This morning, DC Comics announced its long-rumored new Watchmen project, a prequel titled Before Watchmen that expands on the characters and world of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons's seminal 1986 comic book, which was adapted into a 2009 movie. Featuring a variety of top-tier writers and artists across the comics industry, it will expand on the history of the world of Watchmen and of many of the book's most popular characters.

Seven miniseries have been announced on DC's Source blog:

RORSCHACH (4 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: Lee Bermejo

MINUTEMEN (6 issues) – Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke

COMEDIAN (6 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: J.G. Jones

DR. MANHATTAN (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artist: Adam Hughes

NITE OWL (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artists: Andy and Joe Kubert

OZYMANDIAS (6 issues) – Writer: Len Wein. Artist: Jae Lee

SILK SPECTRE (4 issues) – Writer: Darwyn Cooke. Artist: Amanda Conner

More information and updated cover art follows.

The list of talent is packed with names of some of DC's most popular and talented creators, and original Watchmen editor Len Wein will not only be writing Ozymandias, but also "Curse of the Crimson Corsair," a pirate tale that will be illustrated by Watchmen colorist and appear as a two-page backup across the various Before Watchmen titles.

With the exceptions of Wein and Higgins, none of the creators involved in this initiative were involved in the original production of Watchmen. This announcement does clear up where quite a few popular creators, such as Jae Lee, J.G. Jones and Amanda Conner, have been working for the past year or so since ending other projects.

The publishing event will be capped off with Before Watchmen: Epilogue, a single issue by multiple writers and artists that will presumably bridge the gap from the prequel to the original series.