Reviews for Before Watchmen 1 : Minutemen/Silk Spectre

Library Journal Express Reviews
This collection includes two prequels to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's classic Watchmen. "Minutemen," written and penciled by Eisner Award winner Cooke (DC: The New Frontier) concludes with the Comedian ominously telling the original Nite Owl, "There is no truth, there are only truths," which summarizes the tell-all memoir by Nite Owl on the Minutemen and is at the core of the story. A separate narrative deals with the memoir's unpopularity among the other Minutemen, who clearly have something to hide. Nite Owl's memoir occurs during the 1940s, with World War II being an important backstory, along with the pivotal event of Minutemen Silhouette's murder. "Silk Spectre" is written by Cooke and penciled by Conner (Power Girl) and tells the backstory of the second Silk Spectre, Laurel Jane, daughter to Sally Jupiter, the original Silk Spectre and Minutemen member. Jupiter is a domineering mother determined to protect her daughter from reliving her own past bad experiences with men. Alas, Laurel runs away with her boyfriend to colorful 1960s San Francisco. Verdict Cooke captures some of the morally conflicted characterizations that readers loved in the original Watchmen. Artist Paul Mounts's coloring stands out along with Conner's artwork in "Silk Spectre." Includes variant covers. Recommended.--Scott Vieira, Sam Houston State Univ. Lib., Huntsville, TX (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 July #2

The two stories in in this collection cover characters originally introduced in Alan Moore's Watchmen. The Minutemen tale is the strongest in the collection and feel like a real expansion, not just an imitation of the source material. Cooke's art is flawless, loaded with his distinct sharp, vintage look that is perfectly suited for the rise and fall of America's first team of superheroes. Nite Owl's narration through the comic provides the perfect voice to describe their exploits, including the tragedy of Silhouette and the surprising metamorphosis of the Comedian during the war. The only real letdown is that the storytelling feels rushed. In the Silk Spectre story drawn by Conner, Laurie Jupiter, frustrated with her overbearing mother, leaves Los Angeles with a new boyfriend and sets up shop in counterculture San Francisco. Her world is a peaceful patchwork of young love and part-time work until a Frank Sinatra look-alike called "the Chairman" initiates an evil scheme on the local populace to lace LSD with a substance that convinces hippies to become obsessed with buying things. The Chairman plot and the depiction of counterculture 1960s San Francisco feel forced and gimmicky, and undermine the portrayal of Laurie. (July)

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