Who's it by?
Before Watchmen: Dr Manhattan #2 is written by J Michael Straczynski and illustrated by Adam Hughes. The Curse of the Crimson Corsair back-up is written and drawn by original series colourist John Higgins.
Dr Manhattan continues his observation of the alternate life he might have lived had he not experienced the accident that transformed him into the omniscient superbeing.
As Jon Osterman, he advances into a happily married life in which his decisions continue to evolve into new alternate worlds.
What's the verdict?
In this issue, Dr Manhattan continues to establish itself as one of the strongest titles of the Before Watchmen project.
Unlike many of its fellow miniseries - including Straczynski's own, directionless Nite Owl - this title sets up a story which perfectly captures the introspective nature of its star and tells an original and interesting story that does not lean heavily on associations to the original Watchmen series.
Hughes artwork maintains a crisp, retro style, with muted sepia colours from Laura Martin that combine to build a convincing '60s setting that leaves Straczynski free to focus on the story.
The Schrodinger's Cat analogy continues to wind its way through this issue, feeling a bit more relevant and established than it did in the prior issue. Exploring the changes to history caused by the subtlest of events results in some lovely visuals and playful storytelling, even if it is not entirely clear how Osterman's personal life relates to major world events.
Dr Manhattan has captured what much of Before Watchmen has been missing - an interesting story told for its own sake, rather than an aimless play on the events and characters of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons's classic. With a jump to the global and catastrophic, the future chapters remain enticing, even if we know how it all turns out in the end.
> Buy the digital version of Before Watchmen: Dr Manhattan #2
> Read our review of 'Before Watchmen: Dr Manhattan' #1
> Read our Before Watchmen interview with Dan DiDio
Watch a trailer for Before Watchmen below: