Oh, what a difference a few issues make. When ‘Before Watchmen’ began, ‘Nite Owl’ was my least favorite title in this event and ‘Comedian’ was my most favorite. However, after the last issue of each book, I’ve come to appreciate Nite Owl more.
For one thing, JMS is doing a better job at presenting a cohesive story than Brian Azzarello. The overarching story is more easily discernable in ‘Nite Owl’. It’s events aren’t spanning an extended period of time. It’s not trying to take on too much at once. I’m now finding solace in the simplicity of tale in ‘Nite Owl’. Of course, there’s still time for Azzarello to bounce back and present a story that fails in single issues, yet succeeds in a trade, so time will tell on that one.
Then, probably because of the nature of those characters involved in the story, I actually care about Danny Dreiberg, The Twilight Lady, and Walter Kovacs. Eddie Blake is a douchebag. I’ve stopped caring about him in his story because it just shows instances in his history where he continues to be a despicable human being for the most part. But here in ‘Nite Owl’, we have relatable characters that we empathize with and root for.
Another interesting thing about this issue of ‘Nite Owl’ is the inclusion of Rorschach and his role in the investigation. That’s a storyline that I’m anxious to see the conclusion of.
Finally, I must address the artwork situation of this issue. As DC co-publisher Dan DiDio told me at Baltimore Comic Con, the legendary artist Joe Kubert was working on pages for this issue until the end. After his unfortunate passing, his son Andy handpicked Bill Sienkiewicz to fill in for his father and complete the run. It was nearly a seamless transition due to the inkers’ similar style. It was a fitting tribute to the trailblazing creator.
Overall, this is a great read. Though it may have taken a bit to really find it’s stride, things have certainly picked up and have gotten more interesting. It’s almost a shame that there’s only one more issue left.
BEFORE WATCHMEN: NITE OWL #3
Written by J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI
Art by ANDY KUBERT, JOE KUBERT, BILL SIENKIEWICZ, and BRAD ANDERSON