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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you didn't want to know the ending, then you shouldn't have read Watchmen, 1 Nov. 2013
By 
Squirr-El (The Metropolis, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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... There is a reason why time travel is not a good idea, and he eventually has to recruit Ozymandias to `fix' everything, which appears to pull the rug out from under everything we `knew' in the original Watchmen series This story also leads into the Moloch mini-series.

NITE OWL
This superbly-written and illustrated story contains the secret origins of Nite Owl and Rorschach, and tells of their first meeting and subsequent friendship and teaming-up. It is a fairly straightforward and extremely entertaining story, but there are many aspects of it that will resonate for readers of the wider story. This story makes the scenes in the original Watchmen series of Rorschach's turning to the `dark side' much, much sadder, for example. It also gives us a look at why Nite Owl has a `thing' for girls with red hair and tight costumes... There is also a foreshadowing of the potential problem to be caused by Rorschach's Diary in the proposed tell-all memoirs of the first Nite Owl, and the different choices made by both characters. That story is dealt with in more depth in the Minutemen series/volume. That is another element of this/these series, the interconnectedness of everything - the editorial staff must have had nightmares keeping the plot-threads so tangled.

MOLOCH
This story contains the secret origin of the villain Moloch, but is mainly concerned with his subsequent repentance and reformation, and then his recruitment by Adrian Veidt, as the apparent result of the events of the Dr. Manhattan mini-series - though it is obvious that Veidt is up to something else, and I look forward to reading his mini-series for that version of events. However, here we see Moloch's actions in the original Watchmen series from his perspective, and once again, we see that there is/was more going on than we suspected...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well, I certainly wasn't expecting that., 3 Feb. 2014
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 22 Feb. 2015
By 
Mrs L Taylor (Yorkshire England) - See all my reviews
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Really great price- was over double this price in comic shop.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved Nite Owl & Moloch, 22 Aug. 2013
By 
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 28 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Before Watchmen: Nite Owl / Dr. Manhattan TP (Paperback)
Excellent. Arrived in plenty of time
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Before Watchmen: Nite Owl / Dr. Manhattan TP
Before Watchmen: Nite Owl / Dr. Manhattan TP by J. Michael Straczynsk (Paperback - 1 July 2014)
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