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4.34  ·  Rating Details ·  374,948 Ratings  ·  10,104 Reviews
This Hugo Award-winning graphic novel chronicles the fall from grace of a group of super-heroes plagued by all-too-human failings. Along the way, the concept of the super-hero is dissected as the heroes are stalked by an unknown assassin.

One of the most influential graphic novels of all time and a perennial bestseller, WATCHMEN has been studied on
Hardcover, 436 pages
Published November 11th 2008 by DC Comics (first published 1987)
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  • Watchmen Collector's Edition Slipcase Set by Alan Moore
    Watchmen Collector's Edition Slipcase Set (Watchmen, #1-12)
    Release date: Nov 22, 2016
    The bestselling graphic novel of all time is back in a new, 12-volume box set collector's edition at DC's Deluxe Edition trim size, just in time for t ...more

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    Giveaway dates: Sep 28 - Nov 22, 2016

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    Monique Couple things to keep in mind:
    It was written in the 80's
    It was written 30 years ago
    It was written in a time that comics were not as diverse as they…more
    Couple things to keep in mind:
    It was written in the 80's
    It was written 30 years ago
    It was written in a time that comics were not as diverse as they are today, nor as easily accessible
    It was written in the time of the Cold War

    All these things shape this comic in some way. Personally, I didn't find it very enjoyable, but I can see why its as lauded as it is. There's a lot going on with this book. Moore employs a lot of symbolism and subtext.

    Its cool not to like it. Just because its a classic or well known and loved, doesn't mean you have to love it. Just know that there are legitimate reasons why it makes so many 'best of' lists. :)(less)
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    Modern-day Classics
    114th out of 198 books — 137 voters
    The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienThe Golden Compass by Philip PullmanHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingA Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinSabriel by Garth Nix
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    328th out of 524 books — 432 voters

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    Community Reviews

    (showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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    J.G. Keely
    Since the movie came out, I've found myself having to explain why Watchmen is important and interesting. Despite being the most revered comic book of all time, it never really entered the mainstream until the film. Now, people are rushing to read it in droves, but approaching Watchmen without an understanding of its history and influences means missing most of what makes it truly special.

    The entire work is an exploration of the history and purpose of the superhero genre: how readers connect to i
    Bookworm Sean
    Morality is a fickle bitch.

    This is, simply put, iconic. When any one mentions comics/graphic novels the first thought that enters is an image of the Watchmen. I think there is a strong reason for it. It made me question morality on a scale rarely seen in fiction. Indeed, when considering the characters it is incredibly hard to consider any of them truly good or truly bad. They are simply people who are convinced that they are right.

    Take Rorschach, he follows the law to the very letter, but nev
    Mark Lawrence
    Aug 17, 2016 Mark Lawrence rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I didn't read this until last year. I saw the film about six months later. I'm a new convert still radiant with that 'just converted' glow.

    Along with the Sandman graphic novels this is my favourite work in the medium (Zenith and Preacher get honourable mentions). Watchmen wins over all of the other candidates in ambition. This is a work of vast ambition. It doesn't deliver on every level, it isn't perfect, but it contains so much that succeeds, and comes so close to fulfilling its promises that
    Jul 19, 2013 Schmacko rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    I can understand why this is considered a holy tome in the field of graphic novels. The plot is complex, it’s unique, and it’s well drawn. Also, it’s got the Holy Grail of every geeky comic book fan's wetdreams – lots of cool gadgets and stuff.

    I ain’t knocking that. Imagination abounds, and I am thoroughly impressed. I love that comic books and graphic novels create their entire world – but – BUT then again every piece of art creates it’s own world. And ALL OF THOSE OTHER ARTS MAKE EMOTIONALLY E
    Sanjay Gautam
    Nov 09, 2015 Sanjay Gautam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Alan Moore is the greatest graphic novelist of all time. He has created a world where superheroes are not typical superheroes like super-man, spider-man et al. Each superhero has a unique philosophical perspective. And he has created superheroes who were either in deep complex psychological crisis or are going through one, and they are not perfect who always save the day in the end.
    Shelby *trains flying monkeys*

    What's this? Unpopular opinion time?

    Most of my friends and most of Goodreads love this book. I did not. I read for pleasure. I don't care if reading makes me smart. I don't care if reading makes me pretty. I just want that escape into other worlds.
    If I went to this world-I would die from boredom.

    I actually like the darker books so I thought this one would sweep me up into the fandom of it. But, alas, it just made me sleep quite well last night.
    I didn't even know there was a movie made from i
    Nicole Prestin
    Jul 23, 2008 Nicole Prestin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: graphic-novels
    I realize that what I'm about to say is as close as you can get to comic book blasphemy, but I think that 1) Alan Moore is the most overrated comic book writer ever and 2) this graphic novel is overblown, pretentious and most unforgivable of all, boring.

    To be fair, I'm somewhat of a snob when it comes to my reading habits. First and foremost, I want to be entertained. If the story happens to be deep, thought provoking or groundbreaking as well, that's icing on the cake. And the bottom line is th
    Apr 16, 2009 Felicia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: faves, graphic-novels
    Hmm, what to say. I read this AFTER I saw the movie, which was sacrilege according to some fellow geeks on Twitter, but my definition of "Geek" is someone who doesn't do what people PRESSURE them to do :P They love what they love. So anyhoo I read this and I can summarize this way:

    The Movie did a great summary of the plot while formulating a story that missed the subtext of the graphic novel entirely.

    I enjoyed both, but after reading the graphic novel, it's almost sad how the impression you tak
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Dec 09, 2007 Trish rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Will Byrnes
    I reread this in anticipation of seeing the film in 2009.


    Watchmen is one of the all-time great graphic novels. Someone is killing the costumed adventurers and the very dark Rorschach, our guiding Virgil into this Inferno, is trying to get to the bottom of it. Watchmen deals in multiple time lines, from the early days of the 40’s 50’s and 60’s when the superheroes were welcomed and appreciated, to the 70’s when laws were passed to limit their legitimacy, to the current day, the 80’s he
    Kat Stark
    Feb 29, 2016 Kat Stark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

    Alrighty, I don't even know how to go about doing justice on this piece of work. For everyone's information, I'm a total noob when it comes to comics. I never read anything until 2010 after I watched The Walking Dead and found out that it was adapted from a comic. I read every single volume in a matter of days and fell in love.

    Just remember that I enjoy dark, psychological, and unhappy comics. That's the way I am. If you don't like those type of novels, then don't pick this one up. I think that
    Oct 04, 2016 Fabian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Recommends it for: People turned off by graphic novels but with an open mind
    Recommended to Fabian by: M. M.
    Not a fan of the graphic novel but this epic actually moved me. It tells of the human drama, the DNA that is passed down generations, the hopelessness of modernity, and which side we'll choose when the apocalypse is neigh. It is pessimistic, dark, and sometimes silly (as a staple of the genre... it wouldn't be a success if it wasn't SOMEhow ridiculous).

    "The Incredibles" (B.P.P.E. A.K.A: Best Pixar Picture Ever) touched upon many of the themes presented here, mainly about the humanity of "Superhe
    okay i finally read it. and although i hate hate hate the art (which is why i didnt read it long ago until everyone kept telling me it was better than the art) the story is mostly very good. there are a couple of cringe-y things in there, mostly just dated material that cant be helped, but i am glad i read it, and you all can stop shouting at me now.
    Heidi The Hippie Librarian
    I can't stop thinking about this graphic novel. It's not something I'd usually like- ultra-violent with a very dark vision of humanity- but there is something incredibly compelling about it.

    It starts with a murder. Watchmen is the story of a group of super heroes who don't fight crime anymore because vigilantism was outlawed. Among the many costumed regular heroes (The Comedian, Rorschach, Nite Owl), there is an actual superhero, Dr. Manhattan, who suffered a freak radiation accident and was cha
    Aug 24, 2007 Punk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: graphic-novel
    Graphic Novel. It's 1985. We won the Vietnam War. Nixon is still president. Someone is killing off costumed superheroes, and the world is on the brink of nuclear war. I wasn't expecting to like this book. What, I wondered, did a comic from the late eighties have to offer me, a hip and happening girl in the oughts? You can practically see the dots in the color! I'd checked it out from the library on the advice of friends, and I'd tried to read it once before, but gave up before I got even five pa ...more
    Mia (Parentheses Enthusiast)
    MIA'S JOURNAL. JANUARY 31st, 2016:

    Finished book today. Was good. Interesting. Review to come, much to say.

    When people see this, they will demand to know. Down below, the readers will look up at me and beg, and they will ask: "Should we read this book?"

    And I'll look down and whisper, "Yes."
    Nov 17, 2009 Madeline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Two realizations occurred to me while reading this book:

    1. The movie version, while long as hell, is actually really well done and accurate. And by "accurate" I of course mean "basically a frame-by-frame reproduction of the graphic novel." Not necessarily a bad thing, although they do change some details of the ending a little. I was okay with both versions, though. I think I still prefer the graphic novel, mostly because when I read it I don't have to deal with the horribly miscast Malin Ackerm
    Sep 16, 2014 Aubrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Imagine the poster of a superhero. Bold lines curving around supple limbs, a palate of strong colors suffusing every empty space with black, yellow, red arcing in a heroic spray of vitality. It inspires an intense nostalgia for the days of black and white, where good was good and evil was evil, the latter never lasting for very long. You remember your childhood, filled with dreams and hobbies and racing through the world with bright eyes and an eager mind.

    The poster is in an alleyway. It is fil
    Frankly, I've always looked down on comic books and graphic novels. That is until I saw "Watchmen" - the movie that amazed me by its complexity and cleverness. Needless to say, I just had to see what kind of material it was based on. I wasn't disappointed.

    Let me start by saying that I though the movie did this book justice, especially visually. But reading this graphic novel just added an entire new layer to the story, making it even deeper and more complex than I thought it was. The characters
    Ok, first let me say that I have never read a graphic novel. (I apologize in advance to all those who will be offended when I make this next statement.) I thought it would be a nice easy read that I could finish in a few hours. Oops! What can I say, I figured it was just an adult version of some comic book. Boy, was I wrong. This thing took me days to finish! It was an in-depth, gritty, dark, mostly sad look at an alternate world a lot like ours. The "superheroes" were just dysfunctional guys (a ...more
    Watchmen: Changed the genre forever (Graphic Novel & Movie Review)
    Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
    What more can be said about this brilliant, game-changing graphic novel from 1987? It challenged, deconstructed, and redefined the superhero story to the point that it’s hard to imagine any comic book writer not being fully cognizant of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s Watchmen when they put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard). Despite it coming out almost 30 years ago, it’s remained continu
    Kee Queen
    Mar 29, 2016 Kee Queen rated it it was amazing
    It’s been fairly said a hundred times in the 27 years since its publication that writer and artist Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons respectively have created something immortal which then influenced other works and changed the comics medium forever. Watchmen also won the Hugo award in 1988 and was the only graphic novel to make it to Time magazine’s 100 Greatest Books 2005 list. So why the enduring legacy?

    Like any other kid, I’ve loved superheroes for as long as I could remember. I consider Batman a
    Jul 21, 2011 Rainbow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    My friend Lynn was reading this book, so I reread it (for the first time in at least 15 years) so we could talk about it.

    I was torn about how many stars to give it. On the one hand, I think it's a breathtaking, fascinating accomplishment. On the other hand, I find it really grim and depressing.

    I went with five stars because, technically, five stars means "it was amazing." And it was that.

    But I don't think I'll reread it for at least another 15 years.

    John Wiswell
    Mar 18, 2013 John Wiswell rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
    Recommends it for: Fanatical comic book readers
    I admire Alan Moore as a public figure and regard how much he apparently shook up superhero comics. That’s not going to make me like The Watchmen. Fundamentally, every character felt like the same uninspired shape, that jaded celebrity in search of catharsis at the expense of someone else. I held out hope for The Comedian to play a dynamic personality, for if ever a universe needed The Joker to kick it in the ass, it was this one. Instead, The Comedian turned out to be the apex cynic, and so I d ...more
    First, I should mention that I usually read for pleasure and therefore, I rate most of my books based on how much I enjoy reading them. But every once in a while, I make myself read a certain book for the literature value it has or for the sheer reason that I think I should. *Watchmen" was one of these cases. I don't regret reading it. I can see why this book has such a significant value as a comic. The ending was specially a very nice surprise and I find it very refreshing when I think of all t ...more
    Basic Plot: Someone has murdered the "hero" the Comedian, and the retired costumed heroes begin to investigate, turning up all kinds of nasty messes.

    I'm seriously tempted to give spoilers here, as the book was utterly mind-blowing (GAH! Rorschach! GAH!), and there were some serious twists in the book that, while I can't say I didn't see them coming, still really affected me strongly.

    This is not a comic book for those who want their superheroes infallible icons of Americana. This is a graphic nov
    May 16, 2016 Vladan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: proud-owner
    Remek delo!

    Iako je stil crtanja kao iz 30-tih godina proslog veka, prica je genijalna i brutalna (stvarno brutalna).

    Super junaci na kakve nismo navikli.
    First, I should mention that I usually read for pleasure and therefore, I rate most of my books based on how much I enjoy reading them. But every once in a while, I make myself read a certain book for the literature value it has or for the sheer reason that I think I should. *Watchmen" was one of these cases. I don't regret reading it. I can see why this book has such a significant value as a comic. The ending was specially a very nice surprise and I find it very refreshing when I think of all t ...more
    I refuse to let the hype of this novel influence me. And so here is my statement about the book in one sentence: I liked the story but the philosophy behind the novel I did not like.

    Watchmen - many people know the idea behind the title 'Who will watch the Watchmen' - but not everyone has read this acclaimed novel. As the title suggests it is a graphic novel that deals with the idea of who exists to watch the superheroes if they go out of control. And really, part of my problem with reading this
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    Alan Moore is an English writer most famous for his influential work in comics, including the acclaimed graphic novels Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell. He has also written a novel, Voice of the Fire, and performs "workings" (one-off performance art/spoken word pieces) with The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels, some of which have been released on CD.

    As a comics writer, Moor
    More about Alan Moore...

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    “Heard joke once: Man goes to doctor. Says he's depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says, "Treatment is simple. Great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up." Man bursts into tears. Says, "But doctor...I am Pagliacci.” 1055 likes
    “Stood in firelight, sweltering. Bloodstain on chest like map of violent new continent. Felt cleansed. Felt dark planet turn under my feet and knew what cats know that makes them scream like babies in night.

    Looked at sky through smoke heavy with human fat and God was not there. The cold, suffocating dark goes on forever and we are alone. Live our lives, lacking anything better to do. Devise reason later. Born from oblivion; bear children, hell-bound as ourselves, go into oblivion. There is nothing else.

    Existence is random. Has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long. No meaning save what we choose to impose. This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical forces. It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. It’s us. Only us. Streets stank of fire. The void breathed hard on my heart, turning its illusions to ice, shattering them. Was reborn then, free to scrawl own design on this morally blank world.

    Was Rorschach.

    Does that answer your Questions, Doctor?”
    More quotes…