Laurie Jupiter arrives in San Francisco and despite her rebellious feelings regarding being raised to carry on her mother’s heroic legacy as the Silk Spectre, she sure enough takes on the title and embarks on a crime-fighting career, taking on four thugs in playing card-themed garb. She interogates one and finds out their boss’ name, “Gurustein.”
In a letter to Hollis Mason, or “Uncle Hollis,” she recaps her journey, omitting her exact location. She and her new boyfriend Greg departed their suburban high school lives last issue and hitchhiked to San Francisco with some hippies. They experiment with drugs and settle into the flower child community.
We cut back to the present and Lori sneaks in after her battle. She pounces on Greg and they have sex, mirroring the similar sex scene between her older self and Nite-Owl in ‘Watchmen.’
A new threat is introduced with a plot involving laced drugs to combat the hippies’ noncomformist, anti-commercial attitudes. There’s a humorous scene of the new menace addressing musicians that bear a strong resemblance to the biggest bands of the sixties.
This threat affects Lori personally when one of her friends overdoses on these drugs. And Lori notices her other friends acting strangely. Naively, she attempst to warn Gurustein that he is dispensing dangerous drugs, but winds up wrestling with his two Amazonian female bodyguards. She returns to their house, where a huge party is going on. But danger befalls her before she can stop it.
Of the prequel books, this one probably bears the least resemblance to ‘Watchmen,’ in that it has a very light tone, but I suspect that will be short lived because… well, we all know Laurie doesn’t have a boyfriend named Greg or seemingly any friends in ‘Watchmen.’ I also think the light tone is intentional. The first issue reflected more of the early 60s, Kennedy/Johnson years when everything was still shiny and bright. This issue, they move into the Nixon/hippie era. In a very subtle way, this is reflected in Greg growing out his flat top to a shaggy mod ‘do. We also get a few scenes of violence thrown in, which I suspect may continue to increase as we move forward.
The villain storyline is very humorous. The catfight between Laurie and the two bodyguards was cheesy, but you get that the creators meant it that way.
There a lot of little nods to the source material, including the post fight sex scene I mentioned. Laurie and some of the others also sport familiar buttons.
Laurie is still young and optimistic. She has the resentment toward her mother that she will later exhibit, but it’s tamer. After her years of isolation, she’s breathing in everything life has to offer. Sadly, I don’t think that will survive the end of this miniseries.
The art is stellar! Every so often, Laurie has a “dream sequence” which is a single panel punchline, which is a fun device. Amanda Conner delivers the joy and excitement of being young and free in her usual lovely, pinup girl-esque style. The vibrant colors by Paul Mounts enhances this tone.
I really can’t find any faults with this book.
BEFORE WATCHMEN: SILK SPECTRE #2
Script by Darwyn Cooke & Amanda Conner
Art by Amanda Conner
Cover by Conner & Paul Mounts