Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #4 Review and Mini Series Wrap Up

The first Before Watchmen mini wraps up but has the curse of the prequel effected it’s impact?

Marcus Doidge


Comic: Silk Spectre #4

Written By:  Darwyn Cooke

Pencils By: Amanda Conner

Publisher: DC Comics


[rating: 3]

So Laurie’s mini series comes to an end. We’ve seen our lead teenager get out from under her mother’s costumed hero shadow and watched as she ran away to a whole new world of free love, free spirits and the found herself tackling the dark underbelly of the San Francisco drug scene in the sixties.

Last issue ended with Laurie’s boyfriend leaving her a goodbye note and disappearing from her life (which we know was all because of Eddie Blake’s involvement but Laurie is unaware of this little fact) and this issue is the fallout of all that. Unfortunately that means this final issue of the mini series is a bit of a downer and the fun side of this Laurie’s story so far is really missed.

Even with Hollis Mason’s arrival on the scene and a nice insight into Sally Jupiter’s regret over how she treats her daughter,  this final issue feels like the mini series fizzles out rather than goes out with the bang it deserved.In many ways, what’s covered in these pages has enough to sum up all that Cooke was out to achieve with Laurie and  it feels as if a lot of the dramatic elements he wanted to cover were left for the final issue.This doesn’t make the previous three issues feel redundant but it does make this final issue feel a little disconnected from what had come before.

I’ve really enjoyed the Silk Spectre run.  Out of all the Before Watchmen stories this is one that I would probably read on a regular basis as an ongoing title but this final issue in many ways prevents that from being a possibility. We jump out of the Laurie San Fransico adventures (with a rather dark glimpse at some of the character traits Laurie may have picked up from her father) and we pretty much find ourselves caught up with the original Watchmen story and the Crime Busters meeting. I’m not sure this mini series needed to tie into Watchmen so much. there’s plenty of room for other Laurie stories before she hits the meeting that kick started the events in the original Watchmen and wrapping up the mini series at this point feels like a bit of a shame.

All in all this has been a bit of fun. It was the mini series that took us somewhere we didn’t know about, more so than many of the other Before Watchmen titles and the combination of Cooke and Conner was a delight to flick through the pages of. Amanda Conner has delivered some of her finest work within these pages, making Laurie both fun, sexy and strong and Cooke and Conner have really given the young version of Silk Spectre a nice bit of fleshing out. It is a bit of a shame that this story of drugs, love and costumed heroics just sort of wrapped up and got back to Watchmen rather than focused on being its own thing a little bit more more but I look forward to re-reading this mini series in its entirety soon and seeing how it flows as a complete run. For now, I’d say I liked this four part series a whole lot and had many a moment when I loved it it but somehow the final issue dropped the ball for me and what began as a fine exploration of Laurie’s origin, ended with a sense of “read Watchmen to find out more” rather than giving us an end to the story that was being told within the mini series pages.

Mini Series Review: [rating: 3.5]


Before Watchmen: Week 21 Overview:

“The first of the Before Watchmen Mini Series’ comes to an end and while it’s been a great run, the end failed to make this any more than a preview to a character that gets to shine in the original Watchmen. This has always been the fear within the pages of Before Watchmen and now the pressure is on for the other mini series titles to deliver on their finales. I guess this is the curse of a prequel as we know what’s coming next but if all of these titles end with a flimsy wrap up and then a nod at how these new stories connect seamlessly into a Watchmen moment, these Before Watchmen stories and all their good work so far may very well end up feeling a little like a dull thud, undoing the surprise success they’ve all been so far.”