In case anyone missed Taylor Ramsey’s interview the other day, Len Wein talked about exactly what happened with the Before Watchmen Epilogue that DC Comics withdrew from their schedules, but also the reasons he left the Crimson Corsair back up strip intended to run through the back of all the Before Watchmen comics but in the end, stopping around two thirds of the way in. And also why that strip seemed to peter out without conclusion.
At the time, DC PR stated “Len Wein will be stepping off THE CURSE OF THE CRIMSON CORSAIR to focus his attention on the upcoming BEFORE WATCHMEN: EPILOGUE.
This is how Len Wein tells it;
The Crimson Corsair is a whole other story. I had started to work with John (Higgins), and I had no clue what a good artist he was. I was very excited and we were about halfway through the project, and I said we are going here next and John had his own ideas of where he wanted to go. He started to get more and more determined in what he wanted it to be, and it wasn’t the story I wanted to tell. I don’t know if this part is true as I think it is hearsay that he went upstairs and wanted to do it his way or he was off the book. DC would have been clear on the idea that it was just him and I in the new teams that had any direct connection with the original work so they came to me and said how do you feel about this? Well, I wasn’t happy about it. It was my creation and I had a story I wanted to tell. I understand, of course, but that is the way things are sometimes. DC told him to finish it, but to do so as quickly as possible please. DC decided not to carry it through the backs of all the books like they originally intended. And now it sort of stops half way through the project and ends there. I think that is unfortunate.
A creator cares deeply about something and believes they are right and they stand their ground. They are completely right to think they are right and this was not different. He just was a different kind of right. He wasn’t hired to write the book he was hired to draw it. We all have egos and you try to work it out, but it kept getting farther and farther away from what I intended, and in the end I’m still not sure what happened and how it ended.
From the last page of the second book of The Crimson Corsair, by John Higgins.