As part of DC's Multiversity project, All-Star Superman team Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely will be helming a comic entitled Pax Americana, a tribute to Alan Moore's Watchmen that uses analogues to Alan Moore's characters in modern times.
In an interview with the magazine Comic Heroes, Morrison described the project as a 21st century Watchmen that used the original Charlton Comics characters. Remember, the characters of Watchmen were based on superheroes that DC acquired from Charlton in the 1980s — The Question = Rorschach, Captain Atom = Dr. Manhattan, and so on. Morrison also noted that he sees these characters not as fixed, immutable creations, but rather as icons ripe for reinvention. (Indeed, this is a sentiment he expressed to us regarding Batman.)
Here's what Morrison told Comic Heroes:
We thought it would be appropriate to re-think and update the kind of in-your-face self-relecting narrative techniques used by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons and to apply them to a whole new story which asks ‘what if Watchmen had been conceived now, in the contemporary political landscape and with the Charlton characters themselves, rather than analogues?
So the cover hs a close-up on a burning peace flag and a Delmore Schwartz quote – ‘Time is the school in which we learn, time is the fire in which we burn' – and it all blossoms from there. [...These stories] are designed to be told over and over again. If you were an Aboriginal kid or a tribal shaman, that's what you'd do, you'd participate in the recycling of old stories, the ‘revamping' of characters and scenarios, the explaining away of plot holes. Some to the job with more skill than others, but if you work with Marvel, DC or other companies' pulp fiction characters, you're basically repainting pictures of the ancestors on cave walls.
This isn't the first time Morrison has dabbled with Watchmen — in Final Crisis, he introduced us to Captain Adam, the Quantum Superman of Earth 4, a Dr. Manhattan-like character (above). Bleeding Cool notes that these Watchmen homages will appear in Pax Americana. Of course, Alan Moore's relationship with DC over Watchmen has been the epitome of frosty these days, so who knows what he makes of this development.