Written By: Len Wien
Pencils By: Jae Lee
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: OUT NOW IN STORES & DIGITAL DOWNLOAD (VIA COMIXOLOGY)
Essentially this first issue expands upon what we know of Ozymandias’s life story. We delve deeper into his youth, his parent’s death, his understanding of how the world works, his giving away and making of his fortune and his journey retreading the steps of his hero Alexander The Great. Everything is told in past tense with Ozy’s confident, matter of fact tone. It’s all but emotionless, cold even and all from a character on the verge of changing the world.
The comic reads like a good book, thanks to Len Wien’s grasp of Ozymandias as a character and the art work by Jae Lee is a fantastic picture book to show us Ozy’s life. Once again there is nothing we didn’t already know within the majority of the story but the expansions still feel honourable to the original Watchmen. This first issue feels like the first of many steps. The recap of Ozy’s journey leads into the death of a lover at the hands of Moloch and we get a look at why Ozymandias put on his purple outfit, donned his gold headband and decided to join the crime fighting elite. There’s a sense this series will give us the story expansion on why Ozymandias chose to change the world in the way that he does in Watchmen and that’s all very intriguing. It’s a hell of a tightrope to walk for the writers, given the importance of that story to Watchmen. One wrong move and the series could collapse in on itself, if they get it right this story could feel like something legitimately tied to ‘Watchmen’. Given my growing fondness for this prequel series, that I never thought would work, I am almost happily confident this might work. Out of all of the Before Watchmen series, Ozymandias could be the one that adds more weight to the original story. If it carries on being this strong, this could very well be the title that holds the most potential. Issue #1 certainly set a tone that feels brave, confident and focused on its goals, I guess we’ll have to see where Ozymandias went next to find out if meddling with something so important can be pulled off.
Before Watchmen: Week 5 Overview:
“Everything ‘Before Watchmen’ is feeling more comfortable now. The small extensions to what we know are feeling less lazy and more valid. That’s three really great issues in a row and next week we movie into our first #2 with Minutemen. When this prequel event was first announced I didn’t think I’d get this far and be enjoying it. Now I find myself itching for more every week”.