My literal first reading of WatchmenPosted: March 6, 2009
Ok, so I wanted to write something quick and dirty about Watchmen, the book, before I go out and watch Watchmen, the movie.
I first read this comic as a 21-year-old, after being re-introduced to superhero comics in college. As a kid I read mostly Marvel stuff, so I was anxious to read some of the famous stories that DC had published in the mid-80s, which I knew changed the world of comics but did not read as a 13-year-old.
I was immediately blown away by the quality of the dialogue, characters and artwork.
There were no Chris Claremont-esque exclamations of “By the White Wolf!” or other nonsense, and Dave Gibbon’s art is a darn sight better than John Byrne’s or Jim Lee’s, in my view.
But, I was also intrigued by the idea of a superhero murder mystery. As the plot unfolded, I was engaged by the multiple layers of story, thrilled by the idea of a superheroic political assassination, amused by the references to pop-culture and U.S. history, and appalled at the level of misogyny and violence against women.
But I still loved the book. I read it very quickly, in the manner I was accustomed to reading comics when I was a child. I did not pick up on the politics of the book, although my friend John Cooper maintained that it was an inherently fascist work, and that may have colored my reading somewhat.
I just thought it was a good, realistic (read: depressing) story about superheroes.
If Zack Snyder can capture the dystopian, Republican-dominated, noire-esque feel of the book, without making Rorschach sound like a Frank Miller character, then I’ll be satisfied. Not thrilled, but satisfied.