Trailer prompts DC to print 300,000 new copies

Maybe DC Comics should slap a sticker on its “Watchmen” comics: “Now a coming-attractions trailer!”

Previews of Warners’ next big comicbook adaptation, running ahead of “The Dark Knight,” have raised awareness of the source material so high that DC scrambled to print 300,000 new copies of the $19.99 comicbook for those anxious to see what all the fuss is about.

“Comic shop retailers have used ‘Watchmen’ for the last 20 years to introduce graphic novels to curious new readers, and they know it creates repeat buyers,” says DC prexy Paul Levitz.

Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons‘ Hugo-winning book, now 21 years old, follows the adventures of a handful of retired superheroes and a vigilante named Rorschach who is convinced someone is conspiring to murder his colleagues.

Previous pic versions of Moore’s books haven’t fared so well (2001’s “From Hell” had almost nothing to do with the book, and fanboys have been trying to forget 2003’s “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”), but Moore remains a legendary figure in comicdom, and “Watchmen” helmer Zack Snyder has earned points by touting the book as his guide in storyboarding.

Still, Moore, who angrily renounced any money attached to the DC-owned properties he worked on during his latest falling out with the company, reportedly has his doubts about the project.

“There are things that we did with ‘Watchmen’ that could only work in a comic,” the writer says.

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