John Higgins

Before Watchmen: Moloch 2 (February 2013)

Straczynski turns Moloch into the martyr of Watchmen. And he gets away with it. Moloch’s such a broken soul, it’s feasible he’d bend to Adrian’s will. As for Adrian, who practically gets more page time here than Moloch, Straczynski seems to recognize what he and Moloch have in common… they’re both illusionists. Adrian’s convincing Moloch […]

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Before Watchmen: Moloch 1 (January 2013)

Even though Moloch appears in the original Watchmen, there’s a lot more talk about him than show. J. Michael Straczynski turns the character into a quintessential sympathetic villain. He was born with deformed ears, leading to teasing in childhood and other tragedies later in life. Straczynski uses first person narration, making the reader identify with […]

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Before Watchmen: Comedian 4 (December 2012)

And another good one. Azzarello likes doing war comics; he should stick to them. Even though there are some confusing parts to the narrative–Azzarello fractures it without establishing the bookends–and the song lyric excerpts don’t work, it’s a successful issue. Towards the end, Eddie and his gang drop acid before going on patrol. If Azzarello […]

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Before Watchmen: Comedian 3 (November 2012)

It’s another surprisingly good issue. Eddie’s on leave in Hawaii after he aggravated a riot while on leave in L.A. Azzarello structures the whole issue around him telling Bobby Kennedy (his strongest government supporter) about it. Going between race riots and war protests, Azzarello manages to look do a nice little history issue. There’s not […]

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Before Watchmen: Comedian 2 (September 2012)

Yeah, Azzarello definitely enjoys writing Comedian. There’s a lot of Vietnam War history here, a little American political history and almost no Watchmen connection. The Comedian could just be anyone. Azzarello never gives him anything superhero specific. So, as a comic, it’s good, but–and I can’t believe I’m saying it–it fails as a Before Watchmen […]

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Before Watchmen: Rorschach 3 (January 2013)

Travis Bickle guest stars in this issue. Azzarello’s deep, man, he’s really deep. He also sets up Rorschach’s girlfriend to get killed, which will undoubtedly explain why he loses himself completely in the mask. The Before Watchmen editors clearly didn’t coordinate or they just gave Azzarello free reign. He uses it to write a really […]

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Before Watchmen: Rorschach 1 (October 2012)

Wait, am I really supposed to take Rorschach seriously? Brian Azzarello’s writing of the narration suggests he’s never even seen the Watchmen movie, much less read the comic. It’s like he heard there was crazy narration and did a terrible job approximating it. The series is set in 1977, in New York City. Taxi Driver […]

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Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan 2 (December 2012)

Straczynski and Hughes aren’t satisfied with just playing with Watchmen here–Hughes does a lovely montage featuring imagery from the prequels and the original–they also feel the need for a 2001 reference. Dr. Manhattan is interesting because of that ambitiousness. For example, Straczynski’s writing is concerned with being smart and thoughtful. The series is an informed […]

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Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan 1 (October 2012)

There’s something cool about Dr. Manhattan. Not just because Adam Hughes does the art–though the way he’s able to be stylized and still fluid is impressive; I wasn’t expecting him to do sequential so well. And it’s not cool because J. Michael Straczynski tries so hard to ape Alan Moore’s “voice” for Jon. It’s cool […]

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Before Watchmen: Ozymandias 3 (November 2012)

Len Wein has been writing comics for decades. He’s definitely an adult. Why does he write dialogue Yogi Bear would find infantile? Except the stuff with the Comedian making gay jokes about Adrian. Those comments read a little meta given Wein’s awkward handling of Adrian’s sex life. Though Wein does write Eddie’s double entendres like […]

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Before Watchmen: Ozymandias 2 (October 2012)

Wein seems to think giving Adrian very purple narration suggests intelligence. It doesn’t. Adrian’s of “sleek” as an adjective is laughable. Then there’s the problem of the thugs oscillating between ostentatious dialogue and traditional moronic thug dialogue. Wein is trying really hard; it kills any chance the series has–which isn’t much, given Lee’s painfully static […]

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Before Watchmen: Ozymandias 1 (September 2012)

I don’t know what’s more amusing in Len Wein’s wordy exposé of Ozymandias–the idea of majoring in Alexander the Great in post-graduate work (seriously, did no editor explain to Wein how higher education functions) or Adrian being ashamed of his homosexual dalliances. Wein has Adrian recording his memoirs during the final events of the original […]

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Before Watchmen: Nite Owl 3 (November 2012)

Well, Straczynski doesn’t spend too much time with Rorschach this issue, just enough to remind everyone he’s around. He also doesn’t continue the narration from Dan. Why? Because Straczynski doesn’t go for any kind of narrative continuity; Nite Owl’s an editorial disaster. I guess no one told Straczynski to at least be consistent in his […]

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Before Watchmen: Nite Owl 2 (October 2012)

Why didn’t they just combine this series with the Rorschach one? Straczynski probably gives Rorschach a third of the issue anyway. He’s juxtaposing Dan and Rorschach’s differing Mommy complexes, which would work for a combined book. But for one called Nite Owl? Doesn’t make any sense. There’s not a lot of callbacks to the original […]

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Before Watchmen: Nite Owl 1 (August 2012)

Given the problems, Nite Owl is a lot better than it should be. Straczynski writes Rorschach and Nite Owl well together. The humor of a gentler Rorschach helps it. Now for the problems. It’s trite and obvious; no surprise from Straczynski. He’s got Dan blathering about his fate with Laurie. Then there’s a line to […]

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Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre 2 (September 2012)

Cooke and Conner set up Laurie as a hippie superhero; it’s kind of cool and definitely a decent look at sixties San Francisco. What’s interesting–and something I don’t think the original series ever established–is Laurie goes the “with great power” route. She turns into Silk Spectre because she can help people if she does. It […]

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Before Watchmen: Minutemen 3 (October 2012)

Poor Hollis, in love with a girl who doesn’t know he exists. Strangely, Cooke doesn’t narrate the book well when Hollis–in the sixties–is commenting directly on his younger self’s actions. The narration does work otherwise though. The charm of Minutemen is gone. Once again, there’s a meta reference to it in Hollis’s opening narration. What […]

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Before Watchmen: Minutemen 2 (September 2012)

And now I’m not sure with where Cooke takes things. He turns Minutemen, in its conclusion this issue, into a really tough, uncomfortable book. It’s like I can’t decide if it’s homophobic, if Cooke’s just using the material or if he’s just being straightforward about it. There’s probably no comfortable way to handle it. I’m […]

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Before Watchmen: Minutemen 1 (August 2012)

I’m a little surprised, but I only have one problem with Minutemen (at least the Darwyn Cooke material). Who the hell is Hollis Mason talking to? He’s basically summarizing his book, right? It doesn’t make any sense. The only surprises are Silk Spectre and the Comedian–she’s a model faking being an adventurer and he’s already […]

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The Boys 28 (March 2009)

Hughie disobeys orders to try to help the G-Wiz, which doesn’t go well for them. It also doesn’t go well for the reader because Higgins is back on the art and he’s bad. He’s bad when he’s just doing regular scenes (he draws Butcher like a hobbit at one point) and he’s even worse for […]

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The Boys 26 (January 2009)

I’ll never complain about Robertson being lazy on The Boys again. Actually, I probably will, but I sure do miss him this issue. John Higgins fills in and, while he can handle a lot of the content, he misses the nuance to some of it. He draws Annie like any other bimbo comic book blonde. […]

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