After a rough first issue, does Before Watchmen: Comedian bounce back? Read on to find out!
Before Watchmen: Comedian #2
Eddie Blake is at an Ali fight with his dear friend Robert Kennedy. RFK tells Eddie that he’s eyeing the Presidency, but first, he’s going to throw his hat into the ring for the Senate. Eddie tells him that he’s been asked to go to Vietnam as an adviser. When Blake arrives in Southeast Asia, he finds the troops around him are already questioning how they could possibly win this little battle when they don’t even know who their allies are or get the proper supplies to fund the effort. Blake injects a little boost to the troops by just doing his job and helping to wipe out some of the VC, but when he learns that the funds are just not there, he enlists a drug dealer to help fund the coming war.
The main problem I had with the first issue was how much it seemed to change the perception of Edward Blake. It played him off as liberal who was incredibly close to the Kennedys. I felt as though the characterization of a character that always seemed to be a loose cannon had become a little kinder, gentler, and fuzzier. It just didn’t seem to fit with what we always knew about this guy who didn’t have those feelings, or at least didn’t seem to have real friends. The first issue set the tone that this miniseries was going to be the one that impeded the most on the original book.
For me, the question was whether or not the second issue was going to continue down that path. Well, it kind of does. We see a little more of the Edward Blake that values the end result more than the means. If the U.S. was to win a war against Communism, did that outweigh the evils of selling drugs to fund that war? If nothing else, the Comedian was the one who was willing to sacrifice what people thought of him if he knew the greater good was going to win out. In some ways, it’s what broke him in his final days seeing that all he did was small potatoes compared to Veidt’s big plans.
So, yes, it does bring Blake closer to center as far as what we expect from the character. However, my big concern is whether or not these next four issues are going to be more about breaking the Comedian into the flawed character we know by having him go through hell in Vietnam until Dr. Manhattan shows up. It makes me wonder if this book would have been best in terms of how he dealt with crime in his own way, or dealt with the war in his own way, or even not existing at all. Despite Blake’s transgressions (and they are fairly large as far as his treatment of others), there seemed to always be a romantic story twist to him. He was the glue that held the first book together. His death kickstarted the story. It drove Rorschach to find out the bigger scheme in play. Here was this horrible person, despite all the good he did, would always be remembered in the worst of lights, but held the attention of everyone else in Watchmen.
I’m just not sure we need to know a lot about him outside of what we already knew.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Story does shift into a better place than the first issue. We see a little more of the Blake we are accustomed to. J.G. Jones’ art is spectacular.||Still not sure I want to know this story.|