Monday, January 17, 2005


What can I possibly say about this title that hasn't already been said by someone else, or a hundred someone elses for that matter. If you're a comic book fan and you haven't heard of Watchmen by Gibbons and Moore, then you might want to go out and buy the trade paperback and read it asap before someone finds out you haven't. I know I went long enough without reading it. In the 15 or so years I've been reading and collecting comics I had neglected this classic, but over the past two weeks I rectified that oversight and thank God I did.

Arguably, this is one of the most influential and well known comics ever created. It is also arguably Moore's crowning achievement in the comics medium. I would have to agree with both of these statements. Before the creation of this 12 issue maxi-series from DC, superheroes were never written very seriously. For the most part, any comic containing a superhero would consist of characters in spandex beating up villains in spandex and then going about their merry way. Watchmen introduced the comic reading populace to gritty, realistic superheroes and a world on the brink of obliteration.

The lines between villain and hero were blurred. The great responsibility that supposedly comes with great power had it's limits tested. How far would you go with your superpowers to save the human race? Would you willingly sacrifice and kill so many people to save an even greater number? How much power is too much power? What happens to superheroes after they can no longer participate in their crime fighting. Is a hero necessarily a hero? Each human life is a small miracle of cosmic proportions, yet we rarely realize it.

There are so many other topics touched upon and explored throughout this very dense story that I can't possibly expound upon them all successfully. Besides touching upon so many deep topics, I was amazed at the depth of coverage they were given. This is truly a very dense story--not dense in that it is hard to get in to or relate to, but dense in that there is an unbelievable wealth of information and story contained within the twelve issues of this series (or the trade paperback). This is something you don't see in modern comics. If you open up an average issue of X-Men or Superman off of the racks today, you can finish it in 10 minutes tops. With Watchmen I found myself taking a half an hour to an hour with each issue so that I could properly digest all that was contained within it. So if you've been wondering why I haven't reviewed much lately, no you know--I've been dedicating myself to giving Watchmen the time it needs for a thorough understanding.

I don't really know what more to say other than go buy the trade as soon as you can if you haven't read it and even if you have read it in the past, give it another look. You might find something you missed the last time you read it.

Art: 3.5
Story: 5
Overall: 5

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