Book Review: Before Watchmen: Minutemen/Silk Spectre by Darwyn Cooke, Amanda Conner

Before Watchmen: Minutemen/Silk Spectre by Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner is a part of a group of prequels to the Watchmen graphic novel. This is the first book in the group, which deals with the origins of the Minutemen and Silk Spectre. As the precursors to the Watchmen, the Minutemen were assembled to fight against a world that have more and more rapidly begun to spin out of control. This varied group of heroes come from completely different backgrounds and have completely different attitudes about crime. Can they come together or will they fall apart before they begin? Silk Spectre is a bit of a follow up to the Minutemen, as her overprotective mother is a superhero from that group. She finds her own path towards becoming a power in her own right. Collects Before Watchmen: Minutemen 1-6 and Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre 1-4.

As a self proclaimed geek, that is way behind the times in graphic novels, I had no idea that these series of books were being released. I had no clue that there was a huge controversy where fans were deeply troubled about weather the portrayals would met their expectations, or disrupt the larger picture of the watchmen universe. I am glad that I had missed all those discussions, because that allowed me to read Before Watchmen: Minutemen/Silk Spectre with no preconceived notions or concerns running through my head. I just had the curiosity and interest that made the read fun. I thought that the concept was well done, and the artwork had the retro feel that I wanted it to have, making it fit the times in which the story took place very well. There were some seriously dark moments, some mention of topics that are extremely relevant to today, and some humor. There is a little something for everyone. I am not sure that serious fans of the original stories will enjoy this, since I am not one, but I think the concept will certainly be of interest to them.

I recommend Before Watchmen: Minutemen/Silk Spectre to casual and serious fans of graphic novels, particularly the Watchmen and its contemporaries. The writing is solid and answered many of my questions about what came before. I enjoyed the feel of the artwork and the story itself, with both dark moments and humor.
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