The CCF TOP 100 COMIC SAGAS: #1 May 6, 2018 20:23:31 GMT -5
Post by shaxper on May 6, 2018 20:23:31 GMT -5
by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
originally published in: Watchmen #1-12 (1986-1987)
Nominated by: rberman, Slam_Bradley, hondobrode, Paste Pot Paul, Crimebuster, shaxper, mrp, Arthur Gordon Scratch, and coke & comics
"Good grief, what can I say about Watchmen that hasn’t already been expounded at book length by others? Well, there’s this. In another thread, on this forum, we were having a discussion about how the original Secret Wars offered a lot of super-fights that were accessible to new readers, but ultimately didn’t make much difference in the Marvel Universe. Crisis on Infinite Earths, on the other hand, aspired to re-write the whole DC continuity, but it pays tribute to every hero of comics past in a way that couldn’t really be appreciated by newbies. Neither series really shines in the character development department. Was anyone wishing they could see more adventures of Lyla the Harbinger afterwards? Lady Quark? Me neither.
Watchmen’s biggest accomplishment is nailing all four at once: accessibility, depth of homage, finality, and character interest. Alan Moore introduces not one, but two whole generations of costumed heroes that we’ve never seen before. Yeah, they’re based on the Charlton team, but I never read those, and I had no trouble following Watchmen. He then puts these characters through a clearly defined plot that changes not only them, but their world, irrevocably. Moore makes all these characters perfectly understandable from the get-go, from the detached Dr. Manhattan to the dweebish Night Owl to the “trapped in her mother’s story” Silk Spectre II. And yet the story also repays ample dividends to those familiar with the history of 20th century comics, who know who Joe Orlando is, who understand the irony of a comic book author kidnapped to a deserted island to write monster stories in an era when superhero comics have bombed.
Meanwhile, Dave Gibbons gives us an endless list of artistic bon mots, from the changing color schemes that imply flashing neon, to nine panel pages homaging Will Eisner, to the justly famous palindromic issue. Watchmen’s legion of “grim and gritty” imitators are not its fault. This story is exactly as dark as it needs to be, and its internal examination-by-example of the superhero genre remains one of the best out there."