A complex and thought-provoking read, you should definitely read this before you see the movie.
Watchmen is the graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gi...moreA complex and thought-provoking read, you should definitely read this before you see the movie.
Watchmen is the graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, published in 1986 by DC Comics, that changed the way many people viewed comic books. Originally published as a series of twelve issues, the the compiled series was one of the first, along with the famous Dark Knight series by Frank Miller, to be called a graphic novel. The simple name change was coupled with a darker and more realistic look at traditional comic subject matter - superheroes - and has led to widespread recognition of the literary merits of the medium.
Watchmen is set in the late 1980s and offers an alternate history whose main difference is the existence of superheroes. While most of these heroes are simply regular people who wear costumes to fight crime anonymously, there is one character with genuine superpowers, Dr. Manhattan. This simple but significant change has led to a vastly different present - America did not lose Vietnam, Richard Nixon is still president, and the Cold War rages more fiercely, if more unevenly. The plot centers around these heroes now living in and attempting to cope with a society that has rejected their help, even when most still feel compelled to give it.
The wide cast of characters and rich world are revealed slowly throughout the novel, with so many details that new ones continue to appear on multiple read-throughs. The art is detailed and incredibly expressive, with darker, moody colors, giving the story life and immediacy.
Watchmen explores themes of violence, sin, justice, and the impulse to do right. This was one of the first comics to turn the superhero mythos on its head, questioning the need for such heroes in the first place. In that it deals with superheroes dressed in silly costumes, has a male-dominated cast with a few attractive and scantily-clad females, and is bathed in violence, it holds to traditional comics, but it takes these factors and turns them inside out, sharply critiquing each while offering a host of other issues, political and moral, to wrestle. While it has been the inspiration for a whole new genre of the gritty, tortured superhero trying to operate in the real world, this original has substance and charisma to spare. (less)
Interesting, and a worthwhile read, but it didn't knock my socks off. It was well-crafted, with alternating chapters taking place in two different tim...moreInteresting, and a worthwhile read, but it didn't knock my socks off. It was well-crafted, with alternating chapters taking place in two different times and locations, only slowly letting the reader see how they are connected. Clues for understanding what was going on in one area were given in the other, which was clever, but I found the corresponding changes between first- and third-person a little jarring. The near future is thoroughly detailed and felt like a believable world, but the politics were so complicated I felt it slowed the story down, and I enjoyed the other world more. It did leave me intrigued about the sequel, and I think overall it's good and engaging sci-fi.(less)
This was enjoyable but ultimately a slight let-down. Initially, it seemed quite clever, but as the story progressed I found myself wishing that the au...moreThis was enjoyable but ultimately a slight let-down. Initially, it seemed quite clever, but as the story progressed I found myself wishing that the author had been even bolder with the concept. The zombies become an interesting backdrop to the existing story rather than an integral part of the plot itself, and in that I could have asked for more. There were several moments where the new additions seemed poised to take off into something new and fascinating, but each time the situation sort of petered out and went back to the tried and true original. But since I enjoy zombie stories and can always go for another re-read of P&P, this was worth the read.(less)