Who Watches The Watchmen?

A foreboding statement; one that may be poised to enter the minds of millions in 2009, with the release of the movie version of a critically acclaimed graphic novel.  Watchmen is, hands down, one of those comics that breaks barriers and helps to redefine what comics are, even 20 years after it was written and rolled of the presses.  Scripted by the brilliant and enigmatic Alan Moore and drawn by the talented Dave Gibbons, Watchmen is a fascinating look at what it means to be a hero, and a villain.

Set in an alternate 1980s earth where costumed heroes, who once battled crime bedecked with gadgets, have now found themselves fallen by the wayside.  deemed a threat to society, they have been outlawed and forced to return to mundane lives.  these are not your grandpappy’s  superheroes – they of the glorious superpowers – but rather regular folk that decided to take matters into their own hands.  Now defunct, they dither through life once more, relishing the ghosts of their glory days.

The comic starts off with a staggering blow, as one of the former crime fighters is murdered, and his teammates are suddenly drawn back into a world they had left behind.  Each one, struggling with their pasts and unsure of their futures, is inexorably drawn into a growing web of lies and the gray zone between right and wrong.  Their meandering path through the world that has no love for them is both sad and mesmerizing.  The ending will wrench your guts right out and leave you gasping, and more than a little disturbed.

Watchmen is one of those comic that is rather hard to describe.  It must be read to achieve the whole awesome effect, and I mean awesome in its true definition.  This comic will leave you in awe.  If you have never read a comic, read this one.  Moore and Gibbons make a wonderful team, and this book is truly a work of art.

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