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Thread: Did Two Captions Doom Ozymandias?

  1. #1
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    Default Did Two Captions Doom Ozymandias?

    There are spoilers here for Before Watchmen: Ozymandias #4. But then, only if you haven;t read Watchmen. In which case, there are spoilers for Watchmen too.

    I've been enjoying quite a lot of Before Watchmen. There are a few things that rankle, the misuse of quantum theory in Doctor Manhattan, a certain ordinariness in Nite Owl, and then of course there's the whole concept of prequelising a work against the wishes of its writer thank to a fluke of a contract that neither party intended.

    You know.

    But there was one thing that really annoyed me yesterday. It seems that with issue 4, both Ozymandias and Silk Spectre are closing in on the inaugural (and last) meeting of the Crimebusters. And while Silk Spectre takes a tiny aspect to end on her relationship with Dr Manhattan, Ozymandias basically goes for a word-for-word retelling of the scene, with one important addition. Here's a page from the original,using its nine panel grid, followed by the corresponding page from the prequel using its circular and split page device.



    There it is. Those last captions. In the original, it just sat there, focusing on Ozymandias. The meaning was there if you took it and pays off wonderfully towards the end. In the prequel retelling of the scene it just has to add an additional line. The comic is told in Ozymandias' first person narrative, the kind of tool Watchmen only used with an actual physical diary, we never actually got inside the character's heads, we could only judge them by what they did and what they said.

    But here it seems to be covering all the bases with unecessary naration. The original scene was rather perfect, this addition knocks it completely off its axis, with two small captions.

    Or is it just me?

  2. #2
    King of Cool Blackfist's Avatar
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    Yes, No, Maybe so...

    I think it shows far to much ego with the "me" but it kinda reminds me of that scene in the prison with Rorschach as he Narrates his epiphany

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    Bleeding Cool toodoor's Avatar
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    I think it's doing a different job, the prequels are designed to be read after the original I would say, so the intention is different. But then I haven't read the page in the context of the full book since I dropped it!
    stegron and StarCruncher like this.

  4. #4
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    Somewhat inevitable given the format of the comic to be honest. BWO is basically one big thought bubble, and yes, that is fairly obviously what we know Ozzy was thinking in that panel, and have known for 25 years.
    WedShuffle likes this.

  5. #5
    Bleeding Cool StarCruncher's Avatar
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    It's partially you and partially not. You're getting too academic on the over-analysis. As toodoor mentioned, it's doing a different job and is telling a prequel story in service/background of the original.
    stegron and Lars Jensen like this.

  6. #6
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    Yeah it's not necessary. And by that I mean the whole Before Watchmen line of books is an unnecessary line of narration.

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    Well, one is written by a writer that thinks his reader is intelligent and will understand. The other is written by a 12 years old guy who thinks he's more intelligent than his reader, so he'll have to explain everything.
    But what really shocks me is that in the first page the play between the characters gives as much info as the dialogues... and the second page is... let's not talk about the second page.

  8. #8
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    Seeing that page makes me want to read Watchmen again. It's been a few years now. Probably worth another ride now.

  9. #9
    Exceedingly Cool arseface's Avatar
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    It removes the nuance and subtlety from the scene.

    Having said that, I always thought the very last page could do with a thought bubble from the fat guy in the New Frontiersman office: "I'm going to reach for the book in this pile of letters. I wonder whether it will make an adequate filler story? Perhaps it will be something more significant..."

  10. #10
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    Do they credit Moore for the dialogue on that page?

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