Watchmen by Alan Moore

August 6, 2017

Ah, Watchmen, the book that was credited for making comic books “grow up”. How well does it hold up today? Well, from what I could tell, very well. Even the book’s gritty premise (older superhero gets thrown of a building by a unknown conspirator leading into increased drama between the comic’s main characters in a world with an already increasingly unstable between masked vigilantes and non-vigilantes) might’ve already been enough to sell you on the book (assuming you read its summary in that first pair of parentheses). However, while i do realize that some people are willing to risk a few spoilers in order to be 100% certain about whether something is worth a try, i’d suggest waiting until you read the WHOLE book before reading the rest of this review to get the best experience.

 

For an example of such spoiler based commentary, I feel it may have had a tiny bit of a sleepy start but that may just be my opinion for reasons solely dependant on the fact that my favorite part of the book was the character Rorschach who didn’t really show any real form of character development until the time around the sixth issue (y’see, watchmen was originally a 12 issue mini-series before being reprinted into one ol’ big book), but once it starts delving into the man with the ever changing mask (or “face”) it does so hard and it’s absolutely AWESOME (if you value stuff like that as hardly as I do). Another interesting facet of the book is the fact that 90% of the “superheroes” (quotation marks used for spoiler-based reasons, cough cough, i.e comedian, cough) have no real superpowers (however you-should-know-if-you-actually-read-the-book-who can do that bullet catching/fake-out move) so the added human weakness helped sement the already overly human-like characters (i.e nite-owl with his shyness towards the concept of superheoness, spends a large amount of the first half trying to enjoy a romance with silk spectre who doesn’t completely want much to do superhero shenanigans (or does she?)) of the comic was a really smart (albeit so-intuitive-it’s-a-no-brainer) move on Alan Moore’s part and the book probably wouldn’t be nearly as good without it. However the book also nailed experimentation with god-level superheroes in the form of Dr. Manhattan (the guy who DC seems to think should be a major main-continuity character via the REBIRTH event that’s going on for some dumb, probably-(at least somewhat) money-driven reason). But despite all the many things that’s great with the book, I do feel that the Black Freighter comic-within-a-comic as written into the book poorly, because it wasn’t just this occasional tangent that was focused on every now and then or a separate story told at the end of the book. Y’see (which you probably already should’ve IF YOU READ THE BOOK TO AVOID SPOILERS) in multiple scattered points in the comic, it will focus on regular ol’ civilians instead of the more “flashy” characters while the Black Freighter story is told in the background and I found it too be too hard to try to juggle both and ended up focusing only on the events that were happening in “real” life, thinking that the Black Freighter comic was just there for incomprehensible metaphor reasons, only to find out on the internet that it was kinda there for readers to soften up towards the surprise antagonist of whom took me while to soften up (even) a microscopic bit towards because I can’t help but blame the character for indirectly causing Rorschach's death (which is a major spoiler, you better have already have READ DA BOOK by now).

 

But hey, at least the focus on non-superhero characters helped make me feel worse for their deaths (again, big spoiler, if you didn’t read the book by now I probably just screwed it for you, but I did warn you). But other than those few pitfalls, it’s a great book. End of sentence and overly long review (or derpy analysis, depending on how you look at it) that nags you for NOT READING THE BOOK.






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