LinkExchange

Classics Revisited
Guest Review by JoeyKa

Some of you readers at home may be disturbed by the following footage, but it came into our possession and we feel obligated to air it. This is one way to stir up some controversy.

Watchmen 1 - 12
Writer: Alan Moore
Artist: Dave Gibbons

"Who Watches the Watchmen?" This question was asked by the greatest comic story of all time. Or was it? Oh, there's no doubt that the question was asked by Watchmen. No, the real confusion here is, Was Watchmen the Greatest Comic Story of all time? The answer, I'm afraid, is no. Watchmen is a very good comic and there's no doubt that it was groundbreaking for it's time, but I'm afraid it just doesn't match up with some of the greats of the field. And before you ask what I think the greatest comic of all time is, I'll tell you what I tell everyone else. How can I know? I haven't read every comic.
But getting back to Watchmen, what is it about this series that falls short? I think the answer is simple, really. There's just nothing to relate to. Alan Moore is, obviously, a great comic writer. He's taken the super-hero genre, not to mention the whole comics medium, to new heights. The problem here is, though, is that he tells this story too scientifically. He's so detached in his writing that even though you want to, you can't get close to his characters. Sure, he donates plenty of time to everyone's background and the events that led them to the situation they're in, but he does it so methodically, so mechanically, that it just doesn't register. As it turns out, the only character anyone even gives a crap about is Rorschach and him only because of his comedic potential.
Another thing about Moore's writing that throws off many readers is that he wants so much to do everything he can in the medium, that his main story ends up getting jumbled. There are throw-away charcacters that he donates entirely too much time just to work in some metaphor or somesuch. That's not all, though. Moore seems to let the actual story take a backseat so he can fit in as many literary tools (flashbacks, foreshadowing, etc) as possible. Plus, no one ever understands the reason for the pirate story.
One of the saving graces of Watchmen is the art. Dave Gibbons has probably never produced anything this good post-Watchmen. The little details he puts in, the immense, awe-inspiring scenes, everything fits together and works together well. It's unfortunate that Moore couldn't keep me awake long enough to see the last few pages of every issue.
So, for my rating, the writing and art of Watchmen get 5s. The human touch and keeping-you-awake factor get 3s at the most. I know it's kinda cheap to do a review like that, but with Watchmen, it's the only way.