Anthony Scopatz

I think, therefore I amino acid.

Whosoever Watches

I am posting now because I am sick of writing. My paper that is. I am really just editing now…the annoying part. I finished the graphic novel “Watchmen”.

As always, I need to start off with some disclaimers:
1) There will be spoilers.
2) I *really* did enjoy the ride.
3) The back cover calls the work “Peerless”.

Overall, I liked it and felt compelled to keep reading. In that OCD kinda way. There were some things that they did very very right in this comic. The first of these, which is awesome, is that Rorschach’s face changes in each panel. Secondly, the gimmick of having plain-text portions at the end of each chapter that give in character background information is brilliant.

However, this gimmick actually turns out to be one of my larger criticisms against “Watchmen”. The story involves a decent number of characters from rather distinct backgrounds. So maybe I have gone soft via GRRM, but I now expect different characters to have different voices. This means that the author has to take on a different writing style to accommodate the character that is speaking. Normally, this isn’t a problem with comics because the voices are all flat and you are STARING at the character talking. But there were really only 5 voices 1) Rorschach, 2) Walter Kovacs, 3) Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, 4) the newspaper man (generic Brooklyn stereotype), 5) and everyone else.

My basic point is that Hollis shouldn’t sound Dan Dreiberg who shouldn’t sound like Sally Jupiter who shouldn’t sound like the Comedian, etc. This really limited my ability to suspend my disbelief, because it was no longer the characters speaking, but rather the author talking TO me. I was starting to see this but the real clincher is that plain-text gimmick at the end of every chapter. The first couple are by Hollis Mason (retired Nite Owl #1) and the third is by Dr. Manhattan. They are written in the same style. NOOOO. They comic continually tries to make the case that Dr. Manhattan is now no longer quite human. He really shouldn’t be sharing the same speech patterns with the psychologist.

The other thing about Dr. Manhattan is that by his own admission there is no reason to be blue.

I did like that the bad guy won, and that the bad guy was a good guy acting with the best of intentions (even if he stood to make a profit off of it). I also like that Veidt won over Dr. Manhattan to his evil scheme with LOGIC. But then Dr. Manhattan admits that even if Rorschach were to make it back to civilization that no one would take him seriously as he is a criminal and monkey-off-of-his-nuts crazy. However, that Dr. Manhattan then goes and kills Rorschach unceremoniously, out of hand really bothers me. This does not follow LOGIC.

There were some cute devices like Robert Redford (RR, totally not Ronald Reagan) running for president. But for everyone of these there was a laborious passage by Dreiberg (or, THE AUTHOR) talking about Art thinly disguised as ornithology.

Lastly, I am fine with the leveling of New York as a plot device. But c’mon, did it really need to be Cthulhu? After all that, we get to some inter-dimensional, squid-monster, Elder-being, unknowable H.P. Lovecraft fan service?

So in summary, Watchmen was cool. It was fun. But it certainly wasn’t because it was without peer.