After relaunching their entire comic book universe, the most controversial thing that DC Comics has ever done was announce that they would be releasing a series of prequels to the legendary comic book ‘Watchmen’ by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Fans all over the world have been talking about it ever since the announcement, but the wait is finally over because the first issue in the ‘Before Watchmen’ series hits comic book stores everywhere tomorrow. But for those of you who can’t wait to see if these new books enhance or tarnish the ‘Watchmen’ legacy, USA Today has an exclusive preview where you can see the first five pages of ‘Before Watchmen: Minutemen’, featuring artwork and a script by Darwyn Cooke, a day early.

In addition to the pages, there’s also an article that features quotes from Cooke about working on the book. The writer/artist talked about how he was excited to explore these characters, especially the ones that Moore and Gibbons didn’t really get to delve into back in the 80s with the original comic. Since a lot of the Minutemen were only seen briefly in flashbacks, Cooke was basically working with a blank slate.

But he almost kept the slate blank because he flat our turned down DC co-publisher Dan DiDio at first. Cooke said:

“The reason I didn’t want to get involved was I didn’t see anything story-wise that could match up to or live up to or complement what Watchmen was. It took a while for that to come together in my head.”

However, he eventually came around to the idea and got fully behind it:

“Alan left a very provocative and yet open sort of ending for the group, and what I’m trying to do is just lead toward that moment in a really exciting and poignant way. Minutemen maybe more than Watchmen, because we don’t have that metatextual aspect to the story, is far more character-driven and far more down to Earth. We’ve come up with a climax of this story that is going to blow the tops of people’s heads off, and it’s the reason I’m so firmly committed to it.”

And now, here are the first five pages of Darwyn Cooke’s ‘Before Watchmen: Minutemen’. After you check them out, be sure to leave your reaction in the comments section below.