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on 11 June 2017
I'm a big fan of all the before Watchmen books. Brilliant idea!
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on 16 May 2014
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 June 2016
This is the “Before Watchmen: Comedian / Rorschach” collection. It's part of DC Comics 'New 52' saga, and serves as a follow-up project to the phenomenally successful “Watchmen” mini-series (later published as a graphic novel) by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons from the 1980’s. “Before Watchmen” is, for the most part, concerned with prequel stories involving both central and secondary characters of “Watchmen”.

The “Before Watchmen” project consists of several mini-series, and includes:

‘Minutemen’ (six issues) - Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke
‘Silk Spectre’ (four issues) - Writers: Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner. Artist: Amanda Conner
‘Comedian’ (six issues) - Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: J. G. Jones
‘Nite Owl’ (four issues) - Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artists: Andy and Joe Kubert
‘Ozymandias’ (six issues) - Writer: Len Wein. Artist: Jae Lee
‘Rorschach’ (four issues) - Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: Lee Bermejo
‘Dr. Manhattan’ (four issues) - Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artist: Adam Hughes
‘Moloch’ (two issues) - Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artist: Eduardo Risso
‘Dollar Bill’ (one-shot) - Writer: Len Wein. Artist: Steve Rude

These 37 issues draw on the classic “Watchmen” publication in many important ways, seeking to expend, enrich and deepen that fictional universe. While “Before Watchmen” lacks both the originality and genius that defined Moore and Gibbins’ work, it’s nonetheless a serious and substantial contribution to the saga (and is amongst the better of the instalments of ‘The New 52’ franchise).

This particular book brings together the 10 issues which, separately, concern Comedian and Rorschach. If you enjoyed “Watchmen” and you’re interested in reading more about the characters and the dark and often grim world they occupy, then I recommend this book. There are three other collections of 'Before Watchmen' (available in both hardback and paperback).
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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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on 11 November 2013
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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on 6 May 2015
Great action,gives a more straightforward approach than the original and you get to see these two characters fight more than in the original comic. You also get to see more about Rorscach's personal life which really works to his advantage. As Rorscach is my fviourite Watchman (not to mention vigilante as well) I love how you get to see how good he is at fighting, yet (as meny superheroes do) not necessarily win every fight.
generally kick-ass comic ALMOST as good as the original and i can't wait to read the rest of the series.
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on 10 April 2016
I was really excited to read this as I'm a huge fan of both the original graphic novel and the movie, but this was extremely disappointing. The Comedian and Rorschach are by far my favourite characters from Watchman, but this book is just not interesting in the least. Rorschach's was the worst by far as it literally doesn't add anything new to his backstory. it's just a very short, very boring story about him trying to take down some gangster/pimp.

Definitely not worth buying.
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on 27 October 2015
Not a bad read but no where near the magic of Alan Moore's original watchmen, but to be fair , could it ever have been? .My personal favourite out of all the before watchmen stories was the doctor Manhattan story which is not included in this collection. Rorschach is one of my favourite (anti)heroes of all time ( along with batman and V ) . The Rorschach story just seems to lack the theatrical sweep that the original had.Still worth reading if you were a fan of watchmen.
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on 15 September 2015
It was always going to be ambitious trying to flesh out the characters so familiar and, possibly, even a little iconic, but for me, sadly, this failed on both counts. Neither story really added anything to my impressions / thoughts about the characters, nor were they particularly interesting stories in their own right. Disappointing.

I highly recommend 'Watchmen' itself though; that's cracking. :)
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on 22 February 2015
I think if u don't like the Watchmen movie, u would like these comics more (especially Comedians) as they make an effort to show that its a completely separate entity to the film.
All of the stories are good (some are better than others)
Ironically the worst one is probably Rorschach, its still good, its just the worst of a great bunch, it has gorgeous art but the story is just meh
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