The following characters or groups of characters are being featured:
- Rorschach - 4 issues, written by Brian Azzarello, art by Lee Bermejo.
- Minutemen - 6 issues, written and drawn by Darwyn Cooke.
- Comedian - 6 issues, written by Brian Azzarello, art by J.G. Jones
- Dr. Manhattan - 4 issues, written by J. Michael Straczynski, art by Adam Hughes.
- Nite Owl - 4 issues, written by J. Michael Straczynski, art by Andy & Joe Kubert
- Ozymandias - 6 issues, written by Len Wein, art by Jae Lee.
- Silk Spectre - 4 issues, written by Darwyn Cooke, art by Amanda Conner.
Original series creator/writer Alan Moore is not supportive of the project in interview with the New York Times:
"...completely shameless...I tend to take this latest development as a kind of eager confirmation that they are still apparently dependent on ideas that I had 25 years ago...I don’t want money, what I want is for this not to happen."
Original artist Dave Gibbons is more diplomatic:
"The original series of Watchmen is the complete story that Alan Moore and I wanted tell. However, I appreciate DC’s reasons for this initiative and the wish of the artists and writers involved to pay tribute to our work. May these new additions have the success they desire."J. Michael Straczynski - yup, the Babylon 5 writer/creator - has a lengthy interview with Comic Book Resources here in which he discusses why he chose to take on the project.
In my view, this is an interesting idea but arguably an unnecessary one. The original Watchmen stands on its own two feet as a complete story with a beginning, middle and end. The idea of exploring the backstory in more detail is very enticing - the glimpses we get into the Minutemen's adventures are intriguing - but ultimately they can add little to the story as it originally stands. Regardless of Moore's approval or lack thereof - and Straczynski gives interesting reasons why that should or should not be an issue - there seems to be little to no storytelling reason to flesh out the universe in this way. I certainly hope to be proven wrong.
Before Watchmen kicks off in the summer with one new issue published per week, likely taking us through the end of this year.