The second story arc for DC’s ‘Before Watchmen’ run is an early look at Laurie Juspeczyk and her strained relationship with her mother, the first Silk Spectre.
Being embarrassed by your parents is nothing new for a teenager. But what if your mom was a tights-wearing female crime fighter with a less than squeaky clean social life? This is Laurie’s life at this moment. Her mother, Sally Jupiter, used to be a member of the Minutemen and has only ever wanted Laurie to take up the mantel of Silk Spectre, weather she wants to or not. ‘Silk Spectre’ is less Watchmen and more teen drama in which Laurie deals with high school things like relationships with boys and jealous socialites. However, while not as amazing as last weeks ‘Minutemen’, ‘Silk Spectre’ gets a few things really right.
There’s a wonderful little homage, to the original, in which Laurie is sitting quietly on her coach at home when she is suddenly attack by a silent but deadly intruder. Music plays in the background as Laurie fends for her life. Tables are broken, lamps are shattered and egos are bruised. There is a nice twist at the end of the sequence reminiscent of the Comedian’s fight in the pages of Watchmen. Fans will like that moment…I did.
The biggest win for this first issue is the strained relationship between Laurie and her mother. We know they’ve never really seen eye to eye but we get a really good foundation for it here. In one of the best early moments of the issue, Sally lies to Laurie about her father (we know the truth) and than gives here a useful but un-motherly piece of advice that showcases how good Cookes writing is when she says “You’re too young to hate. Wait until you’re older and the world gives you a good reason. Trust me, it won’t let you down.” Good stuff mom, what a downer. Laurie has a lot of good reasons for not wanting to follow in her mothers footsteps.
Amanda Conner’s art is also very indicative of the storyline itself. It’s very subtle and delicate in a way that really comes across on Laurie especially. She is slightly unsure of herself and her place but also very strong and sexy. There’s an interesting use of space within the panels that Conner uses to highlight Laurie’s budding adolescence. From time to time she slips into these brief daydreams that are fun to see pop up through the pages. They take up minimal real estate but accomplish a lot, similar to what Cooke did with Minutemen, just…cuter.
I would recommend this one if only too see how Sally attempts to get Laurie in shape, both physically and mentally, to wear the yellow suit one day.