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Before Watchmen: Nite Owl / Dr. Manhattan HC Hardcover – 23 Jul 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics; Deluxe edition (23 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401238947
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401238940
  • Product Dimensions: 18.6 x 1.9 x 28.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 101,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Signing up two generations' worth of legendary artists [Joe and Andy Kubert] is a wise move for DC Entertainment."--"NY Daily News"

"J. Michael Straczynski's writing is crisp and keeps the story moving -- he's clearly not trying to "rewrite" the original Moore material, but instead builds off on it."--"Mtv Geek"

About the Author

J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI has worked in television, comics and, most recently, motion pictures. In comics, he is known for "The Amazing Spider-Man, The Twelve, Thor" and "Silver Surfer: Requiem," as well as SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE Volumes 1 & 2 and BEFORE WATCHMEN for DC Comics. He is the creator of the hit TV series "Babylon 5," and was nominated for the 2009 Best Writer Eisner Award. In movies, he is known for writing films including "Changeling, Thor "and a forthcoming reinterpretation of "Forbidden Planet."

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Mice Guy TOP 100 REVIEWER on 1 Nov 2013
Format: Hardcover
The stories from the mini-series Nite Owl (4 issues) and Dr. Manhattan (4 issues) are collected, along with Moloch (2 issues) as Before Watchmen: Nite Owl / Dr. Manhattan HC. These stories, set (obviously) before the events of the 25 year-old Watchmen TP International Edition mini-series slot flawlessly into the continuity. I have only read two of the collected editions so far, but each one has contained superbly scripted stories, with excellent artwork. The stories have managed to capture the feel of the original, add depth to the back-stories, and contribute their own twists to the overall plot, while being excellent, occasionally brilliant, stories in their own right. The stories in this volume contain secret origins for Nite Owl, Rorschach, Dr. Manhattan and Moloch, as well as for Ozymandias's plot to not destroy the Earth. They are all written by J. Michael Straczynski, and if anyone can deal with the complexities of quantum physics and this story, it is he - see his Babylon 5 TV series for the proof.

DR. MANHATTAN
This story tells the secret origin of Dr. Manhattan as well as for Ozymandias's plot to not destroy the Earth. This story looks in depth at the problems faced by Dr. Manhattan when he goes back to look at his earlier life and discovers that he didn't die in that particle chamber, but lived a long and happy life until the Comedian started World War III during the Cuban Missile Crisis...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Lyle on 3 Feb 2014
Format: Hardcover
When I first heard of the Watchmen prequels, I didn't show any real interest because I felt they would be completely pointless, since everything we need to know about the Watchmen universe is already explained in there and anything else wouldn't be necessary.

However, I gave this book a go, hoping that J. Michael Straczynski could appreciate the creative genius of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's WATCHMEN..

I was not disappointed. This is absolutely brilliant, building upon the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons classic affectionately and creatively.

NITE OWL imagines the origin story for Dan Dreiberg, how he met Rorschach and what his relationship was with the Twilight Lady, a character only briefly mentioned in Watchmen. DR. MANHATTAN sort-of takes place during his exile on Mars, but after viewing his entire life, the godlike superhuman here looks at alternative timelines, trying to work out if any decisions he had made differently would have changed the whole world.

(There's also a two-issue Moloch story which, unfortunately, is poorly-illustrated and altogether boring and meaningless. Perhaps it's just a personal thing but I just didn't recognise Moloch in this book. I don;t remember him being a gargoylian hunchback in Watchmen.)

These are excellent, affectionate pieces of fiction which suggest the reasons and origins for events alluded to in the original classic. Of course it's not as good as the original, but that's granted and I'm sure DC already knew this and didn't want to, in any way, outshine the original. Consider it a superbly-written, beautifully-drawn work of Watchmen fan-fiction.
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By miss jan daley on 28 Nov 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent. Arrived in plenty of time
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nicola Mansfield on 22 Aug 2013
Format: Hardcover
I like Straczynski, he wrote the Spider-man series I like, so I was particularly looking forward to this volume. The first half is about the origins of the new Nite Owl who takes over from the previous Nite Owl of the Minutemen. I really enjoyed this story, not only was it an origin story but it was a full-fledged case as well, which was entirely absorbing. Even though this is Nite Owl's book, Rorschach is given equal time as the beginning of their partnership is explored. Rorschach is one of my favourite characters so I enjoyed this aspect. The Dr. Manhattan story was not quite as good as it was very deep into the ramifications of time and how M. makes a change which signifies the end of the world. The story got better as it became more action oriented as he, with the aid of Ozymandias, set out to fix this huge split on the time line. The book ends with a short but very intense background on Moloch which continues to also add to the character of Ozymandias. This was probably my favourite part of the whole book! I haven't read all of the B4 Watchmen yet but so far this is my favourite and I'm predicting will end up being so, as well.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 24 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Pleasantly Surprised at this Collection! 17 July 2014
By L. Henry Dowell-Playwright - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is my first review of the BEFORE WATCHMEN series. Let me establish a few things quickly.
1. I love Watchmen. Even though many young, internet savvy twenty-nothings refer to it as a "graphic novel", it wasn't. Not originally. It was a twelve issue comic book series published in 1986-87. It WAS collected into one volume in 1987 and has seen many subsequent reprinting's since that time.
2. I love Alan Moore. Watchmen. V for Vendetta. The Killing Joke. Swamp Thing. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. He brings a sophistication to comic books that it usually reserved for more serious works of fiction. He wasn't the first to do this and he most certainly wasn't the last but he was and is an excellent writer who not only takes his job very serious but believes comic books can be much more than a few minutes worth of escapism. He deserves all the praise that has been heaped upon him for his work. However, having said that...
3. Alan Moore can be a real jerk. Much of the work he has built his career on has been taking other people's characters and presenting them in a new fashion. There's nothing wrong with that. BUT BOY DOES HE GET TICKED IF SOMEONE ELSE DARES TOUCH HIS WORK!
4. Alan Moore didn't create these characters. Every one of the WATCHMEN are modified versions of the Charlton characters. Some are modified only slightly. Not to take away from what he did do with them, which was to craft a very elaborate murder mystery and deconstruct the idea of the superhero and make them real, living, breathing human beings with all the baggage that goes along with that. But he didn't create them.
5. I hate what DC Comics has become. I haven't purchased a single New 52 comic and was content not to support the destruction of a comic universe I had followed for nearly 40 years. In fact, I viewed BEFORE WATCHMEN as just another bad idea in a long list of bad ideas by DC Management. However...

6. I enjoyed this collection. I had waited a long time to buy this. Feeling, like many other "old timers" that Watchmen had achieved a sacred cow status and needed neither prequel or sequel. Finally, my love for the characters of Watchmen got the better of me. I am happy to report that as far as this particular group of stories is concerned, I was wrong. This collection does a good job of filling in a few of the blanks from Watchmen without attempting to re-invent the wheel. I won't cover plot points in this review except to say I enjoyed playing connect the dots with events both large and small from Watchmen. I really get the feeling that these particular issues were approached with great reverence to Mr. Moore and Mr. Gibbons and the original series.

If you are a Watchmen fan, I do not think this collection will disappoint you. It is quite good and worthy of 5 stars.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Another mixed bag of "Before Watchmen," but worth reading just for Dr. Manhattan 16 July 2013
By J. A Magill - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In the great debate regarding DC's decision to launch "Before Watchmen," I remain committedly agnostic. I understand the view of those who see Moore and Gibson's creations as unique, not only for their place in the evolution of the comic as an art form but also, perhaps, as characters meant to occupy a singular storyline and go no further. And yes, one should understandably fear the possibility - hyperbole intentional - of these stories feeling like "Hamlet - the Prequel." At the same time, characters passing from one creative team to another lays at the very DNA of superhero comics, part of what makes it a form unlike any other. After all, Moore and Gibson originally imagined their story populated by the Charlton Comics' characters (The Question, Blue Beatle, Captain Atom, etc) before deciding on creating a cast all their own. Just as Gaiman "adopted" the New Gods and made something new and exciting, and Kirby and Shuster's Captain America passed into Brubaker's loving hands, should The Minutemen be any different?

So how is "Before Watchmen: Nite Owl & Dr. Manhattan"? Not as bad as many feared, but given the talent of those involved, probably not as good as it should have been. Indeed, of the "Before Watchmen" books, no other so combines the good and the bad of the effort.

Nite Owl certainly represents a missed opportunity. Michael Straczynski, usually one of my favorite comic writers for his excellent dialogue and bright characterizations here mostly just seems to phone in a prequel/origin story. Wealthy Daniel Drieberg's motivations for donning the cowl read like boiler plate serial stuff. His early days being trained by the original Nite Owl give the reader a similar sense of having "been there, done that." In terms of the one bit of new character insight that the book does deliver... well, if you've spent the last few decades wondering as to the why of Daniel's particular and peculiar sexual dysfunction, this is your lucky day! Question answered. Perhaps I speak for no other readers, but I'd really have preferred a story that mined the rich vein of Nite Owl and Rorschach's complex relationship.

On the flip side, Dr. Manhattan represents some of the most original storytelling in this whole endeavor. Straczynski here embraces the constraints writing a prequel, shining a whole new light on a story that we saw in the original book, Dr. Manhattan's origin. Here we see it conceived of, not as an unalterable linear path, but as a series of decisions, each of which could have taken the good doctor into a far different life. (A note here: some will object at liberties taken, since in the original story Manhattan embraced determinism and explained that he has no choice, that none of us do, and that the only difference between his god-like power and we ants is that he "can see the strings." To those who feel the need to wail and froth about this writerly choice, I say get over yourself). Dr. Manhattan's choices are often interesting and usually inspired by the most quotidian of motivations (and you thought the world was saved before because the good doctor had a weakness for jail bait?!). Would we have liked Dr. Jon Osterman? Could it be that he had as much potential as a mere human as he did as a near-god? Could the whole Watchmen universe really begin at the series end?

By the by, Adam Hughes' art work serves this particular series quite well. His style, so smooth and seemingly effortless, harkens back to much of the beauty in Gibbons' original while still making it wholly his own. And of course, while I could of course do with fewer giant blue shlong levitating about, Hughes doesn't, um, overwork the image.

These various "splits" as the story branches as decision points give the reader a wonderful insight into Dr. Manhattan's essential humanity. That humanity, so crucial to Watchmen's plot, just delights. And so we get thoughts of loss. Questions of what it means to be human, an examination of the profound prison that is loneliness. One can also spot any number of interesting Freudian Easter Eggs that seek to deepen the meaning of otherwise minor points in Moore and Gibson's original. I especially liked Dr. Manhattan's interactions with the world's smartest man, Ozymandias (no more significant that "the world's smartest ant"). This scene as much as any in the whole of this project served to enrich the larger Watchmen universe.

As with other of the Watchmen collections, this one includes a shorter back up story, in this case the two-issue "Moloch." For those who don't recall, Moloch serves as the catch all super-villain in the Watchmen universe. He wasn't all that interesting in the Moore/Gibson original, save in that he demonstrated that age could render villains every bit as pathetic as any hero. As with Nite Owl, this book leaves one wondering why it needed to exist at all. We get a lot of back story, answering questions we probably didn't need answered. As is the current default origin story for comic villains, we learn that Moloch's background was tragic and that we should feel sorry for him. All that being said, this story does contain a few bright lights. As with Dr. Manhattan, Straczynski again demonstrates a flair for writing Ozymandias, one which makes me wish he'd been given that book (see my review). Moloch and Ozymandias's interactions deepen both characters, giving the former some much needed agency and making the latter still creepier (making Ozymandias creepier seems to be a major theme running through much of Before Watchmen). Eduardo Risso's art also fits this story beautifully, hisstyle and muted colors exuding a certain neo-gothic feel that evokes dark fairytales.

While not the best "Before Watchmen" chapter, "Nite Owl & Dr. Midnight" mostly holds its own and certainly isn't the worst. Still, as with much of this enterprise, this book is too often a sad reminder of what might have been.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Dr. Manhattan story is great; Nite Owl is okay 16 July 2013
By Scott Knight - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The Nite Owl story was the origin of the second Nite Owl. His relationship to the original Nite Owl, his motivations for becoming Nite Owl, and his membership in the Crimebusters are all presented. There is quite a bit dedicated to Dan Dreiberg (Nite Owl II) and Hollis Mason (Original Nite Owl) as the torch is passed and Dreiberg is trained. There is a very cool dynamic there. Additionally, the team-up relationship between Dreiberg and Rorschach is explored. It is these two relationships, as well as Nite Owl's romantic interest in Silk Spectre, that drive the story. They really add to Nite Owl's character development and provide a nice lead-in to the original Watchmen series.

The Dr. Manhattan story was very interesting. It included the origin of Dr. Manhattan, his introduction to the Silk Spectre, and the ramifications of physics, time, and the consequences of making choices. It seemed very philosophical and dealt with the ramifications of Dr. Manhattan's powers. It also showed some background into how Ozymandias manipulated Dr. Manhattan in order to execute his plan in Watchmen, serving as a nice side story to the opening chapters of the original story.

I really enjoyed these this book, and the approach that Straczynski took to the characters. They were very true to the spirit and character of Watchmen. I would highly recommend this to any fans of the original.

I received a review copy of this book from Netgalley and DC Comics in exchange for honest review.
JMS does an excellent expansion on Nite Owl and Moloch’s characters, though the Dr. Manhattan story was mostly forgettable… 21 Nov 2014
By Dr. Rorschach Hound - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
J. Michael Straczynki (or JMS) has recently become one of my favorite comic book writers. What attracts me to his work is his ability to create an in-depth look into the psychology of the characters his stories focus on. This quality is what has made me enjoy his run on THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, as he uses this form of narrative to immerse the reader into Peter’s mind, allowing us to connect with and sympathize with him. Yeah, his writing style can be wordy at times, but his stories often strike gold in my eyes, which is why I feel that JMS’s talents make him a perfect choice for writing some of the stories of BEFORE WATCHMEN. As I’ve stated in my previous reviews of this series, the BEFORE WATCHMEN comics are a set of prequels to the original graphic novel by Alan Moore, with each focusing on a particular character or group. While the series itself has been heavily controversial among readers (Moore himself has openly announced his disapproval of the project), the series for me has been hit or miss for me. When I say that I don’t necessarily mean that most of the stories are bad, but that they range from great, to good, to okay, to boring, and one that is horrible. I’ve already reviewed the Comedian and Rorschach stories, which were heavily bogged down by Brian Azzarello’s writing (I don’t particularly care for his works), the Ozymandais story by Len Wein which I find to be the best of the prequels, as well as the Crimson Corsair story which was the worst (ironically also by Len Wein). For the NITE OWL | DR. MANHATTAN volume, I heavily enjoyed JMS’s expansion on the psychological profiles of Nite Owl and the reoccurring Watchmen villain Moloch, while the Dr. Manhattan story was okay, but nothing special in my eyes.

BEFORE WATCHMEN: NITE OWL Review:
Before I begin my analysis of this story, I’d like to mention that Nite Owl II was my least favorite member of the Crime-busters in the original WATCHMEN. While Dan Dreiberg did make an interesting parallel to Batman through his technological rather than direct approach in crime fighting, I felt that his character didn’t receive the same in-depth exploration of his psychology that the other characters of WATCHMEN did. Now I’m not saying that I hated his character, as I adored his romance with the Silk Spectre (they’re one of my favorite couples in comics) and his owl-airship was just awesome, but I felt his character could have been given greater attention. This might be the reason as to why I highly enjoyed the Nite Owl story here, as I felt it expanded upon Dan’s backstory, making him a more fleshed-out and three-dimensional character. The readers discover that as a child, Dan idolized the Minutemen of the 1930’s, in particular the first incarnation of the Nite Owl, Hollis Mason. His deep fascination with superheroes was born from his unfathomable home-life, as his father would frequently beat his mother, and Dan felt that he was too weak to protect her. In order to become stronger, Dan attempts to follow under Mason’s footsteps, and even begins training under Nite Owl’s tutelage after discovering his lair and identity. Years later, Dan Dreiberg becomes the second man to adopt the mantel of Nite Owl, and forms a partnership with the vigilante Rorschach. As the two tackle on the worst of New York’s criminal underworld, Dan’s loyalties are torn when he runs into the Twilight Lady, a Madam dominatrix who we learned he shared a relationship with in the original WATCHMEN comic. This strains his relationship with Rorschach (as his mother was a prostitute, causing him to develop an intense hatred for them), but Nite Owl not only develops feelings for her, but also learns that several of the prostitutes in New York are the victims of a serial killer, including the Twilight Lady’s women. Knowing that he was unable to defend his mother, Dan attempts to make amends by protecting the Twilight Lady. Will he be able to so, and what affect will this have on his partnership with Rorschach.

Based on the critics reviews of the BEFORE WATCHMEN series, NITE OWL received mostly a negative response from them. I haven’t read their reviews, but I can safely say that I disagree with their opinion as I actually found the Nite Owl story to be one of the best that this series has to offer. I believe what attracted me to this one was that I was finally provided an in-depth perspective of Nite Owl’s psychological profile, which I did not experience in Alan Moore’s WATCHMEN. Like the other Watchmen, he is provided a complex backstory that makes his character feel realistic and flawed. Unlike superheroes like Superman, who is the embodiment of a perfect kind-hearted superhero, the heroes of Watchmen in my opinion act as an idea for what superheroes would be like in the real world. They wouldn’t be bound by unlimited kindness, but would be flawed, morally ambiguous, and have dark secrets that they would attempt to hide from the rest of humanity. This is what made the characters of Watchmen feel alive to the reader, and Nite Owl is finally given similar treatment. While the original intent Moore had for his character was to portray a retired hero suffering from depression, he didn’t leave much room for an analysis of his character. JMS makes Dan’s idolization of Mason’s Nite Owl more believable through connecting to him living with an abusive father. Because his mother was constantly beaten by him, and Dan himself was physically weak, he thought that by becoming a superhero that he would be able to defend those in need. He applies this pathological desire in particular to women, as it was his mother who suffered the most in his eyes, which establishes his relationship with the Twilight Lady and him wanting to protect her workers. Through careful treatment, JMS perfectly weaves all of these elements in order to establish a three-dimensional psychology for Dan, increasing my ability to connect and sympathize with him. I’m not saying I hated Nite Owl in Moore’s story, but it was through JMS’s pen that he was finally given the treatment I felt his character deserved.

BEFORE WATCHMEN: DR. MANHATTAN Review:

The Dr. Manhattan story is one that has seemed to derive the most praise from fans and critics, but I feel that this one is kind of overrated. I don’t hate this one, as JMS’s talents still shine on exploring Dr. Manhattan’s psychology, but I didn’t feel that this one brought anything new to his character. It was basically repeating the fourth chapter of the original graphic novel, where Dr. Manhattan is on Mars and his god-like powers make time meaningless to him. The past, present, and future are all one and the same to him, causing him to experience all at once. This was useful in gaining insight on Dr. Manhattan’s character, as well as making him more realistic, as even though he was the only character with actual powers, as his god-like abilities were causing him to feel less human, detaching himself from the rest of humanity. The story in this volume simply recycles the narrative from that chapter, by having him relive all periods of time at once, but by having it go throughout all of his life rather than his past. While it did establish untold components of his history, the story felt unnecessary as I felt I was rereading information that I already gained from a single chapter in the original graphic novel. To put it more simply, the Dr. Manhattan story felt more like an expansion pack that only serves to add extra content to an already established character and story (kind of like in video games, which doesn’t work for books). While I didn’t necessarily care for this one, it was still well written, so I can give it a pass. But it just felt like it was a story I already read.

BEFORE WATCHMEN MOLOCH Review:

In both the original graphic novel and the prequels, a frequent enemy of both the Minutemen and the Crime-busters was a man known only as Moloch. A deformed individual with elf-like ears and a short stature, Moloch formed an infamous reputation as a criminal mastermind who used magic to commit crimes, and owned several bars and strip clubs. He was also involved in Ozymandais’s scheme by being one of the cancer patients used to frame Dr. Manhattan, and was killed to so that Rorschach, who was investigating the Comedian’s death, would be framed and arrested. Even though he was long time enemy of both generations of crime fighters, we never knew much about his character in WATCHMEN. In this two issue story, we learn that because of his hideous appearance, Moloch was a frequent target of bullying and ridicule as a child, and attempted to gain acceptance through learning magic and escape artist tricks. He lost that chance however, when he discovered that a girl he admired cheated on him, causing him to murder her boyfriend. After that he went on the run, using his illusionary tricks and appearance get by on vaudeville, and was soon forced to turn to crime in order to make a proper living. The story then exploits on how he was made a frequent nuisance for the heroes, how he turned to religion while in prison in order to change his ways, as well as his involvement with Ozymandais. Like NITE OWL, I felt Moloch’s story also expanded upon a lesser developed character from Moore’s original work. Despite being a villain and murderer, JMS’s writing allows me to understand what motivates Moloch to do what he does, and to sympathize with him as a result.

Despite Moore’s conviction against this series, I believe that when in proper hands, the BEFORE WATCHMEN prequels are useful in expanding the characters beyond what they were in the original graphic novel. JMS does exactly that for Nite Owl and Moloch, heavily expanding their psychological profiles in order to make them feel more flawed and believable. The same can’t be said for the Dr. Manhattan story however, as it simply restates what was already conveyed in the original with one or two insignificant details added. The purpose of a prequel is to both expand the history of a character and their universe, as well as taking the concept beyond what it already was. While that hasn’t been completely successful for the entirety of the BEFORE WATCHMEN series, for stories like NITE OWL and MOLOCH, they add more to good characters in order to elevate them into great characters!

“Everybody has talent, it's just a matter of moving around until you've discovered what it is.”
-George Lucas
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Pretty good - but not the best of the series 21 July 2013
By J. Wan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Before Watchmen is a series that examines the principal characters in the acclaimed Watchmen series before the events in that work. If you are not familiar with the Watchmen series, it is unlikely you'd enjoy or can follow this series. If you are a fan of good comics, "serious" comics, graphic novels, a different take on the superhero theme and mysteries, then you'd enjoy Watchmen - it is an acclaimed work and is much deeper than the movie version may make you believe.

There are four collections in the Before Watchmen series. The earlier volumes looked at Ozymandias, have an example of the Pirate Comics which figure as a major subplot and theme in the Watchmen series, looked at the Minutemen (mainly Hollis Mason) and the second Silk Spectre. All of the prequels take a mystery or background point in the original series and tries to expand on it. In Minutemen, we learn more about them, their triumphs, their failures and in particular learn about what happened Hooded Justice, The Silhouette, Mothman and the greatest adventure of the Minutemen that will never be known. It is arguably the best of all the works and Darwyn Cooke's writing and drawing style meshes well with the irony of Alan Moore and fine line style of Dave Gibbons. The series on the second Silk Spectre works surprisingly well. Amanda Conner captures the goofiness of teenage angst in her rounded soft focus Archie comics cartoony style. This installment examined the seminal events that led Laurie Juspeczyk to accepting her role as the second Silk Spectre. The Ozymandias work focused on what led Adrian Veldt to crime fighting and how he concluded that to really "save" civilization and society he had to do more than just fight crime. There is a long section on the first encounter between Ozymandias and The Comedian which is wordy and seemed to miss a key reference of the original work - that Ozymandias was dismissive of The Comedian's fighting skills except for a very good feint.

This volume focuses on Dr. Manhattan and the second Nite Owl. The Dr. Manhattan part is the superior of the two. J. Michael Straczynski tackles the question of Dr. Manhattan's distance from humanity and provides a very clever and consistent explanation of why Dr. Manhattan has a conscious reason to be a detached figure isolated from human cares. The Nite Owl piece looks at how Dan Dreiberg became friends with Hollis Mason and became the second Nite Owl. It may not be as popular because the Dreiberg character is largely a pale imitation of Hollis Mason. He means well and wants to do good. He was inspired as a picked upon boy with an abused mom but in the end lacks the same hearty earnest conviction of Hollis Mason on the surface. We learn that Mason has plenty of doubts and seems to be able to absorb the disappointments and move on with his life.

In brief, if you enjoy Watchmen, you'll enjoy these works. Minutemen is the most complete and has the same ironic sadness found in the original work. Dr. Manhattan provides a deeper explanation of why he is distant and withdrawn. Silk Spectre is the surprisingly interesting insightful and Nite Owl fills some of the background but may be hindered by the fundamental nature of the Dreiberg character.
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