Malin Akerman, The Watchmen

Warner Bros.

DC Comics thinks the timing is right for the Watchmen to return.

The company announced today that it'll publish a collection of prequels to its 1986 maxi-series Watchmen, the landmark comic book whose 2009 movie adaptation went on to gross $185 million worldwide.

We know: geek mind bomb! Breathe!

Collected yourself? Here are the deets...

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Before Watchmen

DC Comics

The long-rumored prequels, to be collectively called Before Watchmen, will be published this summer and comprise seven separate miniseries, each one focusing on a different character from the Watchmen mythos.

"After 25 years, the Watchmen are classic characters whose time has come for new stories to be told, " said DC Entertainment copublishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee in a statement. "We sought out the best writers and artists in the industry to build on the complex mythology of the original."

The original Watchmen series was a watershed moment in modern comic-book history, celebrated for its mature themes, sophisticated storytelling and nihilistic vision of a world in which superheroes are anything but flat-out heroic.

Before Watchmen won't function as a sequel per se, but will instead delve into the origin stories of its heroes. So expect to see fan favorites like Rorschach, Silk Spectre, Dr. Manhattan and the Comedian.

One person you shouldn't expect to return, though, is the original series' writer-creator, Alan Moore. The comic-book legend has pretty much been MIA from the comic-book scene, and he's vocally disavowed big-screen adaptations of his works, like the 2005 Natalie Portman starrer V for Vendetta.

He's none too eager about the Watchmen prequels, either. Speaking to the New York Times about them, he quipped, "I tend to take this latest development as a kind of eager confirmation that they are still apparently dependent on ideas that I had 25 years ago."


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