Before Watchmen: Minutemen #6 Review and Mini Series Wrap Up

Comic: Minutemen #6 Written By: Darwyn Cooke Pencils By: Darwyn Cooke Publisher: DC Comics Release Date: OUT NOW IN STORES & DIGITAL DOWNLOAD (VIA COMIXOLOGY) Rating: Darwyn…

Marcus Doidge

Contributor

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Comic: Minutemen #6

Written By: Darwyn Cooke

Pencils By: Darwyn Cooke

Publisher: DC Comics

Release Date: OUT NOW IN STORES & DIGITAL DOWNLOAD (VIA COMIXOLOGY)

Rating: ★★★★½

Darwyn Cooke’s Minutemen, arguably one of the most solid titles within the Before Watchmen event comes to an end. Tying up many a thread such as the final fate of Hooded Justice, Hollis Mason’s road to quitting the Nite-Owl costume and of course just what is the real truth inside the pages of Under the Hood?

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Despite a large chunk of this mini series being elements we already knew, expanded to their widest degree, Darwyn Cooke’s approach the Minutemen has been pitch perfect. Essentially what we’ve received is a glorious depiction of the ‘Under the Hood’ book. The combination of Darywn Cooke writing Hollis Mason’s words with Cooke’s beautiful artwork is about as perfect a depiction of golden age style Minutemen as we were ever going to get and I don’t think I fully appreciated that until the final couple of issues.

Cooke managed to play the darkness of this tale at just the right note. We never really saw anything too disturbing but via the just out of frame visuals and Mason’s reaction to events we felt every beat. The slow pecking of the changing times at the Minutemen were always at Mason’s door, yet he fought on like the icon he was always celebrated as in the original Watchmen. Really the best thing to say about this entire mini series. Darwyn Cooke has created something that feels like it fits into Watchmen’s history, showing both respect and creativity in a largely limited space to work in. Spending more time with the Minutemen has been a delight really and even though I’m sure DC could probably squeeze more tales out of this era, this feels like we’ve had a thorough in depth roam around the world of Minutemen at the end of these six issues.

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So how does it all end? Well that would be unfair to spoil but it’s certainly not cleanly. What you think was happening with Hooded Justice sort of is but Cooke has one more twist to turn the cogs and while it’s not entirely un-guessable it still managed to hit all the right beats to be a devastating blow for the real truth outside of the pages of Under the Hood.

Once again it’s hard to really say how much more of a Watchmen character study we got from this prequel, given that Watchmen is such a complete account of Hollis Mason’s life anyway but for Minutemen, Darwyn Cooke perfectly celebrates the era that we only see glimpses of in the original Watchmen. He adds certain charms, magnifies certain character traits and re-tells events from different points of views. It’s much akin to Cooke’s work on New Frontier, in that he’s retelling familiar stories in ways he somehow makes perfect adaptations of due to his attention to detail and wonderful sense of style. Minutemen rarely coasted within its six issue run and in itself sits alongside the original Watchmen as a nice companion piece volume. Sure, it’s not on the save level as Watchmen (what is?) but the fact it feels legitimately tied to the Watchmen somehow and never feel like a DC Comics cash in on a big property is  more than enough to call this a real success within the Before Watchmen event.

Mini Series Overall Score Rating: ★★★★½

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Before Watchmen Weekly Overview: