The Watchmen is seen by many as one of the best graphic novels of all time. It changed the industry and how we viewed superhero comics. Writer Alan Moore used it to talk about the times they were in, the possibilities of a nuclear war, and how the heroes played a part in the world. Watchmen takes a complicated look at these things and also manages to put together a story that has held up several decades later. Currently, there has been a movie adaptation, a television series in the works, and comic series that brings the characters into contact with the main DC universe. The question then arises, should DC have left the Watchmen alone?
In this day and age, it is common for all types of media to release sequals, prequels, and expanded world stories to cash in on the success of the original story. When a movie does well, you will no doubtly see a second one and possibly a third or fourth. Comics are the same way with publishers taking to a story that did well and milking it for everything it has. I won’t say that sequels aren’t enjoyable or have no value because they can. Getting to spend more time with your favorite characters and worlds with new stories can be fun. However, are there some stories that need to be left alone? Sure. Some things I believe need to be left alone. They said what they needed to and were satisfying to end.
For Watchmen, I have heard both ways. One side saying that is should be left alone and it is a bad idea to try and bring them into the DC mix. I have also heard those who like the possibility of new stories and interactions that have yet to be explored and that maybe the Watchmen could tell a new story for the times. I personally see merit to both sides and I am not here to just give you my opinion but to explore both sides to see.
Having read the Doomsday Clock, which as of writing has released 9 issues, it has been pretty enjoyable for me to read so far. The long gaps between the issue releases has kind of been dragging the story down for me and I have to go back and review sometimes to just remember everything that had gone on. However, if read all together in trade format, this would most likely take away most of those problems. Doomsday Clock is the first time we are seeing these characters from Watchmen with the heroes and villains of the DC Universe. I find their interactions enjoyable and I am looking forward to see how the final few issues play out.
We have seen how it has been playing out since the beginning of DC Rebirth with the return of old characters and the kind of merging of the Pre and New 52 universes. Also, with the looming threat that has been pointed at Dr. Manhattan. Now that the Watchmen characters have been brought into the fold, I think we now are wondering what happens after Doomsday Clock. Geoff Johns had brought these classic characters back and also thrown in some new ones like Marionette and Mime, along with the new Rorschach. It seems to point to the fact that DC might have plans further on past this series. This would leave people to wonder are the going to get their own series and are they going to stay in the main DC Universe? Only time will tell, but this would definitely not be what the Watchmen purists, who want the book to be left alone, would want to see.
This brings us back to the main question of should the Watchmen be left alone. The story was written for the time that is made in and even though things can be extracted for present day, should that be messed with? Some classics need to be left the way they are and by creating follow ups and the like, it can unintentionally alter what the original story stood for. It could give characters changes that never meant to be changed and take the stories where they should have never gone to. Like I said, it can be fun to keep seeing our favorite characters in new situations, but some things just need to stand alone and be enjoyed for what they were.
I find good arguments for both sides and there is no right or wrong answer. Not Everyone will be happy whether they leave the story untouched or continually expand upon the characters and worlds. All we can do is appreciate the good stories when we get them and hope that the ones I charge put the time and care into the work that we all want for these stories and characters. As for Doomsday Clock, I think it is worth a read to see for yourself whichever side you fall on. However, I would recommend waiting for the trade if you haven’t started it yet. Let me know what you think though. Should the Watchmen be left alone? Have you enjoyed Doomsday Clock? And what is your stance on what stories should be standalone or continued on?