There are some things I find impossible to comment about easily, and among them there is Watchmen by Alan Moore, too full of quote, connections to external and internal works, concepts, symbols to be commented without deep analysis.
This said, I do not think Moore a universal genius, since he did not write always masterpieces, but this is truly his best, a jewel absolutely deserving to be read.
Watchmen by Alan Moore
However I am able to tell why I like Watchmen:
- superheroes who do not have powers (exception aside) – the Watchmen are common man and women who have chosen their path, but they have the same doubts each superhero have
- he relation with power – why the Watchmen did chose the path? The need to control their own destiny as well as others, the chance to be able to impose themself on other people, even with violence (see The Comedian)
- Doctor Manhattan – the only one with powers for his mutation in theend is the only one too superior to the human race to have any interest in its destiny
- the concept of time – for common people the situation is metaphorically frozen with the clock of destiny, for Jon instead time is absolute and continuous, a flux he interact constantly with
- Rorshack – the only character with a strong moral and so much self-respect to be unable to agree to compromise; it’s also impossible to forget him saying “None of you understand. I’m not locked up in here with you. You’re locked up in here with me.”
- Ozymandis – so complex and difficult to analyze but with a key role in the story
- the symbols – the blood on the Comedian pin that is a path repeating and mutating during the story (it can be seen in the sky, on Mars, …) and so on
- the references to quotes of famous books and people – always with a focus of the chapter the are refereed to, impossible to forget Fearful Symmetry (and the symmetrical structure of the comic itself, brilliant)
- the depth of narrative levels – there is the main story, the comic by the disappeared author, Rorshack diary and all the documents at the end of each chapter (cuts from papers, extract from books, advertising, …) that help in the story construction and in the worldbuild.
For these and other reasons I like Watchmen, for the character who show human weaknesses (that other heroes are unable to show), for how complex and detailed and well crafted each chapter is.
* Watchmen by Alan Moore ★★★★★
*I read this book in Italian and English