It looks like Watchmen may be getting a prequel – and a few spin offs.

According to Rich Johnston at Bleeding Cool DC are planning to release a series of comics set in Alan Moore’s Watchmen universe. As it stands, the plans include at least one prequel, and a series of on-going spin off comics.

This, for anyone who hasn’t realised, is almost certainly a bad thing.

In theory Alan Moore will get the first shot at any Watchmen spin-off, but as he abandoned mainstream comics years ago, and has becoming increasingly more cantankerous with every film adaptation of his projects, it’s safe to say that he won’t be going anywhere near it.

Regardless of Moore’s lack of involvement, the whole idea is ludicrous. The term ‘Graphic Novel’ originated with Watchmen, and while it has since been misappropriated by gits and cretins as a synonym for comics, the reason it was applied in the first place was that the book was, in every conceivable way, a novel. One of the key reasons for this was that the story had a clear beginning, middle and end, that was known to the author from the outset. It wasn’t a serialisation, and any attempt to make it so will not only cheapen the original book, but also be setting itself up for failure.

Now, this isn’t strictly movie news. Yet. Unfortunately it’s pretty safe to assume that if the comic is successful there will be some sort of film adaptation. The one factor that might save us from this is the relative pittance the first film made. While the comic is now DC’s highest grossing property, the film made, in the grand scheme of things, peanuts.

Actually, that’s not fair. It made an absolute fortune, just nowhere near Warner’s Dark Knight-inflated expectations. That said, the film may still not have made enough to automatically take a related property to greenlight. Usually studios like to commission sequels/prequels immediately, and as circumstances have conspired to make this impossible we may be fortunate enough to dodge this bullet. Best stop buying every possible variation of the Watchmen DVD/Blu-Ray jus in case.