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If you didn't want to know the ending, then you shouldn't have read Watchmen
on 6 January 2014
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.
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.
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.