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Watchmen

I finished reading the Watchmen graphic novel. It’s a good book, and I enjoyed it thoroughly, but it really feels like it’s telling at least three different stories. Although Alan Moore weaves the stories together rather well, they still seem like they could have stood on their own, as distinct tales. And then there’s the Tales of the Black Freighter story which, unless I missed a subtle connection somewhere, is a distinct and separate story just thrown into the mix with no reason.

Rorschach’s story could make for an interesting series on its own. Doctor Manhattan’s story is a fascinating idea that needn’t be connected to the other characters at all. Ozymandias’ scheme is so weird that it feels strange amongst the almost realistic (other than Dr. Manhattan, of course) feel of the rest of the story. And the whole back story about the early crime-fighting groups seems unnecessary.

Again, I did enjoy this book. But at times it felt like I was reading three or four or five different novels in the same publication. It’s like Moore had all these ideas in his head and he wanted to get them all out and published immediately, even if at one time. Some of the stories would have made great individual series, and probably could have run for years like Batman and Spider-Man.

It’s a good book despite this jumbled weakness.

Bullgrit
bullgrit@totalbullgrit.com

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2 Responses to Watchmen

  1. michelle says:

    Now I wonder did you really like the book in spite of its inadequacies, as your post implies…or did you like it because of the “excitement” of reading many different stories at once, as if searching for a connection between them all…kinda like the hook of the fist chapter of a book…something about it grabs you and you just had to keep reading despite your confusion with how they were related…
    In essence wasn’t it really the ‘jumbled weakness’ as you stated, that played a big part of what kept you reading the book…

  2. Bullgrit says:

    I liked each story very much (except for Tales of the Black Freighter, which made no sense in the context of the overall plot to me). They were good stories by themselves, and didn’t need to be intertwined with each other like they were.

    The characters themselves were the most interesting part of the stories. The linking of them all felt weak by comparison. I think it felt weak because it was unnecessary.

    Sort of like, you don’t need to tell Superman’s story intertwined with Batman’s story to make either character interesting or compelling to read. Putting them together at times can make for an interesting story, but they don’t need to be connected throughout.

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