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by Alan Moore, WATCHMEN (paperback) Paperback – 1995

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,608 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: DC Comics (1995)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003ASKR2A
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 6.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,608 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,804,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you don't already know, the other reviews will fill you in on the Watchmen's story and it's significance to the comic medium. I'm here to tell you about this edition of the book, which is basically an oversized version of the long out of print Graphitti Designs hardcover version complete with all of that edition's exclusive extras (which is fantastic since that out of print volume goes for major bucks on Ebay when it does rarely surface). Until now, that Graphitti Designs edition was the one to own...This tops it due to it's oversized pages and superior quality printing.

Want to see how this story was originally about about Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, and the Question (along with other Charlton characters) and how it changed to what it is? There is a very indepth look at the original proposal included here.

Want to see early Gibbon's art? it's here. How about rarely seen teaser strips published long before the first issue? Again included. Alan Moore's script samples? You got it.

Bottom line, I can't think of anything that could possibly be done or included that would make a superior edition to this.
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Format: Paperback
Comic books superheroes are basically fascist vigilantes, with Superman and his dedication to truth, justice and the American way being the exception that proves the rule. Both "Watchmen" and "The Dark Knight Returns," the two greatest examples of graphic storytelling, deal explicitly with the underlying fear the ordinary citizenry have of the demi-gods they worship. The one inherent advantage that "Watchman" has over Frank Miller's classic tale is that it requires no knowledge of the existing mythos of its characters because Dr. Manhattan, Ozymandias, Rorschach, Nite Owl, Silk Spectre, the Comedian and the rest of the former members of the Crimebusters.
The brainchild of writer Alan Moore ("Swamp Thing," "V for Vendetta," "From Hell") and artist Dave Gibbons ("Rogue Trooper," "Doctor Who," "Green Lantern"), "Watchmen" was originally published by DC Comics in twelve issues in 1986-87. Moore and Gibbons won the Best Writer/Artist combination award at the 1987 Jack Kirby Comics Industry Awards ceremony. The central story in "Watchmen" is quite simple: apparently someone is killing off or discrediting the former Crimebusters. The remaining members end up coming together to discover the who and the why behind it all, and the payoff to the mystery is most satisfactory. But what makes "Watchmen" so special is the breadth and depth of both the characters and their respective subplots: Dr. Manhattan dealing with his responsibility to humanity given his god-like powers; Nite Owl having trouble leaving his secret identity behind; Rorschach being examined by a psychiatrist. Each chapter offers a specific focus on one of the characters, yet advances the overall narrative.
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Format: Paperback
If you've ever read anything with the title "Comics aren't just for kids anymore", you've probably heard about Watchmen. So, is it really that good?
Oh god, yes.
It's hard to review the collection without resorting to cliches -- and I'll employ one now. It gets better everytime I read it. I see new layers and depth.
"God exists. And he's an American." Most superhero comics take place in a world almost the same as our own. But surely, people running around in tights, people with god-like powers would make an impact. In Watchmen, they do. America won Vietnam -- thanks to a god-like hero. Electric cars exist. Classic comic books got cancelled when the real superheroes came along. Oh, and Richard Nixon is still president into the 1980s. (Too bad about those dead reporters, isn't it?)
This is series a big ideas, human characters and personal moments. It looks at retired heroes (thanks to 1970s anti-superhero legislation) who investigate the death of one of their own. The book also features flashbacks, autobiography excerpts, comic book interludes and more.
Truly engrossing writing by Alan Moore and art by Dave Gibbons.
Oh, and comics aren't just for kids anymore. (g)
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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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