Book Report – Watchmen

Watchmen by Alan Moore.

I did not get a chance to watch the Watchmen movie due to budgetary and time constraints, so this review is of the bound comic book series only. I am not a huge fan. I grew up on and loved the comic books of the 1980s, but I guess maybe I’m too much of a Marvel guy. In my opinion Watchmen dragged on without enough action or intrigue to sustain my interest. I appreciate the elements of mystery, but there are some serious problems with even following the story. Consider, the mystery is over the death of the Comedian — a character we have never met and don’t like at all from the beginning. The death is investigated by Rorschach, who I liked and wanted to learn more about, but instead we mainly get back story on the other superheroes in town. A boring lot for the most part. By the time we finally get around to learning what I originally wanted to know about Rorschach, the plot has shifted to the disillusionment of Dr. Manhattan — a character I found mostly uninteresting. I do have to credit the ending. I wasn’t happy with the outcome, but I did think it was a good critique of the unsophisticated moralizing of most comic book characters.

From a craftsmanship approach I don’t understand why they didn’t simply set the book in London. The portrait of New York in the 80s was not accurate. Write what you know instead of pretending you know what you don’t. Alan Moore is British, and should probably stick to writing about Britain if he isn’t going to travel to the US and at least get his portrait somewhat correct.

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