It's just too tempting to publish an "After Watchmen" type series, or "Watchmen 2.0," or some other such entity (you know, barring any sort of new legal developments or a particularly strong magickal curse from Alan Moore).
The series of "Before Watchmen" comics are certainly not all over -- but it's safe to say, especially with the announcement of the first hardcover collections -- that it's wrapping up.
Where, if anything, does DC Comics go from here regarding this franchise?
Well, it depends on who you talk to.
In this recent interview I had with J. Michael Straczynski, he had this to say about any possible "After Watchmen"-type book:
"I can't speak from any special knowledge, there have been no conversations between me and the DC hierarchy on this subject, but my sense from what I've picked up is that I don't think they went into this to create a franchise that they can expand outward from here. Dan always just talked about doing this story-cycle and that was pretty much it. So I'd be very much surprised if there were any After-Watchmen stories, at least for the time being."
However, when we chatted with DC comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio at this year's Baltimore Comic-Con, he suggested that the possibility of further Watchmen doings wasn't completely off the table:
As DiDio says in the video, it all would depend on the sales of the "Before Watchmen" hardcover collections. Which have now been dated for July/August:
BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN/SILK SPECTRE DELUXE EDITION HC
Writers: Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner
Artists: Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner
Collects: BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN #1-6 and BEFORE WATCHMEN: SILK SPECTRE #1-4
$29.99 US, 264 pg
BEFORE WATCHMEN: COMEDIAN/RORSCHACH DELUXE EDITION HC
Writers: Brian Azzarello
Artists: J.G. Jones and Lee Bermejo
Collects: BEFORE WATCHMEN: COMEDIAN #1-6 and BEFORE WATCHMEN: RORSCHACH #1-4
$29.99 US, 256 pg
BEFORE WATCHMEN: NITE OWL/DR. MANHATTAN DELUXE EDITION HC
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Artists: Andy Kubert, Joe Kubert, Bill Sienkiewicz, Adam Hughes and Eduardo Risso
Collects: BEFORE WATCHMEN: NITE OWL #1-4, BEFORE WATCHMEN: DR. MANHATTAN #1-4 and BEFORE WATCHMEN: MOLOCH #1-2
$29.99 US, 264 pg
BEFORE WATCHMEN: OZYMANDIAS/CRIMSON CORSAIR DELUXE EDITION HC
Writer: Len Wein
Artists: Jae Lee, John Higgins and Steve Rude
Collects: BEFORE WATCHMEN: OZYMANDIAS #1-4, BEFORE WATCHMEN: DOLLAR BILL #1 and the CRIMSON CORSAIR backup stories
$29.99 US, 256 pg
July/August puts us in San Diego Comic-Con territory, in which we can imagine a big promotional push for the collections -- though I would imagine they'd get a good sense of how well the books will sell earlier, in terms of pre-orders.
To my mind, that would make any possible Post-"Before Watchmen" (OK, now I'm getting a little confused) announcements ripe for the New York Comic-Con season.
So let's go back to the original question at hand -- will there be any other Watchmen projects coming out of DC (other than a possible black-and-white art book, which DiDio mentions in this video)?
I really think so.
It's just too tempting to publish an "After Watchmen" type series, or "Watchmen 2.0," or some other such entity (you know, barring any sort of new legal developments or a particularly strong magickal curse from Alan Moore). What you're really talking about is a "Next Generation" deal, a multi-generational "Justice Society" thing. Would it mean interaction with the standard DCU characters? Probably. Would that be weird, having Rorschach and The Question in the same universe? Probably.
But see, this is why I have the perfect solution: Rorschach's Daughter. The world's smelliest superheroine.
Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?