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Before Watchmen: Ozymandias/Crimson Corsair

(Before Watchmen #4)

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  1,930 ratings  ·  278 reviews
A New York Times Best Seller!

Discover what happened before WATCHMEN. The team of legendary writer Len Wein and acclaimed artist Jae Lee--in his first DC Comics' work in nearly a decade--delve into the mind of the smartest man in the world: Ozymandias. How does one go from the son of immigrant parents to becoming the world's smartest man? Adrian Veidt begins his journey, bo
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by DC Comics (first published June 26th 2013)
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Neul I think it's in the Black Carrier Tales. The man next to the newspaper shop is reading this story. And are you dead? If you ain't dead sorry for writing so late

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 ·  1,930 ratings  ·  278 reviews

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Start your review of Before Watchmen: Ozymandias/Crimson Corsair
Aug 19, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021
Ozymandias ★★★★★ - Story by Len Wein. Art by Jae Lee
Man, the art in this is superb. Jae Lee gives the book an alien look that worked very well with the origin story of the emotionless smartest man in the world. I really like how as the story progresses it dovetails into what happens in Watchmen. It's almost a "behind the scenes" story for Watchmen.

The Curse of the Crimson Corsair ★★★ - Story by Len Wein. Art by John Higgins
This ran as the back 2 pages of each comic book. It's really difficult to
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic
Well, that was boring.

The first half, Ozymandias, was dull but okay. Basically the entire thing is Ozymandias giving a monologue about his success. Fairly nice art, especially the portrayal of motion. 3 stars.

I don't even remember who Crimson Corsair was later, and his backstory gave me no impetus to find out. Which was the Pirates of the Caribbean movie where they kind of gave up on having the plot make some kind of sense? Anyway, if you liked that film but thought it needed fewer hot people a
Sam Quixote
Before Watchmen is a series of prequels to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s much-lauded book, Watchmen, with each character from the book given their own mini-series. This volume collects the Ozymandias and Crimson Corsair mini-series and the Dollar Bill one-shot.

Having a strong background in comics as the creator of Wolverine and Swamp Thing, as well as editing the original Watchmen comics, writer Len Wein is a good fit for this series. For those who’ve read the original Watchmen (and why would yo
James Q. Golden
Percy Shelley's "Ozymandias"

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert... near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed;

And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings;
Look on my works, ye Migh
Mar 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Len Wein's "Ozymandias" was awesome. Of all the "Before Watchmen" stories, IMHO, this one is by far the most "important" to the lore of the entire series.

Ozymandias' tale, while covering the entirety of his life, truly shines when it fills in the "holes" from the original Alan Moore work. The fascinating Comedian-Moloch-Ozymandias link is explained and you see the entire plot develop. Superbly done! Also kudos for getting Jae Lee to do the art-it's gorgeous. This story made the entire volume and
Mar 28, 2019 rated it liked it
I have always been a fan of Watchmen ever since it was introduced to me while I was at uni. Therefore to see that there was to be commissioned a series of prequels focusing on the various members of the Minutemen I was utterly intrigued and keen to see what tales were to be told.

Of course there was the comments by the original creator of Watchmen denouncing the whole project and in the process separating themselves from it all. Now I will admit the who concept of Watchman is a tangle of politic
Stewart Tame
Jul 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good. I liked the Ozymandias storyline. Crimson Corsair, not so much. In general, these Before Watchmen titles aren't as good as the original, and will probably be remembered, at best, as a footnote to it. While the stories are enjoyable, the fact that DC is publishing these makes it even less likely that Moore and Gibbons will ever regain their copyright on the original Watchmen graphic novel. ...more
Timothy Boyd
Very nice back story tales before the main series. Good art and plotting. recommended
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Had a hard time with this. The Ozymandias story really benefits from the beautiful artwork by Jae Lee, but besides that, there's nothing going on in the story that we didn't already know. What's the point? I had that thought about most of these "Before Watchmen" collections, and this one was one of the most pointless, it seemed to me. Other than some truly remarkable artwork by the aforementioned Mr. Lee (although even that gets to be a bit ridiculous sometimes--does everyone have to have a cowl ...more

We begin with Ozymandias describing his accomplishments and how history has the final word of whether something is right or wrong. We are given brief description of the reason his parents decided to emigrate to America and the timeline thereof. Then Adrian tells of his exceptional acumen from an early age. When his intelligence begins to draw attention, like The Incredibles, his father had to teach his son to "slow down" so as not to draw attention to hims
Jonathan Maas
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Worthy of the source material. Blending seamlessly into the time before Watchmen, it tells the tale of Ozymandias, explaining everything from his background, his motives, to the pronunciation of his name.

Though nothing beats the original of course, I have to give the nod here in regards to clarity. Alan Moore throws us in to his world and has us figure it out ourselves. Author Len Wein tells us exactly what is going on, and solves the mystery of how the alternate universe came to be.

Also note th
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I kept this collection for last (out of the 4 Before Watchmen books) because I didn't think I would enjoy it as much as the other three. This prediction ended up being correct for 40% of the book.

While the Dollar Bill one-off is pure filler (2 stars), and though I liked the Crimson Corsair story despite its being pointless and, yes, also filler (3 stars), the overall rating of this book is 4 stars (like the other three Before Watchmen books), thanks to the 6-part Ozymandias (5 stars) by Len Wei
Jul 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: new-netgalley
This was a strange collection of stories. Ozymandias is a very interesting character to me. On one level I understand what he is trying to achieve, and on the other hand I think he is psycho. I liked learning about his past and how bullies made him want to fight back, but went a bit further and became what he was. I think this is a case of being too smart and going over the top, which is not surprising as Alexander the Great is his inspiration.

 photo oz_zps72b5e84f.gif

Dollar Bill was a fun read! I love how he got th
Mar 12, 2015 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I started, and within a few pages, it was just way too much verbosity. Ozymados or whatever, super smart kid, parents die, yadda yadda yadda, nuclear war launch to make everything well.

I realized based on not liking the last collection of before Watchmen, I was leaving this unread for the whole 3 weeks I had it...maybe I'm burnt out or maybe I've just had a stack of shitty comics to read lately...?
Max's Comic Reviews and Lists
One thing I cannot deny from this book is when I wasn't reading it,
I wanted to. A wholly enjoyable story about the most mysterious of the
Watchmen. This story travels through all of Adrian Viedt’s life before
the events of Watchmen. My thoughts on this book are mostly split.
Besides Rorschach this is the most imperfect Before Watchmen story
that was actually entertaining. The art by Jae Lee is impressive, but did
not fit the Watchmen universe in my opinion, being the strangest of the
series. I can
Nov 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was difficult because the Ozymandias section was arguably some of the beautifully constructed comics I have ever seen. Len Wein demonstrates, as always, a concern for playing with the form so that even when two pages share the same structure, there is enough artistry to keep the reader from falling into complacency. And as for the writing, Wein manages to capture the arrogance and sublime intellectual majesty of Ozymandias showing a real growth of the character as he muses about his own gra ...more
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
I was not the biggest fan of this. Dollar Bill at the end was probably the only piece that I really liked.

Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias' story was more of a "During Watchmen" rather than a "Before Watchmen". His years growing up and becoming Ozymandias was very short. Most of the attention was given to his lone crime-fighting ventures (that served minimal purpose) and his cognizance towards the rest of the Watchmen. I enjoyed the foreshadowing in the artwork and that Veidt was chosen as the narrator.
Christopher Rush
One of the persistent failings of the Before Watchmen series is the lack of unity among them, in the sense of no apparent guiding principle or conceit (other than the contemporary conceit of DC to grab quick bucks at the expense of integrity and one of their most valuable "possessions" that shouldn't be their property anyway). I am referring to the absence of a guiding principle along the lines of purpose or identity, as in "the purpose of the Before Watchmen series is ..." is what? to fill in t ...more
This Review is Part of a Comics Roundup:

Story: Lein Win, John Higgins | Art: Jae Lee, John Higgins, Steve Rude | Cover: Jae Lee, John Higgins | Collects: Before Watchmen: Ozymandias #1-6, Curse of the Crimson Corsair backup issues, Before Watchmen: Dollar Bill #1

Writer Len Wein and artist Jae Lee delve into the mind of the smartest man in the world: Ozymandias. How does one grow up to become the world’s smartest man? Adrian Veidt begins his journey, both
So I finished the four-volume set of Before Watchmen in four days and yay for me, but I remain underwhelmed and I understand why Alan Moore doesn't have anything good to say about the revamp/prequel to his brilliantly cynical post-modern revamp of the superhero comic. Watchmen itself is five stars and pure gold. Moore and Gibbons' graphic novel made the world rethink how we view superheroes and read comic books. This reboot nearly 30 years after the original is mostly meh with a whole lotta knob ...more
L. Petunia
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure what to rate this. I enjoyed it much more than the Comedian/Rorschach volume I read, but it still wasn't quite as good as the original Watchmen.

Ozymandias is my favorite Watchmen character. (Strange, since I hate Comedian and Rorshach... Maybe because they're too brutal?) In some ways, this comic was a great look into his mindset, but it gets quite wearying to be in the head of an emotionless "better than the thou" sociopath for this long a period. Not to mention, I did NOT like th
Aug 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For fans of "Watchmen," this and the other four volumes that collect a run of comic mini-series are a must. This volume includes both tales of the Crimson Corsair and Ozymandias as well as a short piece for Dollar Bill. As a result, readers get a good look at what made the various characters in the original work who they are.

I must admit that I haven't really liked Ozymandias at all. It was nice getting to see where he came from and why he is so cold and distant. In some ways, he comes across as
It was lovely, and visually very much a tribute to The Watchmen. The Ozymandias section had some good story touches too. After the first time Ozymandias and the Comedian tussle, Ozymandias muses “Then, I, too, walked off into the night, wondering what sort of government would employ someone like the Comedian in the first place.” Yeah. Good question, also-walks-into-night-boy.

Not long after, Adrian Veidt was invited to JFK’s inauguration, and hears him say “The world is very different now. For m
Blake Shafer
Dec 12, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This like the other Before Watchmen books was a collection of multiple mini series. The first was Ozymandias, if you remember that spiel he gave detailing his personal history picture six issues filled with an expanded version of that spiel. It was boring and like most of the Before Watchmen series it's existence is a redundancy and completely unnecessary. It was just very boring 1 out of 5 stars. The Crimson Corsair the pirate story was meant to be the equivalent of The Black freighter from the ...more
Jan 24, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have different opinions about the stories in the book;

1.Ozymandias: It's an interesting story about Ozymandias, how and why he takes each of his decisions which help him rise as a hero and subsequently as a deadly villain. But, some bits of his story are kept in the dark which means it is a must to read original WATCHMEN series first.
Artwork as usual is good, though it doesn't add much magnificience to the story.

2.Crimson Corsair: A good thriller with a disppointing end! Our hero has to face e
Hilary "Fox"
I had heard complaints about this volume from other reviewers. These reviews generally characterize Ozymandias's entry as being nothing more than a monologue, which it essentially is, the Crimson Corsair story useless, and the Dollar Bill story forgettable. If you are ranking everything up against the actual comic these serve as prequels to the point does stand. Otherwise? The book is enjoyable, and the artwork downright breathtaking.

I could easily see any of the Ozymandias covers and variants a
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
Some thoughts about the series Before the Watchmen as a whole and about this particular double-feature . First, mission accomplished! This was a very satisfying complement to Alan Moore's original Watchmen series. It's so much more than just the backstory. These character sketches are not just irrelevant detours, mini-stories that we could live without. These stories really tie into the original epic graphic novel. I had a lot of 'Aha' moments. Everything is very tightly interwoven with the lar ...more
Geoff Sebesta
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I gave this book a high rating because Jae Lee has turned in something truly amazing. The story is not much -- they recite the parts of Watchmen that had Ozymandias in them -- but the way he lays out the story and conveys the actions is truly remarkable. It has been a long, long time since I read something that blew me away simply based on the layout -- he's using all the silhouette tricks that I associate with Frazer Irving, brushwork like John Paul Leon, and these circular panel edges that see ...more
Quentin Wallace
Sep 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So this volume gives us the background of Ozymandias and his giant squid. We also get an odd story featuring the Crimson Corsair, along with a Dollar Bill one shot. Art is top notch as always. Ozymandias and Dollar Bill were good, the Crimson Corsair story had good art but was weird. It didn't fit the whole "Watchmen" them but I guess that was by design.

I realize the whole "Before Watchmen" series was controversial, and I understand why, but if you put aside the controversy these were actually r
I liked how the Ozymandias story line set-up his reason for the events he initiated in 'Watchmen', but the Crimson Corsair story didn't add anything new. I'd rather they had used the space to give The Silhouette her own arc instead of it being told as a sidebar through stories of other mainline Watchmen. ...more
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Len Wein was an American comic book writer and editor best known for co-creating DC Comics' Swamp Thing and Marvel Comics' Wolverine, and for helping revive the Marvel superhero team the X-Men (including the co-creation of Nightcrawler, Storm, and Colossus). Additionally, he was the editor for writer Alan Moore and illustrator Dave Gibbons' influential DC miniseries Watchmen.

Wein was inducted into

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