Before Watchmen: Nite Owl Gives Some Odd Advice

I’m not sure I should be taking advice from superhero comics, let alone a line that screams “we are totally out of ideas so we are strip-mining the most important graphic novel in our library”. The below is from Before Watchmen: Nite Owl, J. Michael Straczynski, writer, Andy and Joe Kubert, art.

Before Watchmen: Nite Owl panels

I’m not going to comment on the rest of the book — although Brian Hibbs lives up to the “Savage Critic” name on it, and I can’t argue with his points — but this particular exchange struck me. Both for what it might say about how comic creators are viewing franchise superhero work these days, and how it echoed thoughts I’ve been having about my own 20-year career talking about comics online.

Like much of its genre, on further reflection, this piece of advice strikes me as rather immature. Adults don’t do things solely because they’re meaningful — they also do them for income, to build a career, to take care of their family, because you don’t throw over your life on a whim or a bad day. There’s also obligation, living up to your word if other people are depending on you continuing what you said you would do. However, adults also don’t put on costumes to punch people, so perhaps this is as starry-eyed misguided as what that type of story has become. As an argument against self-reflection, though, I reject JMS’s “advice”.

2 Responses to “Before Watchmen: Nite Owl Gives Some Odd Advice”

  1. Brian M. Says:

    There’s a reason why we call it work, not play.

  2. Thad Says:

    Well, it explains Superman: Grounded, anyway.




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