Posted by: Doc Comics | February 26, 2010


1986 was a year that changed comics, and The Watchmen would go on to win a Hugo Award and be included in TIME magazine’s All-Time Top 100 Novels.  As Elzy summarizes: “British creators Alan Moore (writer) and Dave Gibbons (artwork) constructed a massive 12-issue mini-series that rejuvenated the stagnant superhero genre simply by changing the formula. Instead of relying on traditional, clean-cut superhero stereotypes from the Silver Age, Moore allowed his story to be told by despondent, unlikely heroes, and the believable human personalities and faults that accompanied them” within a Cold War era of ever-present nuclear apocalypse. “Originally, Moore sought to revitalize existing “Charltoncharacters (namely the Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, and The Question), but DC Comics commissioned him to invent totally new characters – as Moore recalled in an interview for The Extraordinary Works. Moore’s new players subsequently became the beating heart of Watchmen and the object of its namesake. Moore states that he pushed the “limits” of the new characters further than the Charlton characters had ever been, contributing ultimately to Watchmen’s political, philosophical, and dramatic depth and complexity.” But don’t ask Moore what he thinks of the movie.

As a New York Times reviewer put it: “Nearly 20 years after the original publication, “Watchmen” shows an eerie prescience: the symmetry between current events and the conclusion of its story, concerning a villain who believes he can stave off real war by distracting the populace with a trumped-up one, and an act of mass murder perpetrated in the heart of New York City, is almost too fearful to bear.”

Alan Moore, part of the ’80s “British Invasion” in the superhero genre, uses Watchmen to explore the politics and pathologies of these American archetypes.  An eccentric critic of the comics industry even as he defends the unique power of comics as a medium, Moore’s cynical epic is often characterized as a deconstruction of the superhero because he “used a superhero story to critique the values of superhero stories, giving us a small sense of what those values mean in the real world.”  This deconstructive move of “retroactive defamiliarization” is a distinctive feature of Moore’s work.

You can find other cool commentaries and analysis HERE.  We will also explore some of the ETHICS paradigms represented within The Watchmen!



  1. Easter Eggs in WATCHMEN…

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