In this AU America, superheroes have been outlawed for nearly 10 years. War with Russia is imminent. Nixon is still president. Comic books feature pirates. And someone has it out for the former superheroes, starting with the Comedian, who dies on the first page. The suspicious Rorshach sets about warning the last of the masked marauders and gaining allies as it becomes slowly clear just what is happening to this world.
I’m not even sure how to review this. It is my very first graphic novel, and as of writing I haven’t yet seen the film. This story encompasses so much. I found that I liked the graphic novel format far more than I expected to. I liked how the panels revealed images to the careful observer and how I could picture all of the characters in my head while still enjoying a story. (I can never picture characters in regular books in my head). I found it extremely interesting that only one of these superheroes had actual powers, and he’s a far cry from Superman or Batman. I loved the allegorical pirate comic story and how it sat neatly alongside the main story to add another perspective and shadow all of the emotions that the comic elicited.
I enjoyed getting to know these characters and their stories. The book isn’t all that long but is far longer than I expected it to be, and took a similar amount of time to read. I didn’t mind, and rather approached it by reading each of the 12 issues separately. I think I would have gone mad reading it in serialized format though, given that most of the issues focus on one or two characters. I know I’d have been dying to figure out what happened to the rest of them. I was definitely sucked in. Mostly, I am now looking forward to watching the film and reading this over again to get the full nuances of meaning that I know I missed the first time.
This is excellent and I would definitely recommend it. It has even made me consider reading more graphic novels. They might not be as deep as this one, but I really enjoyed the format as a nice change.
Buy Watchmen on Amazon.