DC has released cover images for the second issues of a trio of its Before Watchmen titles.  The covers demonstrate the considerable skills of J.G. Jones (The Comedian), Darwyn Cooke (Minuteman), and Amanda Connor (Silk Spectre). DC’s controversial decision to flesh out the backstories of the Watchmen characters remains one of the most interesting comic publishing gambles of 2012.  While the Watchmen characters are extremely well known, thanks to the long-running popularity of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ original Watchmen saga, they are not necessarily very lovable or beloved by fans.
DC is in the midst of a major publicity campaign to overcome any opposition to allowing the Before Watchmen creators to play in Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ sandbox.  Look for a major splash for the project at C2E2.  This week leading up to the show innterviews with Before Watchmen creators have appeared at IGN, i09, and Rolling Stone, where Darwyn Cooke comments that he was “kind of dragged into it kicking and screaming by Dan Didio.”  Cooke originally declined, but reconsidered when an idea for the current story he is writing came to him about a year after Didio had first broached the subject.
The public reaction to the Before Watchmen books won’t be known until they are published, but just judging from the art and covers released, it is kind of intriguing to actually see these familiar characters drawn by different artists, each with their own distinct styles--yet another reminder that comics can be a truly collaborative art form where everybody’s contributions are important.