Thursday, 12 July 2012

Meanwhile...Before Watchmen

I was recently reading issue 2 of Superman: The Secret Years (1985) when I stumbled across something that struck me as rather interesting and worth sharing. Meanwhile... was a column that ran in the back of DC Comics for a while in the '80s. It was written by the then Vice President and Editor of DC Comics, Dick Giordano (a true comic book legend). In the Meanwhile... column that ran in DC's comics dated March, 1985 Dick discussed two upcoming projects that he was very excited about. One was an idea pitched by Alan Moore based on the newly acquired Charlton heroes tentatively titled Watchmen. The other was a project by Frank Miller that involved "one of the most popular super-heroes ever." I think we can safely assume he is referring to what would become Dark Knight Returns. 

Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns are usually (and quite rightly) hailed as two of the greatest comics series ever made. The influence of these two series is still felt in the world of super-hero comics to this day. Indeed, DC are currently releasing a series of prequels to Watchmen and many of Miller's ideas (i.e. his depiction of Jim Gordon and his depiction of the Waynes' murder) have become iconic and enduring aspects of the Batman legend.  These two series are such a part of the language that we use to discuss super-hero comics that I find it fascinating to read something from a time when they were just upcoming projects. Many of you have probably come across this particular Meanwhile... column before but I just found it so interesting that I thought I'd share it here.

Here's a close up of the part where Dick discusses Watchmen and DKR....

...and here's the whole thing,

By the way, Superman: The Secret Years is a great mini series written by Bob Rozakis with art by Curt Swan. It's about Superman's college years and has some brilliant covers by none other than Frank Miller. It seems to have been forgotten as it was wiped out of continuity by the Crisis on Infinite Earths almost as soon as it was released, but it's worth a read if you ever see it on ebay or in a second hand shop.