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Watchmen

(Watchmen #1-12)

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4.36  ·  Rating details ·  481,498 ratings  ·  13,849 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 best-seller, Watchmen has been studied on college campuses across
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Paperback, 416 pages
Published 2005 by DC Comics (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 ar…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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Average rating 4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  481,498 ratings  ·  13,849 reviews


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J.G. Keely
May 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
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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
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Jayson
(A) 88% | Extraordinary
Notes: Constantly captured by its brilliance, it's a comic book chef-d'œuvre, with meaty text and a complex, layered storyline.
Sean Barrs
Oct 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
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Anne
2020 Coronavirus Review

I originally thought that Watchmen didn't initially impress me because it was the first graphic novel I'd read as an adult. Maybe I didn't have enough experience with all the actual garbage out there and couldn't yet appreciate Moore's genius.
Now, after slogging through his masterpiece with more than a few comics under my belt, I feel confident when I say that I don't like this all that much. The art is horrible and almost every panel is crammed with words. Most of them me
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Will Byrnes
Mar 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
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Schmacko
Aug 11, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
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Nicole Prestin
Jul 23, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
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Fabian
Jul 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 rapis
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Felicia
Feb 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
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Always Pouting
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
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 ma
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karen
Mar 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
wow, i thought i had written a proper review for this, but it seems that ten years ago i was as bad at writing reviews as i am now, on the other side of the peak, where i am washed-up and bedraggled and very far behind in my reviewing-stack. ):

ANYWAY, i just came on here to check my review, because i am finally getting around to watching the HBO series, and that show is making it REALLY DIFFICULT to maintain my longstanding rorschach-crush, sustained by both the book and the movie, but i am now
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Lyn
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
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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.
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.
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.
Dan Schwent
Feb 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
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Swaroop Kanti
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
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.

"We
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Tom Ewing
May 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
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
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 re
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Kemper
Jul 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Not much I could say that hasn't been said already.
Gabrielle
I really struggle to find a good way to review “Watchmen”. It doesn’t feel like enough to say “This is great, and even if it has flaws, everyone should definitely read it”, thought that would be the TL-DR version. Watching the new HBO series, which is a continuation of the dystopic alternate universe created by Moore in his masterpiece, made me think about the original work again, and I found I had things to say about it.

This is the graphic novel that got me interested in graphic novels, a mediu
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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.
Miltos S.
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.
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."
Chavelli Sulikowska
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
This is the first graphic novel I have read. Recommended to me by friends on the “Brave New World” Reading Group I established on Facebook during the Covid-19 lockdown.

It’s a very different reading experience, it’s actually more effort than I thought – trying to take in the smart text and excellent illustrations at the same time isn’t as easy as it sounds. So I found myself rereading pages to make sure I got the full sense of what was happening.

Clearly this was way far ahead of it’s time in th
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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
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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
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Graphic Novel Rea...: * 1st revamped Superhero Graphic Novel Discussion: Watchmen by Alan Moore (July 2020) 7 27 Aug 01, 2020 06:38PM  
SCPL Teens: Watchmen by Alan Moore 1 5 Jul 22, 2020 11:24AM  
Never too Late to...: 2020 March: Watchmen 20 33 Jun 25, 2020 07:11PM  
I Read Comic Books: Watchmen 16 49 May 24, 2020 01:22PM  
I kinda want to watch the series 2 8 May 06, 2020 03:52PM  
Just finished the show. Should I watch the movie? 4 18 May 06, 2020 03:51PM  
Is Doctor Manhattan an occult yoga guru? 1 2 Mar 22, 2020 07:54AM  

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15,692 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
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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

Articles featuring this book

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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.” 1449 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?”
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