Watchmen: Before Watchmen
(Kindle) - (US) - (Canada) - (UK)
Jul 2, 2013, DC Comics, 256 pgs
"Writer Len Wein and artist Jae Lee delve into the mind of the smartest man in the world: Ozymandias. How does one grow up to become the world’s smartest man? Adrian Veidt begins his journey, both spiritual and physical, that will one day make him one of the most pivotal players in the world changing events of WATCHMEN.
This volume collects BEFORE WATCHMEN: OZYMANDIAS #1-6, “Curse of the Crimson Corsair,” and BEFORE WATCHMEN: DOLLAR BILL #1."
The Ozymandias story really didn't turn my crank as I don't like the character and this did nothing to make me enjoy disliking him, as with some villains. The story however is very dark and gives some good insight into the background of the character from his boyhood onwards and how he became a self-made billionaire, his self-imposed God complex and his desire to save the world from itself, but also himself first and foremost. Lots of cross-over with the other characters who've been spotlighted especially Dr. Manhattan and the Comedian. I found the art more modern, rather than having the eighties feel of the other volumes I've read, which didn't stop me from enjoying it though. Next up is the Curse of the Crimson Corsair which upon first view one knows something is entirely different about this story. It can be read online for free at the publisher's website. I had no clue why a ghostly pirate story that had nothing to do with the Watchmen was included here until I realized this was an homage to the "Tales of the Black Freighter" story which ran inside the Watchmen as a story within a story. A totally unrelated story but a completely satisfying pirate ghost ship cum Davy Jones' Locker tale. Even if the ending was a bit rushed. And finally stuck onto the end is a one-shot background story of Dollar Bill. He's a very minor character and I was pleasantly surprised to really enjoy this tale of his background and sad demise.