2008: 151. Watchmen

“Dog carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach.  This city is afraid of me. I have seen its true face.”

Watchmen, Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons

I saw the Watchman movie trailer and was compelled to go re-read the novel.  Which I found less impressive than I remembered, though I was still left super excited to see the film - mostly because the trailer looks so super cool!!  Doctor Manhattan looks particularly perfect, but all of it is accurate looking, and I am just enough of a fan of Watchman to be looking forward to it (which is to say, I have read it, but I read it long after it came out, and am not such a fan that every little piece of the story must be there in order for me to be satisfied - i.e. the “it should have been a mini-series” crowd).  The novel is still amazing, but it isn’t as good on re-read as it is the first time, because so much of the impact comes from not knowing the plot, and who is responsible for killing the superheroes.  In case you don’t know, the novel is set in an alternate America where superheroes are real (but outlawed), Richard Nixon is still president in 1980, and America won the Vietnam war, thanks to Doctor Manhattan, an all powerful hero created in the wake of an atomic accident.  Someone starts killing the former masked crusaders, and one of the remaining few, Rorschach, is investigating who dunnit, and getting a few others (Nite Owl, Silk Spectre) involved in the search.  But it’s a great deal more than that - darker, more complex, with layers on layers (such as the pirate comic that parallels the plot of one chapter, etc.).  It is pretty darn good right now, and must have been mind-blowing when it first came out.  Lisa Sobel blogged about how it is hard to appreciate in our world where it is no longer radical, and there is definitely something to that (for example, it doesn’t move me like Sandman does), but if you haven’t ever read a graphic novel, and want to understand what the fuss is about, this is one to read.*


*Time Magazine agreed, naming it one of the best 100 novels of the last 100 years..


Date/Place Completed: 10/1/08; D.C.

Categories:  Fiction; Re-read; Graphic Novel; Book Resolution

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017