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Watchmen Paperback – Apr 1 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (April 1 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0930289234
  • ISBN-13: 978-0930289232
  • Product Dimensions: 26 x 17 x 2.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (280 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Alain Kin Wong on Dec 27 2005
Format: Paperback
Needless to repeat what everyone else has said here, but I'll share my story:
Three years ago, I walked into a comic book store and asked the owner, "I don't know anything about comics. How do I get started?" He told me to start with the best, and that although every later comic that I would pick up afterwards won't be as good as that first one, it's the one to start with.
Sure enough, I bought "Watchmen" that fateful day - and came back two days later for "V for Vendetta". That was the start of my love-affair with the graphic novel genre.
I went on to read Garth Ennis' Preacher, Mike Mignola's Hellboy, Neil Gaiman's Sandman series, Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns and Sin City, all landmark graphic novels of our time.
And though these were all remarkable books (and I recommend all of the above series), they still came second to "Watchmen", which will always be the top model of the genre by which all other comics are compared to.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By James Cleaveland on March 9 2004
Format: Paperback
Having long heard Watchmen's praises, I resisted reading it because I dislike the late 80's and 90's ultraviolent comics, and I assumed Watchmen to be the quintessential comic of this type. I've finally read it, and I was wrong. It deserves its reputation. Violence serves theme and plot without being exploitative.
SPOILER: I'll discuss the story's ending. I'll also compare Watchmen to other works, such as Kingdom Come.
I think Watchmen is basically a condemnation of ubermensch theory (Nietzsche's idea that "supermen" are entitled to violate society's moral laws, imposing their will on those "inferior" to themselves. Hitler infamously used the theory to justify Nazism. I concede I am no expert on Nietzsche.), and an accusation that superhero stories endorse this philosophy by lionizing vigilantes. Watchmen also attacks the genre's simplistic good vs. evil morality.
Only one character has "superpowers" to justify claims of superiority, yet Dr. Manhattan takes too little interest in human affairs to want to control others. On the contrary, he lets himself be used as a tool, hoping to retain his humanity by pleasing people. Yet he's now too detached to morally judge his orders, becoming a living military weapon. Apparently, desire for power over others is for mortals living among mortals--like Ozymandias, the archetypal Aryan "superman": a blonde, blue-eyed, physically perfect, supremely brilliant, self-made billionaire.
Achieving peace through slaughter, Ozymandias, like his hero Alexander, embodies Nietzsche's belief that ends justify means. If paradise is attainable through atrocities, as Nazi and Soviet propaganda claimed, is it worth it? And, once the eggs are broken, should one reap the benefits of the sin?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cherie Priest on July 13 2004
Format: Paperback
Yes, this is an graphic novel, but every page carries every ounce of narrative density and depth that you'd expect from a more text-heavy tome. Frankly, there's so much to say about this work that I hardly know where to begin, so I won't. Instead, I'll just heartily recommend it to everyone--not just my comic geek friends. In fact, I would <i>especially</i> recommend it to friends of mine who don't read comics or graphic novels because they think those things are (a). just for kids or (b). not as satisfying as a more traditionally formatted read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Swystun TOP 50 REVIEWER on Jan. 21 2014
Format: Paperback
"There's a notion I'd like to see buried: the ordinary person. Ridiculous. There is no ordinary person." This is just one the philosophical bon mots liberally resident in one of the most layered and engrossing comic books of all time. These kudos are not given lightly. In fact, Time Magazine voted Watchmen one of the best novels of the 20th Century. I believe this is because of the compelling themes:

Real Life
"Real life is messy, inconsistent, and it's seldom when anything ever really gets resolved. It's taken me a long time to realize that.”
Life is messy and when this explored through the cast of aging superheroes, it is accentuated in a way to give new meaning to the observation.

Anxiety
“In an era of stress and anxiety, when the present seems unstable and the future unlikely, the natural response is to retreat and withdraw from reality, taking recourse either in fantasies of the future or in modified visions of a half-imagines past”
This is incredibly deep given the fantasy lives of superheroes and their alter egos.

Simplicity
“Nothing's that simple, not even things that are simply awful.”
Comic books once wrapped up each story neatly like a thirty minute sitcom. Then the world got more complex and comic books followed. This is reflected beautifully in Watchmen that bridges the early Batman crime fighting sensibility with the darker and deeper comic book output of the 1980's.

But overall, the main story is a person's duality. Superheroes live two lives, wrestle between good and evil, pretend to function in larger society while finding comfort only in their dysfunctional tribe. For them, it is a solitary existence, "We are alone. Live our lives, lacking anything better to do. Devise reason later.
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