Superhero Sunday: Watchmen

We’ve mentioned that our Superhero Saturday posts are coming to an end. Before that happened we asked friend and past collaborator @LydiarghGrace if she could contribute for one last post (all pretty short notice so we thank her greatly for taking the time to write this for us!):

When my sisters from other mothers told me they were winding down their Superhero Saturday posts, I was a little sad. A fan of comics and superheroes myself, Ive been finding it fun reading everyone’s unique favourites. That’s the joy about superheroes; everyone loves someone different and even if they love the same one they have different opinions. There’s a lot of passion. So when I was asked to contribute to one of the last posts, I jumped. So here it goes…

Watchmen Characters
‘Watchmen’. Yup, ‘Watchmen’ for me is not only one of the greatest comic book series/graphic novels ever created but one of the best pieces of literature ever written. Written by the legendary Alan Moore, drawn by Dave Gibbons and coloured by John Higgins, ‘Watchmen’ is a dense story set in an alternate universe in the 1980s where ‘superheroes’ are real, are known publicly to the world and have ‘helped’ society in various ways.

The Comedian
I say superheroes and helped in inverted commas for two reasons. Firstly, like many famed characters from other franchises and stories, only one of those involved in the group known as ‘Watchmen’ is a superhero, Doctor Manhattan. The rest are costumed crime-fighting vigilantes. I say ‘help’ because the ideologies of each separate character are so different at times that they each purport to have contrasting ideas on actions that might help one person, to actions that might help society.

Doctor Manhattan
But that is the joy about reading ‘Watchmen’ – it really makes you think. It’s hard to talk about a book that is so rich in such a short piece, but also one doesn’t want to give anything away to anyone who has yet to read it. So in a nutshell, the plot of ‘Watchmen’ focuses on a group of ex-costumed vigilantes (now outlawed by government), living in a time when the threat of Third World nuclear war is around the corner, who uncover a radical conspiracy when one of them is killed. I’ve think I’ve summed it up as basically as I can without giving too much away…
And it’s not just the plot and the themes that the story explores that make it so fabulous but the characters at its heart. Personally, I love all of them in different ways. The aforementioned Doctor Manhattan provides a detached narrative on the qualities of humanity, Rorschach stands as a maniacal bar of morality, The Comedian depicts the complex nature of the human soul and psyche, Silk Spectre and her daughter Silk Spectre II are foils for discussing a woman’s role in society and the different faces of the feminist movement. These are characters presented with (at times) real dilemmas, they have flaws, they are not perfect and upon repeated readings prove incredibly Multi-faceted.
Silk Spectre
I could go on, and on and on and on and on and on… But I don’t think I’ve been given enough time. Maybe another day. All that’s left to say is ‘Watchmen’ truly is one of the best reads on the planet, a great critique on what being a ‘superhero’ really means. So if you’ve not read it, do this feature a good send off by going and getting the book. Your mind will be blown.


So now we end our Superhero Saturday posts with this Superhero Sunday post on our first birthday! Keep your eyes peeled for our next Saturday related posts.

(Don’t forget to check out Lydia’s blog and follow her on twitter @LydiarghGrace.)


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