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Watchmen by Alan Moore

Watchmen (original 1986; edition 1995)

by Alan Moore (Writer), Dave Gibbons (Illustrator)

Series: Watchmen (collects 1-12)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
16,988463228 (4.32)497
As former members of a disbanded group of superheroes called the Crimebusters start turning up dead, the remaining members of the group try to discover the identity of the murderer before they, too, are killed.
Authors:Alan Moore
Other authors:Dave Gibbons (Illustrator)
Info:DC Comics (1995), Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Watchmen by Alan Moore (Writer) (1986)

  1. 210
    V for Vendetta by Alan Moore (FFortuna, monktv)
    monktv: These books have the epic storytelling and interesting meaning in common.
  2. 202
    Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller (McMinty)
  3. 100
    The Absolute Sandman Volume One by Neil Gaiman (JapaG)
    JapaG: After the Watchmen, Sandman is probably the graphic novel that has most influenced the adult comic scene today. It has similarly deep storyline about humanity from the perspective of one outside of it. Also the magnificent art contributes to the great collection.
  4. 80
    From Hell by Alan Moore (sturlington)
  5. 80
    DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore by Alan Moore (artturnerjr)
    artturnerjr: Includes two earlier Moore/Gibbons collaborations.
  6. 50
    Supreme: The Story of the Year by Alan Moore (TomWaitsTables)
    TomWaitsTables: Like Watchmen, this is a superhero story. But it is the complete polar opposite of Watchmen; this is Alan Moore's love letter to the silver age superhero.
  7. 40
    Astro City Vol. 01: Life in the Big City by Kurt Busiek (FFortuna)
  8. 62
    Kingdom Come by Mark Waid (jpers36)
  9. 40
    Batwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka (sweetiegherkin)
    sweetiegherkin: I enjoyed the back stories in both, seeing how regular people end up as costumed vigilantes.
  10. 40
    Supreme: The Return by Alan Moore (TomWaitsTables)
  11. 40
    Miracleman Book Three: Olympus by Alan Moore (artturnerjr)
    artturnerjr: Both deconstructionist superhero tales by Alan Moore. WATCHMEN is the more formally masterful work; MIRACLEMAN, the more emotionally devastating one.
  12. 40
    The Authority: Relentless by Warren Ellis (MyriadBooks)
  13. 31
    American Flagg!: Definitive Collection Volume 1 by Howard Chaykin (LKAYC)
  14. 20
    Wild Cards (Volume 1) by George R. R. Martin (LamontCranston)
  15. 20
    Greyshirt: Indigo Sunset by Rick Veitch (kxlly)
  16. 20
    Icon: A Hero's Welcome (Milestone Comics Library) by Dwayne McDuffie (FFortuna)
  17. 20
    Those Who Walk in Darkness by John Ridley (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: Which is another superhero deconstruction along these same lines.
  18. 10
    The Winter Men {complete} by Brett Lewis (IamAleem)
  19. 21
    The Satires of Juvenal by Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis (bertilak)
  20. 10
    Atomika Vol 1: God Is Red by Sal Abbinanti (IamAleem)

(see all 24 recommendations)

1980s (51)
Books (66)
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» See also 497 mentions

English (452)  French (4)  Danish (2)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (463)
Showing 1-5 of 452 (next | show all)
This was another book club selection that I would not have picked up on my own; mostly because I am not much of a graphic novel type. However, in this case, I was actually surprised that I liked it at all. The book is actually 12 comic books mashed together with some filler text that provided some back-story. The general concept was that what we would commonly refer to as super heroes actually became a fashion for awhile ... and they were seen as what they really were ... masked vigilantes. The premise opens up a very interesting debate on how government should work and what should happen when it fails to protect the governed. The American West (and to some extent, the South) has a significant history in vigilantism, so it was pretty easy to see this world as possible ...

And it was an extremely dark and unpleasant world. I didn't much care for the apparent fascination with blood in the frequent depictations of violence within the story, but I could accept them given the dark tenor of the plot. A few heroes even had intriguing character flaws, but the format didn't really allow us to explore them very deeply. There was a touch on predestination using Dr. Manhattan as the foil that was actually very well done; however, the scene on Mars was almost entirely superfluous IMHO and should have been dumped. Others may argue that is was a component of illustrated Dr. Manhattan's inhumanness (or at the very least, his isolation from humanity), but I thought that had already been accomplished when he left Earth.

Finally there was the story within a story provided by a character whose sole purpose was to read another comic book within THIS comic book and presented a storyline that was apparently supposed to shadow (or foreshadow) how this story would end ... and I must say that the two stories were tenuously linked at best and the ended of the main plot was singularly unsatisfying while the ending of the black freighter story was relatively predictable. All in all it didn't add as much to the story as it should have. ( )
  Kris.Larson | Sep 13, 2021 |
A masterclass in world building and character depth ( )
  Caleb67 | Aug 23, 2021 |
A masterpiece ( )
  Pnazemi | Aug 22, 2021 |
Fabulous, thought provoking, philosophical.
Art doesn't live up to standards set by other elements of the book. ( )
  rogov | Jul 31, 2021 |
A Graphic Novel

Meh. I'm just too old and set in my ways to enjoy these. Some interesting threading of multiple stories within the chapters but overall I just don't grasp the concept. ( )
  skavlanj | Jul 21, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 452 (next | show all)

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Moore, AlanWriterprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gibbons, DaveIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Higgins, JohnColoristsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Orlando, JoeIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bárány, FerencTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sabbagh, JuliaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wein, LenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Locus ( [1988]Non-Fiction1988)
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes. Who watches the watchmen? Juvenal Satires, VI, 347, quoted as the epigraph of the Tower commission report, 1987
With special thanks to Neil Gaiman, Mike Lake, Pat Mills, and Joe Orlando.
First words
Rorschach's Journal. October 12th, 1985:
Dog carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach. This city is afraid of me. I have seen its true face.
[spraypainted on wall] "Who watches the Watchmen?"
"Looked at the sky through smoke heavy with human fat and God was not there. The cold suffocating dark goes on forever and we are alone. Live our lives lacking anything better to do. Devise reason later. Born from oblivion; bear children hell-bound as ourselves; go into oblivion. There is nothing else. Existence is random. Has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long. No meaning save what we choose to impose. This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical forces. It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. It's us. Only us." (Ch. VI, pg26)
"All this, it could be gone: people, cars, T.V. shows, magazines...even the word 'gone' would be gone." (Ch. V, pg12)
"Why do we argue? Life's so fragile, a successful virus clinging to a speck of mud, suspended in endless nothing." (Ch. VI, pg28)
"We're all puppets, Laurie. I'm just a puppet that can see the strings." (Ch. IX, pg5)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Some consider Absolute Watchmen to be a notably different work from Watchmen. There is currently a discussion in Combiners! discussing whether or not this separation is needed. Please join the discussion. Please do not combine the two works until this is resolved.
Before separating check ISBN because there are bad titles

Please be careful in separating editions titled Watchmen #1, because many are not for the first single issue of the miniseries, but for this collected volume.
Publisher's editors
Information from the Portuguese (Brazil) Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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As former members of a disbanded group of superheroes called the Crimebusters start turning up dead, the remaining members of the group try to discover the identity of the murderer before they, too, are killed.

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Book description
A New York Times Best Seller!

This Hugo Award-winning graphic novel chronicles the fall from grace of a group of super-heroes plagued by all-too-human failings. Along the way, the concept of the super-hero is dissected as the heroes are stalked by an unknown assassin.

One of the most influential graphic novels of all time and a perennial bestseller, WATCHMEN has been studied on college campuses across the nation and is considered a gateway title, leading readers to other graphic novels such as V FOR VENDETTA, BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and THE SANDMAN series.
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Average: (4.32)
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1 38
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