), but he’s busy with Before Watchmen. Oh, the irony.
Some books appear farther along than others; both the aforementioned Ozymandias material and Ian Churchill’s Ravagers work all seems to be pre-sequential in nature, with character sketches and pinups winning the day. Nevertheless, the brunt of the material looks pretty cool and is worth at least glancing through. There are also more unlettered pages of Earth 1 from Nicola Scott, of which we got our first official taste early this morning.