Your Mileage May Vary
The Watchmen movie comes out next week, and a lot of fans have been revisiting the comic in preparation.
Our own Tom Bondurant compares his initial impression of the comic with his perspective this time around:
And yet, the thing about Watchmen is that it’s not nearly as cynical as it looks. All the drama, violence, and sex only matter to the extent that we can’t get past them. The thermodynamic miracle isn’t just the uniqueness of each human life, it’s the spark of individuality, of creativity, which powers each work of art. If all we see is one way to go, we limit ourselves to that path. We forget that we each have, as a certain starship captain once said, a “capacity to leap beyond logic” which helps slice through our own Gordian knots. Watchmen trades pretty heavily in structure and form, but it ends up saying you don’t have to do it this way.
Mike Sterling looks at how reading the comic as a trade paperback is different from reading the comic serialized:
However, in the collected format, I wonder if the text pieces function more as “speed bumps” for some readers, interruptions between chapters of the “real” story that one feels obligated to slog through before going on to the pages with actual comics on them. Without the time gaps between chapters forced by the monthly-or-so release schedule, perhaps some readers feel as if they have less time to contemplate the text pieces, knowing that the plot continues just a page turn or two away.
While Phil the Pill reads Watchmen for the very first time:
Basically, when I was done, I felt like I read a hefty, semi-philosophical comic book. But I wasn’t convinced that I’d read “one of the 100 best novels” of the twentieth century. The bad guy turned out to be one of Six Bad Guys I’ve seen before. The characters’ pasts were thorough…but unsurprising. Ultimately, I didn’t find out anything about the Comedian that made his life or death that much more significant. And they never answer a very important question:
If Dr. Manhattan has the powers of a god…why doesn’t he give himself a bigger penis?
I give Watchmen a B. And I’ll still be going to the midnight showing of the movie.
So what do you think?