Meet Eddie Blake. Tough son of a bitch, killer, and best friends of the Kennedys? Continue on to read our spoiler-filled review of Before Watchmen: Comedian #1!
Before Watchmen: Comedian #1
After hanging with John and Bobby Kennedy, and playing a particularly rough game of football, Jackie approaches Blake and propositions him. Not for sex, but to get rid of a specific, blonde starlet that her husband’s been known to cavort with. After dealing with the trash, Blake is taken to an assignment to stop a suspected drug ring run by the Moloch. When Blake gets through to Moloch, he finds the criminal watching the TV crying. The news of John Kennedy’s assassination has broken leaving both men in a state of shock.
As it turns out, the third time wouldn’t be a charm for Before Watchmen. In the first two books, Minutemen and Silk Spectre, we’re given insight into the deeper cores of the two heroes featured. For the original Nite Owl, you immediately can see his nostalgic side as he recounts the days with his former colleagues. In Silk Spectre, Sally is shown as a softer teenager before her innocence slides away from her.
For Comedian, we don’t so much get a deeper view into his soul as much as we’re seeing the first major difference between the original and the new stories. I’m not going to go on and on with comparisons, but I will say that Blakes off-handed comment in Watchmen about not asking where he was the day JFK died played to his nature of being a loose cannon and an anarchist. That one, single line is almost as important to his character and his nature than any other line spoken by any other character.
This idea of Edward Blake being a very close friend to John and Robert Kennedy was very tough to stomach. The idea of him being responsible for Marilyn Monroe’s death? I can see that. Completely going bonkers on a mission that is designed to be quiet and easy? Oh yeah, that definitely fits Blake. But to make him so friendly and so adoring of the Kennedys kinda tears down that allusion of that he was a truly cold son of a bitch. To have Jackie Kennedy more or less tell Blake to kill Marilyn Monroe is like cramming insult into the wound you just poured salt into. In the end, this book basically mishandles the Blake character for the sake of a twist and shows some pretty bad taste toward one of the most beloved First Ladies in American history.
On the positive, I do like that this book is unabashedly mature in tone and dialogue. It does keep that darkness of the original Watchmen and the J.G. Jones art is pretty spectacular. Again, trying not to compare and contrast to the original, Jones’ art made me feel as though I was reading one of the older issues. As a whole, this book does satisfy that tonality of the original. On top of that, the Crimson Corsair two-page story is the most exciting of the lot so far too. I’ve been really liking that, and haven’t really mentioned it much only because it’s tough to shoehorn a review about a two-page-per-issue short into the larger review of the book. With the first two parts being compelling and building the rough life on board the ship, this part moves into the real action of the story.
I really want to see where this story goes, but this is the first time I’ve found myself underwhelmed in this big event.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Great art from Jones. Corsair picks up after building suspense. Overall tone of the book is there.||Really not a fan of the kinder Comedian and the friendship with the Kennedys. Jackie’s scene bordered on being in bad taste.|