Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #1

by stephengervais on June 24, 2012

The second installment of the Before Watchmen storm brings us Silk Spectre #1. After the great debut of Minutemen I have to admit I was looking forward to this. Adding to my excitement is the fact this features the same author as Minutemen Darwyn Cooke and is drawn by the much underrated Amanda Conner.

It turns out this was not what I was expecting. The story focuses on an adolescent Laurie and her troubled relationship with her mother, the original Silk Spectre, Sally Jupiter. Sally is retired and is training and pushing Laurie into taking over the role of the Silk Spectre. All Laurie wants to do is survive high school and live a normal teenage life.

The writing in this issue starts out really strong. The opening scene with Laurie as young girl offers some great dialogue between mother and daughter. Then I’m not sure what happens but I suddenly feel like I’m reading a Degrassi High or a Dawson’s Creek script. It becomes a cheesy teenage story with all the usual cliché themes: can’t fit in at school, crushes on the cute boy, and troubles with mom. The author seems to have a good handle on the characters but the dialogue turns stale. I did however enjoy Laurie’s cartoony inner thought panels. I thought this was a brilliant way to express how she was feeling without using narrative.

What didn’t disappoint was the artwork. You can tell Conner spent endless hours on this issue. Her figure work and facial expressions are some of the best I’ve ever seen.  The faces perfectly capture the feelings and emotions of the characters. It truly brings them to life. She doesn’t stop her amazing work with the characters; each panel is so carefully detailed. Whether it’s an autograph on a hanging picture or a title on a rolled up magazine you can tell a lot of effort went into this.

Overall I’d say this is an average story with potential. The artwork is beautiful and worth the admission alone. If the author can improve the dialogue and stay away from the usual teenage angst type of story this could turn into a worth while series. Stay tuned.

Our Score:


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lucstclair's picture

Good review. The artwork does look amazing. I'm sure the entire series won't take place in high school as Laurie slowly becomes the next Silk Spectre. I like how the illustrator still keeps the look of the original Watchmen chatacters, without compromising Dave Gibbons' style.