Before Watchmen: The Mind of Ozymandias #1
Ozymandias #1 seemed like the wildcard of Before Watchmen from the start. While we learn a little about Ozymandias a.k.a Adrian Veidt through Watchmen, even we know we’re only learning so much. While Ozymandias makes sense to us we don’t know near enough about the journey that brings him to do what he does in Watchmen. Len Wein is the original editor behind Watchmen so needless to say I was confident he would bring us a new side to Ozymandias. Then learning that Jae Lee was drawing Ozymandias, I knew I had to see what this team would do together. I knew at least that this book was going to look amazing in any case. Ozymandias #1 is a comic that has more under the hood than you’d expect.
The story of Ozymandias starts at the beginning of the end, him reflecting on his life to this point. Then from that point I was starting at the jaw dropping first page while absorbing the introduction to this story. Seeing Bubastis drawn by Jae Lee is a work of beauty just the way he captures Ozymandias himself enhances the effect of Len Wein’s story. See to tell the story of Ozymandias I feel a certain amount of elegance was needed and Lee fits the bill. I enjoyed how Wein told the tale of Adrian’s parents giving a more full look at how he came about. These moments expand upon the bits that Moore revealed about Ozymandias in Watchmen in a fuller way.
There’s even some hints towards Watchmen within the land of Ozymandias and his childhood. Learning more about Adrian Veidt is fascinating, especially in how he carries himself. Wein does a nice way of helping you to relate to Adrian in the stories that happen within his childhood. I also have to note here the coloring on this is beautiful, June Chung’s color work on this story fits each stage in the life of Ozymandias. Just the little details within this story makes me feel like I have a look at Ozymandias like I never imagined. The effective use of dramatic splash pages to accentuate certain points of the story help in these matters.
Len Wein managed to engage my interest in Ozymandias within one issue. There’s good reason why I mention elegance within this comic, this is a truly beautiful comic on many levels. With every bit of brutality when it’s done by Ozymandias there’s a elegance and a design to why he’s doing everything he’s doing. What Len Wein is doing is making you understand more of Adrian Veidt and what leads to him becoming Ozymandias. Similar to what Brian Azzarello is doing with The Comedian in his comic. I will say this Ozymandias makes for an effective story while being beautiful to look at with the help of Jae Lee’s art. I can say Ozymandias is the complete package and I would recommend you check this out. This is tied for Silk Spectre for me in how much I liked this story. A strong story with jaw dropping art make Ozymandias #1 a comic you shouldn’t miss.