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Watchmen

(Watchmen #1-12)

by
4.36  ·  Rating details ·  447,233 ratings  ·  11,998 reviews
It all begins with the paranoid delusions of a half-insane hero called Rorschach. But is Rorschach really insane or has he in fact uncovered a plot to murder super-heroes and, even worse, millions of innocent civilians? On the run from the law, Rorschach reunites with his former teammates in a desperate attempt to save the world and their lives, but what they uncover will ...more
Paperback, 436 pages
Published March 1st 2008 by DC Universe (first published September 8th 1987)
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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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Community Reviews

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4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  447,233 ratings  ·  11,998 reviews


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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
...more
Mark Lawrence
May 30, 2011 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
...more
Jayson
(A) 88% | Extraordinary
Notes: Continually drawn in by its brilliance, it’s a comic tour de force, with meaty dialogue and a complex, layered storyline.
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
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
...more
Schmacko
Aug 11, 2008 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
...more
Nicole Prestin
Jul 23, 2008 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
...more
Fabian
Jul 30, 2008 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, & sometimes silly (as a staple of the genre... it wouldn't be a success if it wasn't SOMEhow ridiculous).

"The Incredibles" (Best Pixar Picture Ever) touched upon many of the themes presented here, mainly about the humanity of "Superheroes." Can a r
...more
Pouting Always
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
So I've been super busy trying to figure out my life now that I've graduated and it's terrible and I've literally read nothing in weeks but I actually ended up taking a day to read this because someone lent it to me. My boyfriend was saying that it was ridiculous that I hadn't read this yet and insisted I finish and even though now I'm like behind on this online class that I've been taking it was totally worth it. Usually I write like some kind of synopsis but not sure how to go about that here. ...more
Felicia
Feb 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels, faves
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
...more
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
...more
Sanjay Gautam
Jun 26, 2012 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.
Brad
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lyn
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant.

A clever joke, wound up inside a parody, and all surrounded and blanketed by a cool story.

Three cheers for Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons for this deservedly popular and critically acclaimed, genre defining, wildly influential graphic novel. First published in 1987, this has come to be a benchmark of what kind of powerful fiction can be accomplished in this medium.

Describing an alternate history where Richard Nixon has been president for multiple terms, the United States won the Vietnam W
...more
Dan Schwent
Feb 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, 2018, 2018-comics
With the world on the brink of nuclear annihilation, the Comedian is found dead and the super heroes that knew him go looking for the killer. They might not like what secrets they unearth...

I first read this when I was around 20 and was blown away. Now, untold decades later, I decided to finally give it a reread. It held up.

On the surface, Watchmen is a murder mystery and it works fine on that level. Rorschach, the view point character, enlists Nite Owl, his old partner, and they shake the tree
...more
Trish
Dec 09, 2007 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.

description
Rorschach

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
...more
Michael Finocchiaro
One of the greatest standalone comics which led to one of the greatest screen adaptations of a superhero story, Watchmen is an extraordinarily fun ride. I love the 30s atmosphere and the compelling characters. The heroes are all over their prime (kind of like Batman and Superman in retirement in The Dark Knight Rises). The artwork is great and the story is orignal - one of the great comic classics!
Need to re-read this one regularly as Alan Moore really created a graphic novel of lasting genius.
Alejandro
Re-discovering a known masterpiece


This book is an giant-size hardcover annotated edition of “Watchmen” graphic novel. Presenting the entire original work, in black & white, along with reference notes per page. Also includes a timeline of the events in the story.


Creative Team:

Writer: Alan Moore

Illustrator: Dave Gibbons

Editor of Annotated comments: Leslie S. Klinger


WHO WATCHES THE WATCHMEN?

None of you understand. I'm not locked up in here with YOU. You're locked up in here with ME.

I read
...more
Tom Ewing
May 16, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Modern comics events seem to demand endless lead-ins and spin-offs, and sadly Doomsday Clock, from the blockbuster team of Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, is no exception to this trend. Watchmen, the extended prequel to Doomsday Clock, feels wholly unneccessary to 2017's much-anticipated DC Rebirth (TM) event. For a start, it's not even by Geoff Johns - how big a clue do you need that DC see 'Watchmen' as simply a cash-in? The storyline has been farmed out to a British writer-artist team who are giv ...more
karen
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.
Anne
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
Nasia
Αριστουργηματικό, πάρα πολύ καλογραμμένο, με σχέδιο καλοταιριασμένο και λεπτομερές τόσο όσο. Οι φιλοσοφικές του προεκτάσεις σου δίνουν τροφή για σκέψη, ειδικά σε εποχές Τράμπ. Αυτό το βιβλίο εναλλακτικής ιστορίας μένει χαραγμένο στην μνήμη, δίνει άλλο χαρακτήρα στους συνήθως απίθανα εξωπραγματικούς υπερήρωες και παρουσιάζει την κατάσταση πάντα με τον τρόπο που θα έπρεπε να είναι, ποτέ ούτε μόνο άσπρη ούτε μόνο μαύρη.
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."
Miltos Sideras
Το Watchmen με συγκλόνισε.
Επί 1 εξάμηνο διάβαζα και ξαναδιάβαζα μόνο αυτό το βιβλίο και ακόμα και μετά τη 10η ανάγνωση ανακάλυπτα πράγματα που δεν είχα συνειδητοποιήσει ότι υπήρχαν στις άλλες 9.
Είναι εκπληκτικό πως οι δημιουργοί εκμεταλλεύτηκαν στο έπακρο όλες τις δυνατότητες που προσφέρει το μέσο.
Το Watchmen δεν είναι απλώς το καλύτερο graphic novel όλων των εποχών, αλλά ένα από τα 5-10 βιβλία που ο κάθε ένας θα πρέπει να έχει διαβάσει στη ζωή του.
Heidi The Reader
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
...more
Punk
Aug 17, 2007 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
Lᴀʏᴀ Rᴀɴɪ #BookDiet2019
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
...more
Tatiana
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
...more
Jon(athan) Nakapalau
Read before you see the move...or after you have seen the movie. Truly one of the most innovative interpretations of SH comics ever written.
||Swaroop||
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel
It would be a stronger world, a stronger loving world, to die in.
~ John Cale

Extraordinarily powerful; Truly special; Visually engrossing – indeed qualifies to be one of the all time greatest novels! 12 amazing chapters of groundbreaking poetic and artistic verses!!

In a world filled with many mindless and senseless graphic novels and comics, Watchmen is an intelligent and thought-provoking creation, much much more than just entertainment.

A masterpiece, which does not really require a review.

"W
...more
Madeline
Nov 17, 2009 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
...more
Kinga
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pub-1987
The problem with ground-breaking works is that, a decade or two later, once the ground is well-broken, they no longer seem that ground-breaking after all.

We forget that once upon a time the idea of a morally ambiguous superhero was a revolutionary concept in comic books Before they never questioned what was good and what was evil and which side should win and how. Things used to be crystal clear. They are not so in Watchmen. Alan Moore took this old time American classic and flipped it. The supe
...more
Ayman Gomaa
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, favorites
Ayman's Journal
June 5th,2017

Magnificent , Mind-Blowing , The Best

But

Dystopia , Dark , Terror , Miserable

or as i love to say " Nowadays "

Finished , i am so dazed and sad ,
it was the best graphic novel i ever read and what makes it so special that it was written in the 80's !!! can u imagine !! Alan Moore knows the human nature more than us.

i talked before about Alan Moore in V for Vendetta review so i will skip it , to SUM up he is the best graphic author ever .

i don't know why but i think T
...more
Stuart
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
...more
Delirious Disquisitions
You should read this if you like: retro art, nihilism, alternate timelines, mysteries, murders, morally grey characters, non-linear timelines, superhero debates, doomsday clocks, mysteries, murders, morally grey characters, non-linear timelines, time, nuclear debate.

Watchmen is one of the most visually stunning and thematically resonant comics I read last year. Each page is divided into 9 panels of striking art in primary colors of red, yellow, and blue to create a distinctly retro 80's vibe.
...more
Matthew
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very entertaining to read - based on the subject matter and quality of the writing/story I can see why this is considered one of the top novels of all time.

Also, I think this is a good story for people to read today even though it was written during the Cold War. The subject matter is still very pertinent and it could help many realize that not properly responding to our fears could lead to our destruction.
Aubrey
Aug 07, 2010 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
...more
John Wiswell
Aug 09, 2007 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
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
2 Stars

I know, I know, "Sacrilege!" I promise I have my reasons. (Spoiler alert: Rape used as a trivial plot point and bizarre story-within-a-story antics)

RTC
David Schaafsma
Made the Time magazine list of 100 greatest 20th century novels, the only graphic novel on the list... and deserves it. Great, endlessly complicated, but literature, without question, and not just a typical superhero yarn, of course. There's the depiction of women that is problematic as in so many of Moore's novels, no question, and this is troubling, but the work is incredibly ambitions, insightful, thought-provoking... gets at the heart of our interest in "superheroes" and stories... a sort of ...more
Eirini Proikaki
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
Οκ,δεν ξέρω πως να ξεκινήσω.Να πω οτι πρόκειται για αριστούργημα;Να πω οτι εχω μείνει με το στόμα ανοιχτό σα χάνος;Οτι το τελείωσα και συνεχίζω να το ξεφυλλίζω και να χαζεύω τα υπέροχα καρέ του που πολλές φορές προκαλούν δέος;Οτι έκανα τη βλακεία να μην το διαβάζω τόσο καιρό επειδή δεν μου αρεσε η μεταφορά του στον κινηματογράφο;
Νομίζω οτι τα graphic novels είναι λίγο παρεξηγημένα στην Ελλάδα γιατί πολλοί νομίζουν οτι επειδή είναι εικονογραφημένα είναι και παιδικά(οχι οτι με χαλάνε τα παιδικά κό
...more
Jim
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Allan Moore's Watchemen. I can't write anything new, by now you must have read it all, negative reviews or possitive. Wtachmen is probably the most famous superhero graphic novel of all time, and i don't think that is going to change any time soon, if ever. For the fans of the genre it will always be a must read. To those who are not, there will be some moment in their lives where they will meet someone who will mention it, or like in 2009 with the release of the movie, everyone is going to talk ...more
Jackdaw
Amazing.
***

Άλλη μια συνανάγνωση με το παρεάκι απ'τη ΛτΒ.
description
Kat
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
...more
Sam Quixote
So it's now apparently sacrilege to criticize Moore and Gibbons' feted book but I don't care, iconoclasm is underrated.

My main problems with it are simply subjective. Moore can't write well, in my opinion, and nowhere is his dull and poor prose more apparent than in this book. I fell asleep reading this and cannot understand what people see in this. None of them besides the blue guy have superpowers so it's basically a group of guys who like a punch up and dress up in rubbish outfits. One bloke
...more
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13,420 followers
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

Other books in the series

Watchmen (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Watchmen #1: At Midnight, All The Agents....
  • Watchmen #2: Absent Friends
  • Watchmen #3: The Judge Of All The Earth
  • Watchmen #4: Watchmaker
  • Watchmen #5: Fearful Symmetry
  • Watchmen #6: The Abyss Gazes Also
  • Watchmen #7: A Brother To Dragons
  • Watchmen #8: Old Ghosts
  • Watchmen #9: The Darkness of Mere Being
  • Watchmen #10: Two Riders Were Approaching
“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.” 1352 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?”
903 likes
More quotes…