Essay about Watchmen, A Comic Book

Essay about Watchmen, A Comic Book

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Watchmen is a revolutionary piece of literature. It is technically a comic book, some prefer to call it a graphic novel. There is a negative connotation that goes along with that. Graphic novels are frequently presumed too childish and fantastic to actually teach any insightful lessons or even make you ponder them at all. Watchmen is a graphic novel that transcends this undue criticism of comic books. It is, “One of the first instances ... of [a] new kind of comic book ... a first phase of development, the transition of the superhero from fantasy to literature." (Klock, pgs. 25-26)
Alan Moore’s story offers an immersive and complex plot that raises all sorts of moral questions. It is an extraordinary work of literature that occupies a well deserved spot on TIME’s list of 100 Greatest Novels. Since Watchmen’s publication, many more authors involved in the comic book medium have created similarly respectable works, inspired by Moore’s down-to-earth story-telling.
Watchmen is set in an alternate version of 1985 where Nixon never resigned and had somehow repealed the 22nd Amendment. He is in his 3rd term as president when the story begins. Most of the events in the book take place in New York City. Cold War tensions are high between the U.S. and Russia. The only deterrent to Nuclear War is the presence of Dr. Manhattan. He is basically an omnipotent being (though he explains he is not a god), once human, who is fortunately on America’s side. Jon Osterman, as was Dr. Manhattan’s real name, was a member of the Watchmen, a disbanded group of masked vigilantes. The group was split up after the U.S. government passed the Keene Act, making vigilantism officially illegal.
Fear, a recurring theme in the story, caused the passing of the Keen...


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Klock, Geoff. "The Bat and the Watchmen: Introducing the Revisionary Superhero Narrative." How to read superhero comics and why. New York: Continuum, 2002. 25-26. Print.

Lamb, Robin. "Alan Moores Watchmen and its Reflections on Cold War Society."Alan Moores Watchmen and its Reflections on Cold War Society. RR Donnelley, 8 June 2012. Web. 18 Mar. 2014. .

Lewis, C. S.. "N." The weight of glory and other addresses. New York: Macmillan, 1949. 458. Print.

Rand, Ayn. Atlas shrugged. New York: Random House, 1957. Print.

www.tcj.com. "A Portal to Another Dimension: Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and Neil Gaiman." The Comics Journal. TCJ, 6 June 2012. Web. 17 Mar. 2014. .

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