05 September 2012


So Alan Moore's Watchmen was my second choice for the DC Comics sale (see Fables: Legends in Exile post for reasons why).

A much better read on the second time around.  In fact, I don't even think I finished it the first time around (and I'll get to that in a few paragraphs).  I understand character motivations much better this time - I absolutely didn't get Rohrsach previously, and his need for the mask, but this time I sympathized with how his Rohrsach personae had come to be his preferred way of interacting with the world.

I also got the anti-superhero this time: the need for a dark, gritty world-in-1980s-Reaganomics/nuclear-crisis to have imperfect, mortal (with the exception of Dr. Manhattan, I'll get back to him in a bit) vigilantes to help protect the populace.  A Captain America just wouldn't work; maybe a Batman - especially the later issues with Arkham, etc where stuff is really nuts - but definitely not a Clark Kent.

Dr. Manhattan is such an interesting character.  Very distant, emotionless, but still manipulable (as evidenced by the reaction to his former associates who have all developed cancer).  Chapter IV: Watchmaker was my favorite out of the entire book.  Great art, a fantastic way of giving the reader Manhattan's backstory.  A masterstroke.

But Watchmen has some drawbacks.  The intervening storyline involving the kid, the comic book, and the newsstand was largely unnecessary.  Although the story commented on the plot, the characters just didn't grow on me.  Secondly...THE ENDING.  Seriously?  Giant squid/alien thing dropped on New York City?  That's the Grand Plan?  My belief suspension just hit its limit.

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