Monday, August 11, 2008

Review: Watchmen

First off, I am not by nature a comic book guy. I have enjoyed the occasional comic book that I have picked up. I have not really read any series regularly. With the upcoming movie for the Watchmen, I decided to take a look at this graphic novel. The trailer to the movie definitely looked interesting, but really what was this all about?

The color and imagery are vivid. The writing is good. The story is mostly good. I am sure that just pissed off quite a few people on that one... that is if anyone reads my entry. The basic premise of the story is you have a world where masked vigilante heroes exist. They are not super in terms of power, but truly super in their desire, drive and training in their fight against evil. This has created a story where many of the pivotal events in our world have changed since their emergence. The cold war is stronger than ever. The US won in Vietnam. Public riots eventually led to the downfall of these masked vigilante's and the public soon began to fear as there was indirect conflict with the police.

As this world unfolds, the story starts with murder of someone and how one masked vigilante, who refused to put away the mask attempts to track down the killer and determine who is behind it and what it all means. It really is a murder mystery/conspiracy tale at its heart.

I found the story excellent through most of it. It created a world that was interesting. At several points in the story, it is told next to the telling of a popular comic of that universe (Tales of the Black Frigate). Where what was happening to the characters in this book were a reflection and sometimes counterpoint to the actions in the tale of the Watchmen. I am sure many comic aficionado's found this as brilliant, I found this ploy difficult to read. And without given away the end, you feel as if you are building to something brilliant and enlightening or terrible and frightening, when suddenly the story twists into something less interesting and oddly like a forced closure. I felt there was more to explore in the world, but it was closed down because of a print limit or disgruntled artists, or some other reason.

I do recommend this to adults. It is a tad on the dark side. Enjoy.


The Really Sarcastic Weasel said...

Does it pass the airplane test?

That is, if someone was sitting next to you in coach on an international flight, would you worry about what they thought of you based on the images they'll inevitably see out of the corner of their eye (assuming you're already comfortable with total strangers judging you as they will for reading a comic at all).

Examples of pass:
Star Wars
Ruroni Kenshin

Examples of fail:
Love Hina
Vampire Hunter D
Aeon Flux (iPod video... the source of my airplane rule... don't ask.)

this question could become relevant to me in a week and a half or so.

Reverend0 said...

You should be able to read this on a plane.

The Really Sarcastic Weasel said...

All right, based solely on your recommendation (<-lie) I bought it. It looks long enough to kill the portion of my upcoming 20 hour plane trip that I'm still mentally coherent enough to read and look at pictures.

After 8 hours or so though, my brain turns to mush.

David said...

Just read this. I'm glad I'm not the only one who was confused and/or disappointed towards the end. Overall, not bad though.