Before Watchmen Shakeup: Wein Off, Higgins Writing Backups

When spoke to John Higgins at the end of June, we noted that he would be the only creator on the artistic side (rather than editorial) whose name would appear in every Watchmen-related title by the time all was said and done. That's because Higgins was the colorist on the original Alan Moore-Dave Gibbons series and was drawing the Curse of the Crimson Corsair backups for writer Len Wein, which ran through every issue of Before Watchmen. Only, DC Entertainment announced today that Len Wein was actually off the backups, apparently leaving to focus on the Before Watchmen Epilogue and his currently-ongoing duties as the writer of Before Watchmen: Ozymandias with artist Jae Lee. Wein, who edited Watchmen in the '80s, was the only other name that was set to appear on every issue (albeit split between editorial and creative), but now Higgins will in fact be the only name in the masthead for every issue since the beginning. "I think the audience will be astounded at the quality of John's work," Wein told us during an interview at Comic-Con. "I was." He lamented not being aware of what Higgins was capable of back when he was an editor at DC, saying, "My God! If I had known!" In a statement made on their blog ahead of the solicitations for November product, DC made the following statement:

John Higgins, WATCHMEN original series colorist and current artist on THE CURSE OF THE CRIMSON CORSAIR backup story, running through all the BEFORE WATCHMEN titles, will be taking over as writer beginning with the two-pager in BEFORE WATCHMEN: Dr. Manhattan #1. Len Wein will be stepping off THE CURSE OF THE CRIMSON CORSAIR to focus his attention on the upcoming BEFORE WATCHMEN: EPILOGUE and will continue as writer on BEFORE WATCHMEN: OZYMANDIAS.

It's surprising to see a creative change in mid-stream, since Before Watchmen has rested its controversial reputation on creatively being above reproach. Wein and J. Michael Straczynski talked about that aspect of the work in our roundtable interview; you can see video of that conversation below.