Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #2 of 4
Cooke & Conner
The second issue of the Silk Spectre mini-series puts together a good little story. Granted, the book stayed anchored with the broader Watchmen universe, but it actually didn’t need to. This story could have stood on its own the way the issue played out without trying to include too many other Watchmen references. Laurie finds that her new life still has a lot of lowlifes and her training as a superhero begins to bleed through her peace and love front. This issue presents a problem for the main character and puts her in a very sticky situation by the book’s end. I liked this issue and I can’t wait to see where it ends up when it is all said and done.
The book opens with Laurie writing a letter to her Uncle Hollis (aka the original Nite Owl) to inform her of her life after running away from her mother. It seems normal that a child would run away and let someone else know that they are okay rather than their parents, however, it doesn’t make sense for Laurie. Laurie’s beef with her mother was the controlling aspect of her life. With her mom (and friends) being superheroes you would think the fear of them finding her and dragging her back would trump any itch to write to any of them. If she were to do that I would think it would be with a non-super hero character, such as her boyfriend’s parents. I just wasn’t buying the letter to Hollis and I felt this was trying too hard to include more Watchmen elements into the story.
However, the plot of the book was great. Laurie is in San Francisco with her boyfriend and her new hippy friends. As she struggles to find her place and live in peace she finds that some folks still need to be dealt with. She can’t ignore her training and she gets involved while trying to hide this double life from her peaceful boyfriend. It all works well with so many other super hero origin stories but it plays into Laurie’s character especially because of her mother’s conditioning over so much of her life.
The difficult part of this book, like a lot of books, is that this issue assumes you know about the characters. I saw no caption box to fill in the gaps of what year it is, where they are or even who Hollis is. Without reading the first issue, it’s asking a lot for a reader to go with the flow. This is DC’s basic editorial direction and it’s fairly frustrating.
The artwork is terrific. The story is so much better because the art brings Laurie to life. Even if you find too much of the origin to be clichéd or reused, it’s the art that makes it stand out. There are sharps lines, bright colors, contrasting colors and some fluid action. I wasn’t crazy with the repetitive nine panel layouts but that seems to be a staple in all of the Before Watchmen books unfortunately.
This is the first issue of Before Watchmen that I felt has broken away from the original work. We are getting a solid adventure for one of the characters that doesn’t constantly draw on weaving the story into the original one. This comic book is a completely different adventure and it is an entertaining one. You get your money’s worth from the art alone, but this one has a good little story in it as well. I can’t wait to see how this one ends up.
3.5 out of 5 Geek Goggles