Watchmen by Alan Moore
Date Started: March 8, 2009 Date Finished: March 13,2009
Summary: Watchmen follows the death of a masked adventurer, The Comedian. The vigilante, Roschach, starts an investigation that uncovers a plot to destroy the world and send the world into chaos. The story takes place in an alternate history where President Nixon is elected for three terms and Watergate never happened.
Likes: For a comic book, especially an American one (since manga is pretty standard when exploring some deeper themes), it is surprisingly deep. It explores the themes of sacrifice and humanity. The theme deals with the savageness of humans, which is a really deep theme to tackle for a comic book. Also with sacifice it deals with the death of millions to save billions, just like the one vs. hundredds situation. The superheroes are not superheroes as we know them in other comics, they are flawed and human. For example: Laurie, the Silk Spectre, smokes, has a needy, yet edgy personality. She has her own issues to deal with and when she comes to terms with her past and her mother's pain, she's too late. Dr. Manhattan is loosing his touch with humanity, only seeing them with as masses of atoms and molecules, no different than the everchanging landscape of Mars. When he learns that through all of Laurie's chaos, the chaos surrounding her conception, her birth, and all of its implications that someone so specific came from that. After the millions of people that could have been made, it was her. Dr. M realizes this and goes to Earth, but they are both too late. However, one learns that the world is founded on this broken peace that is based on a lie. It makes you wonder what would have happened if Dr. M made it in time. Or more importantly, what people are going to do when they find out that their hero is really the villian?
Dislikes: It takes getting used to the art work after being an avid reader of Japanese comic books (manga). The pacing was a little odd. Certain scenes were unnecessary, but it would have a neutral effect if they were taken out. The issue with the first Silk Spectre's rape was creepy. If you read the extra information, you'll understand why. It still seems that she struggling with her feelings and the injustice done to her.
Overall: I wish I had read this before I had seen the movie. I like aspects of both, but the comic makes more sense, but the movie is more visually appealing. I like the ending of the comic more because it makes more sense. The movie changed things but putting them in a different order, which made it hard to understand. Since the movie was pretty much true to the comic, I believe the biggest blunder of the movie was changing the ending. I think the movie should have been broken up into two parts. They should have drawn from the clips of the Under the Hood clips and followed the series. The movie was ambitious. I liked some of the changes they did make though and the movie is definitely more gorey. They did their best, but in the end comic still wins simply because of clarity and understanding and in the end the overall themes of humanity and sacrifice are best understood in a graphic novel format. I won't say the movie is unfilmable, but it was an ambitious undertaking. Comic is still better.