Darwyn Cooke on Why He Initially Said No to ‘Before Watchmen’
If you're one of those people who heard about DC Comics' plans for this summer's Before Watchmen releases and thought "I don't see what needs to be added to the original book," then you're not alone; Darwyn Cooke, who's writing both Minutemen and Silk Spectre (as well as illustrating Minutemen) from the line, had exactly the same reaction at first, as he's explained in a new interview.Talking to io9.com, Cooke said that, when originally approached by DC Co-Publisher Dan Didio about the project, "my initial response was 'absolutely not.' The reason for that was simple - I consider Watchmen a magnificent book, and I just didn't see doing anything that could live up to it, especially after all of this time." A year after that conversation, however, "the idea for the Minutemen [series] fell into my head. I sat down, plotted a treatment, and it really got me excited," adding that "It fit perfectly into the scenario they had set up for these characters, so I contacted Dan and told him, 'Count me in.'"
Overall, Cooke feels, the strength of Before Watchmen is its diversity. "While we were looking for a certain unity to the books," he explained, "what we came to is that each book's complete uniqueness is the glue that holds them together. That's maybe the best creative reflection of the world Alan [Moore] and Dave [Gibbons] created. I'm privy to seeing the work now, and it in no way feels like eight event-driven books that are all locked together. It feels like eight separate statements - that's what binds them together. They do overlap and refer to each other to a degree, but not in a story-dependent way."
When asked what he thinks Moore and Gibbons will think of his work on the books, he said that while he thinks that "it's silly to think this way," he assumes that both creators will look at Minutemen and have a kind reaction to what they see: "I'm just trying to do my best work and hope they don't think it's terrible."