YMMV / Before Watchmen

  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Travis Bickle shows up out of nowhere, and gives Rorschach a ride through Times Square. Weirdly enough, they seem to like each other.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: The Silhouette gained a small fandom with the release of the series even though she's alive for only 4 issues of Minutemen. The expansion of her backstory, her love interest, and her relationship with her teammates being praised as a good use of an Ascended Extra. Her redesign into a classy suit, trench coat and boots, was also well received.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Some of the original's more zealous fans are ignoring these titles. They are led by Alan Moore. Even Dave Gibbons, despite encouraging the writers and artists, clarifies that the only thing he considers canon is what he and Alan Moore worked on together.
    Dave Gibbons: "As far as I'm concerned, what Alan and I did was the Watchmen graphic novel and a couple of illustrations that came out at the same time. Everything else - the movie, the game, the prequels - are really not canon. They're subsidiary. They're not really Watchmen. They're just something different."
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Issue 2's cover depicts a younger Eddie Blake cheerfully beating someone to death with a baseball bat. A few years later Jeffery Dean Morgan, who played The Comedian in the film adaptation, would later go on to play Negan, a character who also heavily enjoys bashing people's heads in with a baseball bat.
  • Internet Backdraft: Reading some discussion forums, one suspects that DC Comics would have gotten a less explosive reaction if they'd announced a series of prequels to The Bible.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Moloch in the first half of the series, embracing crime after the bullying and hate he received as a child.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "It's time to shit."
    • Bitch to be you right now.
  • Smurfette Breakout: Silk Spectre is the best-loved of the Before Watchmen series by the old-school Watchmen fandom.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Being an attempted prequel to one of the most highly-regarded and influential comics ever written, and one that took place after more than two-decades of bad blood between DC and Alan Moore, during which earlier editors treated the book as standalone. The quality of the actual series is pretty varied, but none of them reached anything even mildly comparable to the original. Had the prequels been attempted earlier before the rise of the Internet and explosion of online media, it might have had a chance to stand on its feet or at least not judged in the shadow of its predecessors which is now considered an all-time classic.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Kid!Adrian's eyes. Jeez.
    • Lee Bermejo somehow manages to make the ugly Walter Kovacs even uglier by making him look more realistic.
  • Unfortunate Implications: A long essay "Who Whitewashes the Watchmen" has raised concerns with the more "heroic" Eddie Blake in the prequels.
  • The Woobie:
    • In Minutemen, all Byron Lewis wanted to do was use his flying harness for good, but his subsequent career as a costumed hero wreaks havoc on his physical and emotional health, and by the end of the miniseries, he's confined to a sanitarium.
    • Moloch in the last half of his miniseries. The poor guy...