In a new interview with PREVIEWSworld, Previews Magazine's website, prolific comics and screen writer J. Michael Straczynski says that he believes Before Watchmen is a one-time deal and that the concept will be retired following the conclusion of this summer's big DC event.
Straczynski, who wrote the Nite-Owl and Dr. Manhattan miniseries as well as a story based on Moloch, says that an extension of the project hasn't been discussed with him.
"Insofar as I know, this is it for the Before Watchmen books," said Straczynski. "[DC Entertainment co-publisher Dan DiDio] had a very specific vision of the cycle he wanted to investigate, and never once mentioned anything about this turning into some kind of long-term franchise. Not to say that might not happen someday, but I don't think it's on his or DC's radar at this juncture, and if it's not on theirs it's sure as heck not on mine."
Straczynski has told stories from both ends of the superhero spectrum in Before Watchmen.
“Part of the fun of the characters is, Dr. Manhattan is the most powerful character in the Watchmen universe,” Straczynski told us in an interview at Comic Con, “but he can see all of his past and future decisions have already been made, so he loses free will in the process. He can’t choose differently, because that’s the way he chose.”
On the other hand, he says, “Nite Owl has the smallest point-of-view of all and sees a whole universe of possibility.”
For DiDio's part, he hasn't publicly dismissed the idea of follow-ups, saying that there could be more to come if this first wave was a success--but that quote came from a time before Moloch or the Dollar Bill one-shot were announced so it could be that those were still in the back of his mind and now are not.
Straczynski said that his priority at the moment is re-establishing the Joe's Comics imprint at Image, and writing the script for the upcoming (but not yet officially announced) third volume of Superman: Earth One. The second volume in the best-selling series of original graphic novels hit stores in October.