First Watchmen 2 artwork leaks (UPDATED)

You heard that Watchmen prequels were in the pipeline; now take a look at some of the reputed artwork. Bleeding Cool's Rich Johnston has gotten his hands on Joe and Andy Kubert's designs for Nite Owl and JG Jones' Comedian from the Watchmen prequel miniseries, which are being developed under the moniker "Panic Room."

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UPDATE 12/27: Per a request from DC Comics, we have since removed the images.

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DISCUSSION

lightninglouie
lightninglouie

Looking at these designs, I can already tell that Cooke, Kubert, et al. missed the point of Watchmen entirely. The characters aren't supposed to be imposing, heroic, or even sexy. They're supposed to look, well, kind of stupid. Even in his fighting trim, Nite Owl still looks like a demented owl fetishist. The Comedian resembles a psychotic leather daddy. Silk Spectre wears an outfit that looks like something Frederick's of Hollywood would have sold around 1968. And Dr. Manhattan just walks around with his big blue schlong hanging out, right there for everyone to see. Rorschach ended up being the iconic character because 90% of what he has on is street clothes, but even then, once you've read the thing, it's impossible to forget that he's wearing a murdered woman's dress on his face.

These were all deliberate decisions made by Moore and Gibbons, intended to suggest what it might actually look like if real people ran around in dopey outfits and beat each other up in public. Consequently, it's the only comic book in which people in costumes actually look like what real flesh-and-blood people look like wearing costumes. There's an awkward physicality to their suits that you never see in any other superhero comics, in which the characters are basically in a state of graceful genital-free magical nudity. (The whole skintight costume conceit ended up being a godsend for lazy artists who were good at anatomy but lousy at drawing clothes with creases, folds, different textures, etc.) This only works in comics; even in a good superhero movie like The Dark Knight Returns, Christian Bale still moves like a windup action toy, and the leather-clad movie X-Men look less like a team of superpowered champions than a yuppie motocross team. In a big way, Zach Snyder's decision to "sex up" the costumes for the movie only paid more credit to Moore and Gibbons' subversion. A guy in a sixty-pound latex Owl costume, or a half-naked woman fighting in a latex outfit in winter weather, looks dumb and impractical, no matter how much effort the cinematographer or costume designer put in to making them look otherwise.