Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Review: Watchmen

Apparently, a lot of people read Watchmen, especially with the movie coming out in a couple of months. I admit, that's the reason I finally read it, since the previews look quite awesome. It is an impressive novel - I've not read anything like it. It is more than a graphic novel; it is a work of literature in itself. Its storyline and character development are its strong points - first, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons have to convince you of superheroes that do not have any super powers - they're extremely capable and morally motivated individuals who use those skills to fight crime. The only character with any sort of "super" powers - Dr. Manhattan - has unlimited power and is more powerful than any other comic book superhero in history. It is turning the genre on its head with these new descriptions of heroes. The achievement of the novel is that it becomes believeable within a short period. The characters are interesting and sympathetic and we soon fall for the classic "cheering for the bad guy" ploy so often used. In the end - I won't bother giving away any story secrets - the plot and storyline come through as well. It is indeed a masterpiece.
The graphic aspect means that there are other tools employed: scenes without dialogue, mixed media, challenging images, seamlessly interwoven story arcs. It is a graphic novel not just because it uses images, but because it uses images to enhance and contribute to the reading experience.
I strongly recommend this book, and not just because the movie is coming out; you should see that, too. Five bloody smiley faces out of five.

1 comment:

Hutton said...

I love the new look blog. I've been sidetracked in my reading lately. I just finished two Chuck Klosterman books and am now reading two by David Simon (of The Wire fame). Reviews to come.