DC Comics
Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #1 Review
By Garth the Geek
June 15, 2012 - 14:58

DC Comics
Writer(s): Darwyn Cooke, Amanda Conner, Len Wein
Penciller(s): Amanda Conner, John Higgins
Cover Artist(s): Amanda Conner
$3.99 US

I picked up “Silk Spectre #1”, not because I have any particular feelings toward the character – she was never one of my favourites – but because Amanda Connor was involved. And Amanda Connor IS one of my favourites.

So with that, I'm going to begin this review by discussing the artwork. I've heard some people claim Amanda's work on “Silk Spectre” is her best to date. Personally, I won't claim anything of the sort, simply because I feel that would cheapen everything Amanda's done up until this point. What I WILL say is that Amanda delivers her same, consistently great artwork, and if you're a fan, you won't be disappointed. Her characters are expressive and her lines are strong and clear. In short, I purchased this comic based on Amanda's involvement alone, and she didn't let me down.

Art: 9/10

The story, on the other hand, left a little to be desired, and I don't know how to discuss it without including some spoilers, so... SPOILER ALERT. Stop reading here if me ruining things like the ending will bother you.

Still here?

Okay. The story begins with some really strong dialogue between Laurel Jane and her mother. In fact, there were a few lines - “Oh Sweetie, you're too young to hate. Wait until you're older and the world gives you a good reason. Trust me, it won't let you down.” - that I reread a few times simply because they were so good. But in the end, I found the story fell short for three main reasons:

1) Nothing really happens. The issue was focused more on character development. That, in itself, isn't always a bad thing, but if you're going to spend the entire issue developing character, you've also got to foreshadow some big events to come – something that will hook the reader and make them come back to see how everything plays itself out. And, failing that, at least have a cliffhanger ending.

Sadly, none of this happened.

2) Greg professes his love to Laurel after spending only a few hours with her. This was a bit too heavy-handed for me – and while I'm sure things like this DO happen occasionally, when it DOES happen, I'm always left looking for something into which to vomit. I would have preferred Laurel daydreaming the profession of love rather than it actually happening, because it had already been established that she was a dreamer. In fact, her first meeting with Greg had her envisioning their wedding. I would have found it more believable to have a naive, sheltered girl projecting onto some nice guy her own dreams of being “whisked away by Prince Charming.” And this would have tied back nicely to the opening scene with the fairytale snow globe.

3) The ending consists of Laurel and Greg riding off into the sunset (literally). Nothing that would make me want to return next month to see what happens. In fact, this could have easy been a stand-alone issue. As the first of four, however, there's not much here to bring one back for issue two.

Story: 5/10

In short, great artwork is brought down by an average story, and while I WILL return to see what happens next, this decision is based solely on Amanda's involvement rather than any real interest in the story.

Rating: 7/10

Related Articles:
Comics/Culture #4: Watchmen's Squid
Before Watchmen: Minutemen #6 Review
Before Watchmen: Minutemen #3 Review
Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan #1 Review
Before Watchmen: Rorschach #1 Review
Before Watchmen: Ozymandias #2 Review
Before Watchmen: Comedian #2 Review
Before Watchmen: Nite Owl #2 Review
Before Watchmen: Ozymandias #1 Review
Before Watchmen: Nite Owl #1 Review