Before Watchmen: Nite Owl #1

by stephengervais on July 02, 2012

After reading this issue I’ve come to realize the pattern the Before Watchmen franchise is taking, it keeps getting worse and worse. It started out strong with Minutemen and I thought to myself thank God they did this right. Then there was a slip in writing quality with Silk Spectre but it still has potential. Comedian was downright generic and felt unnecessary. Now with the fourth offering, Nite Owl, we get a dull story with absolutely terrible pacing.

This uninspiring tale is written by J. Michael Straczynski. The story starts with a young Dan Dreiberg discovering the secret the identity of the original Nite Owl, Hollis Mason. This leads to Hollis training Dan and eventually retiring giving the cowl to Dan to take his place. Then on Dan’s first mission as Nite Owl he meets Rorschach and immediately forms a partnership with him. Before you can digest one chain of events Straczynski has already moved onto the next stage of the story. I find this pacing leaves the reader feeling no connection to the characters and really gives the story a lack of purpose.

The Kuberts handle the artwork in this issue. Andy credited with the pencils and Joe with the inking. Their talent definitely elevates the overall quality of the book but not enough to save it. Their work really shines through on the bigger panels which there seem to be too few of in this first issue. Instead we get a lot of smaller “talking head” panels which no matter what the talent there is only so much you can do.

Maybe this story will improve but I’m not overly optimistic.

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lucstclair's picture

Great review, although i can't say I feel much sympathy for DC right now.