The comic book Watchmen, penned by Alan Moore and drawn by artist Dave Gibbons, is one of the most revered books in DC Comics’ nearly century-spanning catalogue. However, their treatment of the work’s creators has always been more than a little murky. Many people both within and outside the industry know that DC’s relationship with Moore is caustic at best, but in the past the publisher and Gibbons have had a cordial camaraderie. That’s why it comes as a shock to hear that Gibbons was not consulted about DC’s decision to fold the Watchmen into the DC Comics Universe in last week’s Rebirth #1.
In an interview during MCM London Comic Con, several reporters asked Gibbons about how he felt now that the Watchmen were in the DCU proper. He cut one reporter off, saying he had “no comment” on the matter. In a follow up question asking if Gibbons had been consulted about their decision or if they “had even sent [him] an email,” he replied “no they didn’t.”
This is a surprising revelation given his tacit endorsement of DC’s previous uses of the Watchmen brand. He is an admitted admirer of Zack Snyder’s film adaptation and even gave a cool blessing to the controversial Before Watchmen prequels.
The original series of WATCHMEN is the complete story that Alan Moore and I wanted to tell. However, I appreciate DC’s reasons for this initiative and the wish of the artists and writers involved to pay tribute to our work. May these new additions have the success they desire.
Of course, since then Gibbons has derided the prequels to some extent, but he has shown a willingness to play ball with DC that Moore simply hasn’t in recent years, so it begs the question– why didn’t DC ask Gibbons to do it again? He has always been the main missionary in DC’s quest to mine a property that most people agree should be left alone. Chalk this up to one more egg in the face of Watchmen‘s legacy.