Miss_otis's Reviews > Watchmen

Watchmen by Alan Moore
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's review
Jan 01, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: apathetic, apocolyptic, au, graphic-novel

I'm prepared to get pelted with rotten vegetables and bricks and all manner of nasty things, but....Watchmen didn't really do anything for me. In fact, I was so "meh" about it that I had to go do some research in order to see if I could figure out just why, exactly, it's so acclaimed.

I found a very interesting thesis someone had written (if anyone would like to read it, comment and I'll try to find it again), which gave me some nice historical background on the history of comics in general and the evolution of superhero comics, and it did indeed explain to me why Watchmen would have rocked the comics industry's boat when it was first published, why people would have been in awe over the idea that superheroes aren't necessarily upstanding and perfect and admirable, and that comics could be a medium to tell a complex story.

However - I've never really been a superhero girl. Christopher Reeves Superman and Adam West Batman was about as into it as I got until the recent trend of superhero movies. 60s Batman was just for the camp, even as a kid, and Superman has always been far too Big Blue Boy Scout to really be interesting to me. The only comics I've ever read with any regularity until recently are Elfquest, Sandman, and Preacher.

What this means in relation to my reaction is that I've never had a preconcieved idea of what superheroes or comics are "supposed" to be. Watchmen didn't fly in the face of my dearly-held beliefs that superheroes are "supposed" to be better than "normal" people, more moral and capable and, well, heroic, because I didn't have those beliefs to be challenged. It didn't change my idea of what comics are "supposed" to be, because I've never considered comics incapable of complexity or moral ambiguity or sophistication. I've never thought comics are "just for kids".

I do understand, intellectually, that Sandman and Preacher quite possibly would not exist except for the success of Watchmen. However, since my experience was formed by reading comics that came after Watchmen, and I sought out the not-exactly-mainstream variety of comics, Watchmen was pretty much what I expect from comics, and in no way unusual.

Like I said, I can appreciate, historically, why it was unusual at the time. It's just not unusual in my experience, and therefore, I found it more or less average.

Also, sorry, I find the art dreadful and the resolution far, far too manufactured, and an unwieldly info-dump besides.
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