Last week, DC Comics released the first issue of Before Watchmen, the eagerly anticipated (anticipation can be both negative and positive, folks) prequel to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen. And though we actually liked the first issue quite a bit, there’s still a larger question of the necessity of the project. Are prequels necessary at all? Are comic books? Is entertainment? These questions are too big for us to answer…
…So instead, we put together a list of ten prequel projects we’d actually love to see – and would probably be far less controversial, and more welcome to the comic book industry as a whole than Before Watchmen:
1. Before Superman
Okay, there’s actually a precedent for this one: there’s already been two series called “World of Krypton,” focusing on key moments in Superman’s home planet’s history, and showing how they led to one little baby getting rocketed to Earth. The more recent one was even written by John Byrne and Mike Mignola, and is considered one of the best Superman stories ever told. But this is a well we could, potentially, keep returning to; and particularly with DC’s whole universe rebooted for the New 52, a title focusing on the ongoing adventures of Jor-El and his family might be an exciting look at an alien culture.
2. Y: The Just A Regular Guy
Honestly, this is probably not a well we need to return to, particularly given how well contained Y: The Last Man is… But if Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra felt so inclined as to tell us a story from Yorick and his sister Hero’s early days, we wouldn’t stop ‘em.
Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross’ superb man-on-the-street view of the Marvel Universe has remained a classic for years… Now, with other characters synced into continuity – like The Mystery Men, The Twelve, and The Sentry – it might be interesting to revisit the series, in a much earlier time period. Or not. Not is fine, too.
4. Fables: The Homelands
We’ve seen a fair amount of the past in Bill Willingham’s Fables, and certainly it’s something that will continue to affect the currently running title. But there’s so many thousands of years of history and stories that occurs before Fables #1, it would be exciting to get an anthology series focusing on done in one (or ongoing) tales set before the Adversary drives our fairy tale characters to the Mundy world. Plus, Willingham seems pretty comfortable with spin-offs and explorations of his world, so we may actually see something like this at some point.
5. The Walking Not Quite Dead Yet
Do we ever need to find out what caused the zombie plague in The Walking Dead? Probably not. In fact, part of the point of the series is that our main characters aren’t actually, in essence, the main characters. Unless it was generally available knowledge, they’ll never know what got the world to the place it is in now. However, once Kirkman finishes the story of Rick Grimes and survivors, in a few years time (or few decades)? We wouldn’t mind a mini-series detailing the first days of the zombie plague, and how it came to be.
This is pretty well trod territory in comics – not to mention in the original Norse myths – but we would love to see Walt Simonson revisit Marvel’s Thor one more time, to tell some tales of a young Thor, and a young Loki set before his seminal run on the title. Seriously, if you’ve never read it: Simonson’s Thor might be the best run on a mainstream comic book, ever.
7. Tales Of The Planetary
Warren Ellis and John Cassaday’s Planetary is pretty much self-contained (like a lot of this list), and delves frequently into the past during the course of its twenty-seven issue run. But there’s so many adventures these Archaeologists of the Impossible went on before the series began, we’d be happy to see Ellis and Cassaday revisit some of their most famous creations. That said, given how long it took them to finish the series, we maybe shouldn’t hold our breaths waiting for new stories.
8. Runaways: The Pride
There’s probably a number of caveats we could throw out there… But in lieu of a new Runaways series (which we desperately want to read), there’s something to be said for going backwards in time, before the series, and focusing instead of the superpowered teens supervillain parents. In the comic, The Pride was a group controlling all crime in the Los Angeles area, teaming Mutants, Aliens, Wizards, and more. If that doesn’t make for a compelling comic book series, showing what they had to do to rise to power? Well, we don’t know comics. NOTE: please ignore that last sentence.
9. Old West Powers
...Or Powers set during the turn of the century, so it’s all fancy like, we don’t care. Either way, Brian Bendis and Mike Oeming’s superpowered cops series is easily translatable to a ton of different settings. And hey, we’d love to see some superpowered cowboy justice.
10. Invincible: The Wacky Adventures of Omni-Man
This is similar to the Runaways idea, but how about a series focusing on Invincible’s evil alien Dad, Omni-Man? We find out he’s a baddie (for a while) in the series, but before that, he was Superman with a mustache… Showing his arrival on Earth, assimilation into society, and daily struggle with not killing everyone could make for compelling drama.