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Watchmen by Alan Moore
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Watchmen (original 1986; edition 1995)

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

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
15,678424221 (4.32)479
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.
Member:j_aroche
Title:Watchmen
Authors:Alan Moore
Other authors:Dave Gibbons (Illustrator)
Info:DC Comics (1995), Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:*****
Tags:comics, dc comics

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
    Batwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka (sweetiegherkin)
    sweetiegherkin: I enjoyed the back stories in both, seeing how regular people end up as costumed vigilantes.
  8. 40
    Supreme: The Return by Alan Moore (TomWaitsTables)
  9. 40
    Astro City: Life in the Big City by Kurt Busiek (FFortuna)
  10. 62
    Kingdom Come by Mark Waid (jpers36)
  11. 40
    The Authority: Relentless by Warren Ellis (MyriadBooks)
  12. 30
    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.
  13. 20
    Wild Cards (Volume 1) by George R. R. Martin (LamontCranston)
  14. 20
    Those Who Walk in Darkness by John Ridley (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: Which is another superhero deconstruction along these same lines.
  15. 20
    Greyshirt: Indigo Sunset (Greyshirt, 1) by Rick Veitch (kxlly)
  16. 31
    American Flagg!: Definitive Collection Volume 1 by Howard Chaykin (LKAYC)
  17. 20
    Icon: A Hero's Welcome (Milestone Comics Library) by Dwayne McDuffie (FFortuna)
  18. 10
    Atomika Vol 1: God Is Red by Sal Abbinanti (IamAleem)
  19. 10
    The Winter Men {complete} by Brett Lewis (IamAleem)
  20. 21
    The Satires of Juvenal by Juvenal (bertilak)

(see all 23 recommendations)

1980s (96)
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» See also 479 mentions

English (413)  French (4)  Danish (2)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (424)
Showing 1-5 of 413 (next | show all)
All art is political. ( )
1 vote sarcher | Jan 5, 2020 |
Truly amazing!!! My first graphic novel, but not my last. ( )
  BookishHooker | Dec 16, 2019 |
I read Watchmen by Alan Moore a long time ago, close to when it first came out in book form. I decided to re-read it due to the new TV series. When I first read it years ago I wasn’t very impressed. I believe I gave it 2-2 ½ stars. The re-reading didn’t more the bar any: I’m still not impressed. The only redeemable quality of the work was the adult-like theme being dealt with in the graphic novel form. But, really, the story dragged in many places and the interspersed text excerpts were unnecessary background filler. As far as the plot went, Moore got it completely and utterly wrong. “Watchmen” was written at the culmination of the Cold War and the nuclear arms race and Moore was warning, as were many others, that our leaders at the time (mainly Reagan and Thatcher) were blindly leading us down a path to nuclear annihilation. He was laughably mistaken. They, Reagan and Thatcher, ended the Cold War and the Soviet Union.

Also, the “heroes plagued by all-too-human failings” shtick is way too played out for me. It was when I first read this. I don’t need Nietzsche comes to comic land and superheroes deconstructed. I’ll read real contemplative works for that; not comic books. The initial publication consisted of, I believe, twelve comic scale volumes. It certainly could have fit into six if the author got rid of all the extraneous non-sequiturs.

Spoiler alert:

I just wonder if the relationship between Comedian and Sally Jupiter would even fly in today’s #MeToo environment. Women aren’t supposed to carry on affairs with men who rape and abuse them. ( )
  JohnGorski | Oct 25, 2019 |
This classic graphic novel tells the stories of a group of 'superheroes' who have aged and mostly given up trying to save their world, as their society questions their motives and methods as those of vigilantes. Gibbons' bold artwork and beautiful coloring add to the dark mood. It may be a classic, but its cursory and shallow presentation of the female characters as satellites of the male characters hasn't aged well. ( )
  TAPearson | Oct 1, 2019 |
"God exists. And he's an American." Do other things like this exist? The Watchmen is better than most novels I've read. The intertextual stuff comes off without a hitch. This comic book is literature. ( )
  Adammmmm | Sep 10, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 413 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Moore, AlanWriterprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gibbons, DaveIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Higgins, JohnColoristmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Moore, Alanmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Orlando, JoeIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bárány, FerencTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wein, LenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes. Who watches the watchmen? Juvenal Satires, VI, 347, quoted as the epigraph of the Tower commission report, 1987
Dedication
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.
Quotations
[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
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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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