Saturday, April 4, 2020

Review of "Watchmen," by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons ISBN 9781401245252

Review of

Watchmen, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons ISBN 9781401245252

Five out of five stars

 I found this graphic novel difficult to read, for I was never sure what it was meant to be. In many ways it can be interpreted as a parody of the genre of comics where there are costumed people that fight crime on the mean streets of the cities. Yet, these people are very complex and at times delusional in their approach to their chosen hobby. Other times, they are depicted as simple, ordinary people. They had formed a group called the Crimebusters, although some are now retired. There is a plot to discredit and kill them, so they are in the process of mounting a defense.

 There is also an enormous undercurrent of social and political action that often overshadows the actions of the crime fighters. There is the consistent threat of a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union with a powerful blue being that seemingly has the capability to prevent that from happening. In many ways this being is like Superman, he has the capability to end the Cold War, the problem with that is that the alternative could in fact be worse. At times he also appears to have been incorrectly programmed.

 The ending involves an incredible amount of death and destruction that is somehow rationalized as an event that is for the best. Much like the dropping of the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Once I finished it, I concluded that I liked it, but can’t quite say why. Perhaps because it is so many things, the overall message is one that is hard to discern.

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