Before Watchmen: Moloch #2 Review And Mini Series Wrap Up

Moloch was only a short mini series but it’s one Before Watchmen title that really worked.

Marcus Doidge



Comic: Moloch #2

Written By:  J Michael Straczynski

Pencils By:  Eduardo Risso

Publisher: DC Comics


[rating: 4.5]

In the first part of this two part mini series Moloch gave us his background. We saw his clashes with the Minutemen and ultimately his choice to change his ways in prison and leave a better man. Then we were left with Ozymandias greeting Moloch at the prison gates and the sense of impending doom sunk in.


Too many Moloch is either easy to forget or not really seen as an important part of the original Watchmen but like the tiny pieces of a clock, every element is important to Watchmen and Moloch truly deserves his own mini story within this Before Watchmen event I feel. For starters Moloch is a great character that enables us to see behind the Ozymandias curtain (a curtain that would no doubt be purple). Here we really get to see how much Moloch knew about Ozy’s grand scheme and just when the penny dropped that he’d been used as a chess piece in Ozy’s strategy.

Reading this second issue, Moloch becomes even more of a tragic character. In the original Watchmen he’s sort of sad in a “Rorschach please stop beating on him” sort of a way but fleshing Moloch’s story out here really adds a great deal to his small, yet killer roll in the Watchmen mythology. I just feel for the poor little guy from the opening scene of this issue right up to his demise and I honestly don’t think I’d ever felt just how dark Veidt’s moves were with Moloch and Janey as we headed towards the giant squid in Watchmen, than I did within these pages.


Straczynski personalises this side story to the main event perfectly. Moloch is made to feel like more of a victim than ever before and seeing a much more shadowed and manipulative Ozymandias at play here is sort of gut wrenching as we know what’s to come. Even better we see around or to the side of scenes we know from Watchmen. Like how Ozy knew Comedian had approached Moloch and given the game away about the island and how Ozy’s men were watching Moloch and could arrange the Rorschach set up. It’s all well tied together here and Straczynski even goes one step further and makes Moloch’s death sort of poetic and larger than it ever felt in the book and makes for a nice behind the scenes look at a key event in the original Watchmen story.


I really, really enjoyed this unexpected side order from the Before Watchmen titles. I love how the expansions worked for the grander story here and Moloch suddenly feels much more important to me than he did previously. That’s a good thing because somehow seeing these events unfold will play into my thoughts when re-reading Watchmen (which is my intention when all this Before Watchmen stuff wraps up). This really is a story that I will carry forward as a legitimate slice of Watchmen and I can’t say that about all of the other Before Watchmen titles if I’m honest.

Mini Series Overall Score  [rating: 4.0]


Before Watchmen Weekly Overview: