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5.0 out of 5 stars Didn't let the team down
Initially worried that the prequels would be a bit of a cash-in on the resurgent popularity of Watchmen, I held off buying for fear that I would have my experience of the characters cheapened in some way. I eventually cracked when I realised that one of my favourite writers would be tackling my favourite character from the series - Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets) writing...
Published 27 days ago by Chris J. Gorman

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag....
Below I have given each of the separate stories a score out of five.

Before Watchmen Comedian - ****
Before Watchmen Rorschach - **

Personally the comedian story I did enjoy. Out of all the characters in the original Watchmen novel comedian, he was probably the least engaged with by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, so it was interesting to learn...
Published 12 months ago by Ste26


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag...., 17 Aug 2013
This review is from: Before Watchmen: Comedian / Rorschach HC (Hardcover)
Below I have given each of the separate stories a score out of five.

Before Watchmen Comedian - ****
Before Watchmen Rorschach - **

Personally the comedian story I did enjoy. Out of all the characters in the original Watchmen novel comedian, he was probably the least engaged with by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, so it was interesting to learn some of the back story here. Without spilling the beans too much, throughout Edward Blake's prequel you see an interesting relationship with the president form and relive the comedians call up and departure form Vietnam. The art is also neat, its nothing jaw dropping but certainly not bad in anyway.

On the other hand the Rorschach story felt rushed and incomplete somehow. Being probably the most popular of the bunch from Watchmen I expected this prequel to be the most developed and thorough. The art and coloring was not too my liking either, I understand the need to reinforce the dark morality and grittiness of a character such as Rorschach but I thought Azzarello and Bermejo took this a bit too far.

If your a big fan of Watchmen then I would give this a try, but wouldn't make it a must read, hopefully the other Before Watchmen novels are an improvement.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not the best!, 17 Nov 2013
This review is from: Before Watchmen: Comedian / Rorschach HC (Hardcover)
Oh dear, Really poor all round. The Comedian is as hollow a story as you'll find in comics. Really stiff art work as well . Too many photo referenced likenesses really don't help. As far removed from the original Watchmen as you will find. Rorschach is better but then it's not hard. There are better things to spend your money on. The weakest of the Before Watchmen books by far.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If you didn't want to know the ending, then you shouldn't have read Watchmen, 6 Jan 2014
By 
No More Mr. Mice Guy (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Before Watchmen: Comedian / Rorschach HC (Hardcover)
The stories from the mini-series Comedian (6 issues) and Rorschach (4 issues) are collected as Before Watchmen: Comedian / Rorschach 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 read three of the collected editions so far, and though the previous two volumes have contained superbly scripted stories, with excellent artwork, this collection somehow didn't work for me at all. However, all 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.

COMEDIAN
Well he didn't shoot Kennedy - not that one, anyway - but Marilyn, well, that's another story. The stories follow the Comedian from his time as close confidante of the Kennedys - really, he was arresting Moloch when the news broke; through his time in Viet-Nam, setting up the American drug trade to finance their black-ops, to actually inciting American military action, triggering race riots in the US, all the way to My-Lai, and on to Chicago. The stories may have meant more to American audiences, but they seemed to be showing a sort of growing corruption in the various American institutions, with no-one able to control, direct or stop events that were spiralling out of control, and taking the Comedian along for the ride.

RORSCHACH
This appears to be a straightforward hunt for a serial killer set against the corruption and squalor of the section of the city that Rorschach calls home. I thought his share of the Night Owl story in Before Watchmen: Nite Owl / Dr. Manhattan HC was far superior to this, and was everything we really needed to know.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a dissapointment, 26 July 2014
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Simply because of the Comedian story arc, this is probably the weakest of the 'Before Watchmen' series. The Comedian's tale simply didn't work for me, not least because it didn't seem to fit well with the continuity from either the original story, or the other 'Before Watchmen' editions. The character's experiences in Vietnam jar with the 'Minutemen' story, as does his political stance. The aim seems to be to eke out some sympathy, but it just seems forced, and is far too long an arc. I'll re-read it, but I can't see it helping.

Rorschach's arc is better, but I couldn't help feeling that superior material was used in the Nite Owl arc, which explored the character's past experiences to a greater degree, not to mention his bond with Dreiberg - which was closer to Moore's concept that the two characters were flip sides of the same coin. The story here is just a bit forgettable and doesn't add much to the overall saga at all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to scratch, 15 Jan 2014
By 
G C W S Wheeler (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Before Watchmen: Comedian / Rorschach HC (Hardcover)
The original "Watchmen" had a rich cast of characters, an interesting plot, and a certain amount of wit. This just doesn't. Of the two parts, the Comedian is a bit more interesting, but I just don't find it plausible that someone who seems to only interact through amoral violence would be a close friend of the Kennedys, or would be their choice to send to Vietnam as a figurehead. The Rorshach story has virtually nothing of interest. It takes too many pages to say something that wasn't worth saying.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Didn't let the team down, 3 Aug 2014
By 
Chris J. Gorman "Gorman" (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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Initially worried that the prequels would be a bit of a cash-in on the resurgent popularity of Watchmen, I held off buying for fear that I would have my experience of the characters cheapened in some way. I eventually cracked when I realised that one of my favourite writers would be tackling my favourite character from the series - Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets) writing Rorschach? My arm was twisted.
Happily, he doesn't let us down. I'm sure that all the artists and writers involved in the prequel series were as intimidated about taking on the characters and stories as many readers were worried that it would tarnish the original, but with this collection, it gave me hope that the other prequels were written with such sympathy to the source, as well as original verve. The Comedian arc was well played, and the Rorschach arc was exactly as satisfying as it needed to be.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Item!, 16 May 2014
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This review is from: Before Watchmen: Comedian / Rorschach HC (Hardcover)
Speedy delivery and great service- and I really really loved this book: a must-have for any Watchmen fan. And plus these two were my favourite characters.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favourite of the B4 Watchmen Books, 11 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Before Watchmen: Comedian / Rorschach HC (Hardcover)
Comedian: Wow! Intense, loved it! Really fabulous backstory on what shaped this man. Starting with the Kennedy years of playing football with Jack, Bobbie and Ted; Eddie (the Comedian) had friends in high places who used his superhero status to further their political ambitions. Moving from the world of Jack and Jackie, Comedian goes to Vietnam as a figurehead but can't not play the part of leader. Men respect him and follow him, he has a plan and wants to end the war, contrary to the government's wishes. He's a patriot with a bad ass attitude and we learn the early story of what shaped this man, what 'friends' he had to kill along the way for what he believed was the best for his country. Dark, stark and violent. Loved it.

Rorschach: Rorschach's background story is covered in the Nite Owl book, so with this one we jump right into superhero mode with R. as he works his cases. He is being set up and left for dead by a big ugly dude named Rawhead then goes out to work his revenge upon him while at the same time working on the Bard serial killings. While simply a superb story we get a clear picture of who R. is, with and without the mask, and how he works. The art is simply stunning, very modern and life-like.

This was my favourite of all four Before Watchmen books. I loved the Nite Owl story but I loved both stories presented in this volume and it wins hands down as my favourite. I enjoyed them all though to one degree or another.
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Before Watchmen: Comedian / Rorschach HC
Before Watchmen: Comedian / Rorschach HC by Brian Azzarello (Hardcover - 23 July 2013)
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