What’s in the F*%^$#* Box?
Lets be honest here I’m not really a reviewer. I’m an opinionated comic book fan. So here is my opinion on Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan by J. Micheal Straczynski and Adam Hughes. The book is very heavily inspired by and taken from Alan Moore‘s original version in Watchmen#4. The other inspirations are from Austrian Physicist Erwin Schroedinger and his cat.
“What’s in the Box?” is the title for this first issue, it is a line repeated to the point of uselessness throughout out the book. Straczynski obviously wanted to expand on how Dr. Manhattan perceives reality with the incorporation of Quantum Physics and parallel universes . He tries using the same technique as Moore, but instead of being awe inspired you as the reader are left a little confused. With so much internal monologuing you hear the voice of Dr. Manhattan the whole time and in my head a scream of Brad Pitt from 7even every time the line “What’s in the box?” came up again. Most of the issue I felt I wanted it to be better. I expected a lot from J. Micheal Straczynski. Instead I was getting a confusing parallel universe Dr. Manhattan, but some where in the last few pages the Brad Pitt screams and the Moore comparisons stopped. All that was left was an American God and possibly a more humanized version of Dr. Manhattan.
J. Micheal Straczynski successfully creates a story that is new and unique to the Watchmen Mythos. The ideas and direction are solidly and solely his. Straczynski creates a mystery for an omnipotent being and reader. After one issue if you don’t want to know whats in the box you’re not human, creative or inspired by one of the best writers in comics today.
Let me know how you liked it. I’m sure I’ll being doing more of these things and catch my up coming review of the new Invisibles Omnibus from Grant Morrison. Coming soon!