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Why It's King
Watchmen is, on its face, a murder mystery story. Try to remember that when reading it, though. Truly, the level of immersion and depth that the book (and I will call it a book) invokes is astounding, and at one point towards the end, when it reminded me that it's about a guy dying and finding out why, I was blown away at how far Alan Moore had taken me in the time since the beginning.

But ultimately, the story of Watchmen is almost boiler-plate. I hesitate to use that word, because it is good, but it's really not the story that you come to see. It's the characters, and I must say, the characters are magnificent.

From this point forward, there may be (minor) spoilers. It's thirty-six years old, so, you really shouldn't need to worry about it anyhow.

Rorschach was easily my favorite. He was sociopathic and murderous and rigid with a sometimes insane Black And White Morality, but he also had motive and was honestly trying to do good and, I mean, come on, he was one of the only people who actually did anything for the first 2/3rds. If there were any character I would say was the real defining member of the fiction, Rorschach would be it. Other characters capture a glimpse of why Watchmen is amazing, but Rorschach is the embodiment of it, and is all the more awesome for it.

The other characters I liked less (their movie counterparts were better), but even though I had little sympathy for any of them (Nite Owl and The Comedian notwithstanding), they were all good. That, I think, is Mr. Moore's greatest achievement: creating characters who I wouldn't normally like, and making me care anyhow. That, in and of itself, should speak of the brilliance of the work.
"and I will call it a book"

There isn't any controversy over calling it a book. The word book is right there in "comicbook."
comment #17095 tublecane 6th Dec 12
I too favored Rorschach. I never thought of him as murderous, though he was sociopathic (and I don't blame him for it, honestly), and in fact I classified him as the only "good" character in the entire thing. I admired his unwillingness to compromise about doing what he thought was right. At no point did I get the impression that his conviction was steering him wrong. It's open to interpretation whether knowing the hard truth (as Rorschach wanted) or believing a convenient lie (as Ozymandias intended) would be better for the world, which is why Watchmen is so cool in my opinion. But I always got the impression that Rorschach was, at his core, good. And the discovery of his journal at the end seemed like a triumph.

Boy, though, does Alan Moore know how to deconstruct.
comment #17098 JobanGrayskull 6th Dec 12
"It's open to interpretation whether knowing the hard truth or believing a convenient lie would be better for the world"

Huh? After the diary turns up the doomsday clock is shown at midnight and the book ends. Are we supposed to assume something other than that Rorschach's way led to fulfillment of the Comedian's joke and nuclear war? Midnight means catastrophy. Every time leading up to it is closer to the end, and midnight is it, right? If not then I don't understand the clock.
comment #17109 tublecane 6th Dec 12
Huh...I never thought about the fact that the clock implies doomsday. At that point, international relations had already eased up a lot after the "attack," so I assumed that what happened upon the discovery of the journal was up in the air. Especially with the last quote from John Cale...it seemed to me that Ozymandias had more or less succeeded.

But I doubt it would last anyway, even if the journal wasn't found. In post-Cold War times, it probably doesn't come across the way it was originally intended; at least that's my guess.
comment #17112 JobanGrayskull 6th Dec 12
Just to clarify, I know the clock is a doomsday clock, I'm specifically talking about the one in the very last panel, when it finally hits midnight. I'd prefer not to come off as a completely unobservant moron.
comment #17113 JobanGrayskull 6th Dec 12
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