Has any comic been as lauded as Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen? Possibly only Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns but Watchmen remains the critics' favourite. Why? Because Moore is a better writer, and Watchmen a more complex and dark and literate creation than Miller's fantastic, subversive take on the Batman myth. Moore, renowned for many other of the genre's finest creations (Saga of the Swamp Thing, V for Vendetta, and recently From Hell, with Eddie Campbell) first put out Watchmen in 12 issues for DC in 1986-87. It won a comic award at the time (the 1987 Jack Kirby Comics Industry Awards for Best Writer/Artist combination) and has continued to garner praise since.
The story concerns a group called the Crimebusters and a plot to kill and discredit them. Moore's characterisation is as sophisticated as any novel's. Importantly the costumes do not get in the way of the storytelling, rather they allow Moore to investigate issues of power and control--indeed it was Watchmen, and to a lesser extent Dark Knight, that propelled the comic genre forward, making "adult" comics a reality. The artwork of Gibbons (best known for 2000AD's Rogue Trooper and DC's Green Lantern) is very fine too, echoing Moore's paranoid mood perfectly throughout. Packed with symbolism, some of the overlying themes (arms control, nuclear threat, vigilantes) have dated but the intelligent social and political commentary, the structure of the story itself, its intertextuality (chapters appended with excerpts from other "works" and "studies" on Moore's characters, or with excerpts from another comic book being read by a child within the story), the fine pace of the writing and its humanity mean that Watchmen more than stands up--it retains its crown as the best the genre has yet produced. --Mark Thwaite --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
"A work of ruthless psychological realism, it’s a landmark in the graphic novel medium. It would be a masterpiece in any."
–TIME, TIME MAGAZINE’s 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present
Watchmen follows a handful of former heroes during the periods of highest Cold War tension, in a history in which masked vigilantes were first embraced and then outlawed by the US... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jayson Vavrek
A dark, intense, and absolutely brilliant piece of literature, to my knowledge Watchmen is the only graphic novel to have won the Pulitzer. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Tristan Tolley
If you watched the movie and want to have the grpahic novel I recommend it. The movie is pretty bang on so the novel is totally awesome.Published 6 months ago by troy
No wonder this often rounds out fan's top ten comic lists.
The story is compelling and fresh (even after all these years) the art is gritty and beautiful. Read more
Expensive but worth it for fans. This is just the greatest version of the greatest graphic novel ever.Published 10 months ago by John
I'm not a comic book fan but this graphic novel is one of the greatest books I've ever read.Published 11 months ago by Mr. Lego